Tim Yang’s Weblog


Digital agencies in Malaysia need to stop being digital agencies

Filed under: Online — Tim Yang @ 1:26 pm

I work in an advertising agency with a client that demands integration with digital components. But we have digital agencies in this country that work too much in their own little silo.

Yes, they understand how to build websites but they don’t understand how to market them. Nor do they want to. Simply because they’re not designed for marketing.

Digital agencies here prefer to perform all their marketing online. They keep using the same media: blogs, Facebook, emails etc.

This doesn’t work for two reasons.

In many countries (including this one), we don’t have the necessary numbers of web users. Most of them are centred in the cities, yet the vast majority of the market is in rural areas.

Second, of the small size of online users, digital agencies always propose online campaigns that only sophisticated web users will respond to. We don’t have the necessary numbers. And this only targets a certain age group whereas clients need campaigns for larger markets or different markets.

The solution is for digital agencies in this country to first accept that a purely-online campaign is not feasible. All those case study books and websites they get inspiration from are from countries that have the numbers. They have to stop looking at them and believing they can make campaigns as successful as those.

Secondly, digital agencies need to start hiring expertise with experience in broader campaigns. People who have experience in creating supporting sales and marketing materials like brochures, leaflets, billboards, posters, and of course guerilla media. All the items needed to propagate a URL.

Digital agencies need to stop and ask themselves: “You’ve built a really nice website. But how the heck are people going to know about it?”

Digital agencies need to stop thinking that marketing a website is TCP (The Client’s Problem) and take some responsibility for it.

Digital agencies need to stop being purely digital agencies. And start being a bit more like communication agencies.

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