The establishment of digital and social platforms as mainstream communication platforms have had huge ramifications for traditional media.
In the digital age, a partnership approach between agencies and their corporate clients is vital to ensure that highly relevant messaging is targeted at the right audiences – and yields results that meet business and commercial objectives.
We have seen an increase in the requirement for digital solutions from our customers. However, quality content remains the foundation of these campaigns that are run using native publishing and social media advertising, and the deep tech knowledge we have becomes imperative to success.
While PR has traditionally been our bread and butter, the real innovations are taking place in the digital space, and that is where we are looking to make a bigger impact. We are flexible, scalable, and partner with our customers to provide a solution based on their needs, rather than a one size fits all approach.
Single point of accountability
What we have seen through our global Plexus partners is that it is owner managed technology companies – our ideal target clients – who are more willing to work with their existing PR agencies to test and refine fully integrated digital marketing campaigns. Larger corporations or multinationals tend to have separate digital marketing agencies or even dedicated in-house digital capabilities, which perpetuates a siloed approach to communications. This often results in slow decision-making and implementation, as multiple opinions and approvals need to be gathered and secured.
We believe that whether brand elevation is traditional or digital, accountability has to be held by a single source, regardless of who is doing the actual work. The client shouldn’t have to worry about how or where the brand elevation happens. They should be looking for a trusted partner that can advise them on strategy, which proven tools and tactics to use, and to deliver results that are in line with their business and commercial objectives.
As an agency, we should be able to provide clients with valuable consulting, create a customised basket of offerings to meet their objectives, and confidently answer the question of what their money was spent on, and what value was delivered in return for it.
Providing informed consultancy
It is here where having a partner agency with the right experience really matters. We can help customers navigate their way through a constantly changing digital and social media landscape, and inform them about which platforms are best suited to their corporate or executive profiling needs, and how to best allocate their spend.
We can further guide them in finding the middle ground between aggressive, targeted campaigns – such as email marketing – while ensuring they comply with privacy regulations such as PoPI and GDPR (which has severe penalties for transgressors). These steps are fundamental to ensuring the integrity of any organisation’s marketing activities going forward; the age of spam is over, and companies need to turn to specialists who can help them make the most of their content by using credible, authentic data.
The aim is to work closely with trusted clients to identify real-world commercial problems, and to test digital solutions to address these. We trial small projects as a starting point to demonstrate viability, test audience receptiveness, and refine messaging and imagery where required before scaling up campaigns. It’s not simply about brand elevation, but referral website traffic and lead generation, which can be quantified and qualified.
Judith Middleton is head of advisory services at DUO Marketing + Communications.
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