Is the traditional digital marketing agency dead? Not likely in the near term, but there is a train roaring down the tracks driven by the overwhelming amount of technology, data, artificial intelligence and systems integration needs that is transforming traditional agencies into consulgencies.
For the first time, four consultancies cracked Ad Age’s 2017 ranking of the 10 largest agency companies in the world. With combined revenue of $13.2 billion, the marketing services units of Accenture, PwC, IBM and Deloitte sit just below WPP, Omnicom, Publicis Groupe, Interpublic and Dentsu. What is common across many of these newer digital agencies is a consulting and solutions mindset often combined with deep focus on technology-based services.
While the traditional, large Madison Avenue agencies and holding companies are clearly feeling some heat from these large consulting-based agencies, the trend is also starting to reshape the landscape for smaller and mid-sized agencies. Brands increasingly look to their marketing agencies to source and build new solutions, optimize utilization of existing marketing technologies and help integrate data and disparate technology systems.
With combined revenue of $13.2 billion, the marketing services units of Accenture, PwC, IBM and Deloitte sit just below WPP, Omnicom, Publicis Groupe, Interpublic and Dentsu.
Some agencies may find success through a niche approach — doubling down on being deep experts on a channel like email marketing or TV spots — but most will instead increasingly build out deep expertise and capabilities in artificial intelligence, data integration, customer experience analytics, mobile apps, custom solution development and more. And beyond being equally adept in creative, strategy and technology, these consulgencies will be measured and compensated based on results, not just time and projects.