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Patricio Robles’ recent piece on Econsultancy.com, “Technology is not a panacea for agencies,” is a perfect example of the kinds of important conversations our industry should be engaged in more often.
“Technology alone is never a guaranteed solution to problems of complexity, and in fact, more than a few companies have harmed themselves by throwing more and more (and more and more expensive) technology at a problem,” he writes, and, much like the rest of his thought-provoking piece, it’s an excellent point. In fact, Cardinal Path, a leading digital analytics consultancy, has conducted research across over 700 companies via their Online Analytics Maturity Model that proves companies over-invest in technology at the expense of people and process.
Technology is absolutely not the only answer to an industry struggling with the increasing complexity of a fragmented media landscape – but it can be a very powerful one.
Patricio notes that “When it comes to the complexities digital advertising is creating, it’s important to recognize that the ever-growing number of channels (the “search, social, big data, owned media, branded entertainment and other new media” Swinand refers to) is a big part of the problem. For agencies grappling with a complex digital advertising ecosystem, it’s worth considering that trying to be everywhere is increasingly going to lead nowhere.”
Every good marketer knows that having a rock-solid portrait of a target customer will lead to finding a waterfall of websites, mobile apps, and legacy media where he or she can be engaged – but selectivity is the key to success.
To that point, I believe that the real issue here is not too many choices, but the lack of ability to manage them efficiently. That’s why I mentioned Centro, because they are investing heavily in their automated media-buying software.
Agencies partner with Centro in order to take a lot of the time and expense out of successfully managing digital campaigns across a large array of sites and vendors.
More and more agencies are recognizing that they don’t have the manpower, expertise and/or budgets required to deal properly with this level of operational complexity – even when being thoughtful and highly selective in determining how to best reach their audiences.
Read more on this topic: Andrew Swinand’s piece in AdAge called “Want to Win the Race to the Bottom? Don’t Invest in Tech”