creative meets consulting: survival of the fittest?

With today’s digital marketing industry being incredibly fast-paced and driven by rapid technological innovation, brands are in desperate need for guidance. Social media following and the necessity of putting forth fresh content that engages audiences has become a primary component of business. Living in a digital age requires a premiere digital presence for brands. Therefore, this need is becoming increasingly prevalent in today’s markets. The possibilities for business to business guidance are seemingly endless. Businesses seeking thought leaders in the digital marketing space have previously had a plethora of options to choose from within the multitude of both small and large-scale digital marketing and advertising agencies that have been sought after by brands for years by clients to help them achieve improved performance and an advanced bottom line.

However, change is imminent. Creative agencies now face a new competitor in the B2B digital consulting arena: the big four and corporate ad agencies. Deloitte, one of the largest consultancies in the world, has been quietly acquiring agencies that each specialize in unique niches of the digital space, which has drawn quite the crowd to their service offerings. They approach the digital market as one that goes hand in hand with their traditional practices including tax, audit, advisory, strategy and operations, and now digital. Offering a “one stop shop” for all of a client’s business needs from tax filing to social media monitoring truly takes the headache out of many business issues by have a single, central team of experts specializing in every business need.

While this sounds immensely appealing, creative consultancies also have their place in the game shining as creative rockstars who offer unique, niche services that you cannot find anywhere else at the same caliber. However, these niche agencies are slowly being acquired one-by-one by umbrella corporations such as Publicis (now Publicis.Sapient) and Omnicom, which provides the potential foreshadowing of the emerging market trends…

Advertising giants such as Publicis Group have worked to build a large network of service offerings for clients to utilize. One of the largest subsidiaries of Publicis is Sapient, a recent acquisition by Publicis. SapientNitro is the digital marketing branch of Sapient and appears to be a major competitor with Deloitte Digital. Who will outperform in the digital marketing consulting field? Will it be the “sleeping giant” that is large scale consultancies who simply acquire and conquer this industry?  Or will it be the incumbent, long-time creative agencies with loyal client followings existing under large corporations such as Publicis.Sapient?

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