The agency landscape has evolved significantly since I first
ventured into advertising 10 years ago. Gone is the ubiquitous 15
percent media commission, the three martini lunch and the simplicity of
set methods of reaching your consumer. Thanks to a evolution in outdoor; radio
consolidation; collapse of print and traditional classifieds; cable,
satellite and channel proliferation; event marketing, word of mouth and
product placement emergence have all greatly impacted the advertising
landscape. It was, however, the advent of digital that has caused the
major shift in the functional structure of advertising agencies.

Interactive versus traditional
Interactive agencies are
different than traditional agencies. They are different in the way they
are structured and their models for profitability. But at the end of
the day you hire both to come up with great ideas-- ideas that move
your brand forward.

Types of agencies
There are several types of interactive agencies. The most common is the integrated interactive agency.
These interactive agencies are great for companies that don’t have the
time or inclination to separate their offline advertising from their
online advertising. You get it all through one agency and you get an
integrated and consistent message across both media.

The other type of interactive agency is the specialist shop.
Such shops work with your offline agency, but they are totally focused
on online advertising and the digital channel. If you think online is
critical to your brand's success, then these are the agencies for you.

But both agencies are very different from your ad agency. Their
budgets are smaller and thus, they have very few, if any, resources
totally dedicated to one brand. The effectiveness of their work can and
should be measured much more stringently than traditional media
advertising.

Online agencies can show ROI to their clients, much more so than
traditional agencies. Clients should be using measurement tools to
judge the effectiveness of their interactive agency and to constantly
improve the effectiveness of their ads.

With that said, here are some tools to measure how well your
interactive agency is working with you. If you need to replace your
agency, ask yourself some of these questions.

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On: The Agency Evolution Revolution via @jpenabickley