Until the late 80s, brands and companies managed both their
marketing and corporate communication by working in partnership
with specialist agencies in advertising, sales promotion, direct
marketing, public relations, etc.
Advertisers were supposed to ensure coherence and coordination
of their campaigns by themselves.
Because advertisers expected more consistency and wished to
develop federative concepts and coherent images for each media
platform, most of the advertising agencies turned into multi-field
communication agencies. This is how the idea of national (and even
international) leading digital agencies appeared. They used to only
be the advertisers strategic partners: they designed their
communication plan and carried it out.
In the late 90s, with the growth of the Internet, brands and
companies used specialized digital agencies more and more to help
in the design of their corporate websites, ecommerce
websites, central purchasing agencies, media houses, e-crm
specializations, SEO, buzz, social networks, online and mobile
phone advertising… In fact, every department in the company
was impacted by the spread of digital technology (HR, recruitment,
financial communication, internal communication, crisis management,
advertising, one-to-one marketing, IT departments, PR…).
Nowadays, even if the agencies that were originally advertising
companies still have the role of standard lead agencies,
advertisers realize that they would do well to rationalize the way
they consider digital communication and choose to use a "lead
This agency has to work in partnership with the advertiser. It
helps them in designing their digital communication plan, in
creating the tools and in carrying out the operations.
There are many advantages of choosing a "lead digital
- Better long-term strategic approach
- Improved efficiency thanks to better consistency
- Coordinated technological choices
- Better anticipation of future issues and coordinated approach
of the national and international prospective
- More skills and resources for the clients and therefore a
better ability to react and mobilize.
Do I need a "lead digital agency"?: That is the question most of
the large companies should be asking themselves.
Jean Claude Boulet
Senior Advisor FullSIX Group