In addition, DM agencies are becoming more "front row" for the client, he continues. "We've escalated the discussion we have from the guy in charge of buying of print production to the guys talking strategy," [Daniel Morel] says. "[We're discussing] 'What should I do with my brand on the new medium called the Web,' because the business is immediately transactional. We are the ones doing all of this stuff - but now it's on steroids."
www.dmnews.com | May 18, 2009 | DMNEWS | 13 Agency Business Report The new age of direct agencies As the economy sputters, marketers now offer a front seat to direct and digital agencies who offer measurement and ROI. But, in DMNews’ first annual Agency Business Report, we found that DM agencies also continue to evolve in order to stay relevant in a complex age of cross-channel marketing By Sharon Goldman training as to why we’re doing what we’re Direct marketers, he says, spent a long : They are leaders in sectors ranging doing to benefit our client’s business.” time feeling rather invisible in the ad world. from traditional DM and digital to emerg- He adds that educating clients about these “We were very much under the radar screen, ing channels. They remain steeped in the new efforts is also challenging. “Taking large we weren’t the visible part,” he says. “We science of data while offering greater con- organizations and helping them see a new were the guys working the data and the tributions to a company’s overall brand solution requires pretty considerable heavy numbers, the stuff being done at retail and strategy. They struggle both to reorganize lifting, [which means shifting] how they with production.” But now, Morel says, mail their own internal organizations to reflect think, work and budget,” he says. production accounts for less than 10% of the number and complexity of emerging At the same time, today’s clients expect what Wunderman produces. channels as well as to educate their clients their agencies to wring more out of less “[Our] business is in an exciting time,” about today’s turbo-charged marketing – they want increased accountability and he explains. “It is 60% digital when, in fact, space. They enjoy newfound respect and measurement to get the most from shrinking two years ago it was less than 20% digital. access to the C-suite. company advertising budgets. For Microsoft, for example, [our work is] all This is the world of today’s direct agen- “[Clients are] not satisfied with click- digital — we don’t produce a single piece of cies, as we proudly introduce DMNews’ through rates,” says Bob Lord, who was paper for them. With Ford it’s [becoming] first Agency Business Report. In a series Daniel Morel named CEO of Razorfish last month. exactly the same.” of online-exclusive profiles, you’ll read about CEO “They want to know if the product sold, In addition, DM agencies are becoming 70 of the top direct and digital agencies, Wunderman and whether it helped their brand impres- more “front row” for the client, he contin- including their capabilities, service standards sion. The line is blurring between direct ues. “We’ve escalated the discussion we and corporate identities. You can access all “[Our business] is marketing and brand. Companies see both of these profiles in our special section on in an exciting time. It as synonymous.” DMNews.com. is 60% digital when, But this tight-fisted client attitude actually It has been nearly a half-century since in fact, two years ago bodes well for the direct and digital world Lester Wunderman famously coined the it was less than these days, he adds, because DM can boast term “direct marketing” in 1961 — which measurability that traditional advertising Wunderman CEO Daniel Morel points out 20% digital.” cannot — so more marketers are turning was later said by Lester to be better put as towards DM agencies and cutting back on “personal advertising.” But today’s DM traditional spend. agency leadership acknowledges that the ever, data have become more abundant and “While marketing budgets are contract- past 10 years have truly brought a vast shift more detailed, and tools to analyze it have ing, I suggest we’re staying flat,” Lord to the industry, due to the rise of digital; become far more complex
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