Specialization in the digital realm

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With more of the business going to new media, agencies are increasingly turning to online media buyers. Does digital media need to be handled by a full-service agency, and is agency-based digital media still feasible?

Fabio Gratton
Co-founder, chief innovation officer,
Ignite Health

In a perfect world, a full-service healthcare agency should be able to offer clients digital media planning as part of its overall offerings. However, many of today's “full-service” agencies are struggling to keep up with the rapidly-changing digital media landscape, let alone equip themselves with the knowledge and tools to offer clients such solutions (though many times they fake it and fail). For digital media plans to be effective, they need to be unique, customized, targeted, and measurable. Unless your agency has digital fibers deeply woven into its strategic fabric, seek strategic partners with extensive experience in this realm whose digital media experience is balanced with deep knowledge of your therapeutic category, the target audience and healthcare regulations. Many digital media agencies can create innovative plans, but those plans are only good if they can be executed!

Andrea Kerr Redniss
SVP, managing director
Optimedia US

In today's fragmented media environment, the need for media specialization has never been greater. The proliferation of media outlets, the splintering of the audience and the convergence of all formats of media require specialists that know their craft and how it integrates with all other forms of media. Having a dedicated media resource that combines traditional media with digital and emerging media to lead you through this environment and translate it for your business is vital to achieving success. The ability to fluidly move dollars from one form of media to another based on marketplace conditions and activate media channels to fully capitalize on the media mix is critical. Digital media is vast, complex and always changing, therefore, it is necessary to have a media specialist lead your business.

Matt McNally
VP, media services
Digitas Health

As more consumers and healthcare professionals turn to the Internet for information, it is critical to include digital in the marketing mix. Brand marketers need experts with insight into the rapidly expanding digital space and how to leverage these new tools and channels to communicate with audiences. The best digital agencies understand the impact of offline initiatives, how that affects search and site behaviors and how to measure their contribution. An increasing number of brands are finding that a digital-first approach makes strategic and economic sense. To us, digital marketing represents the best avenue for gaining competitive advantage in a crowded market. The brands that find new ways to engage audiences using immersive and highly targeted online programs are breaking through and building share. The winning players use digital agencies as their agencies of record.

Eugene Lee
VP, managing director
MedRageous (RCW)

Many agencies have resorted to outsourcing their digital media. At RCW and MedRageous, we believe that all things interactive must be integrated into the core functions of the agency. Trends show that the industry is increasingly embracing digital media to reach their target audiences, both consumer and professional. In their role as brand creators and custodians, agencies must be involved in digital creation and buying. By bringing digital media in house, agencies are uniquely able to ensure the brand is media neutral and consistent wherever it is expressed, online or off. For agencies digital media and interactive services are no longer “nice-to-haves.” These services are rapidly becoming established as a key driving force that is shaping the new agency.

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