Digital Operations: Change and Opportunity for Media Agencies
Digital advertising rules nearly all growth, especially with the rise in mobile and programmatic, and it’s leaving many traditional media agencies on unsteady footing.
Swim or sink should be the motto of these agencies. Adopt the new model and enjoy its new opportunities, or be left behind. The best media agencies today are the ones who go strong into digital media – dabbling doesn’t cut in anymore. This starts with having a strong digital operations team as a central part of your agency.
Putting together a digital operations team
The most important thing is that your team covers the full spectrum of digital advertising. That means experts in SEO, PPC, paid search, social media and data analysis. You need people who can work with big data, media strategy and web development.
Your team should be more than just educated. They have to be totally up-to-date and have the mindset to stay on the cutting edge. Trends in digital marketing come and go in the blink of an eye. Your team must be committed to staying in front of the wave, and have the courage and good judgment to make the best use of opportunities.
Your hiring process must be more than picking the people with top qualifications and the most experience. The best person for a digital operations team might very well be someone with less experience but more intuition and pop culture savvy.
Benefits of a strong team
Handling digital operations in-house has a lot of advantages. You now have experts on hand for every step of the process, from brainstorming through optimizing your campaigns. This allows you to offer much more value to your clients. It also saves you time and money that you would otherwise spend on hiring consultants for every project.
Digital operations teams manage highly sensitive, complex systems that are constantly in flux. Digital campaigns must be maintained and respond to audience reactions with much more speed and sensitivity than traditional media. This is why it pays to have a team dedicated to them, providing continuity and quality assurance.
Another benefit of having an integrated digital department is that online campaigns provide a wealth of real-time data about customers, far more than is remotely possible with offline media. This information can prove invaluable in shaping campaigns as a whole. Digital operations allow us to understand and meet customer expectations like never before. This means more happy customers, more happy clients and a stronger agency.
Keeping your team going strong
It’s always good to keep learning but for a digital operations team, it’s essential. Digital marketers are often swamped with work, struggling to keep up with a backlog of projects. The fast pace of today’s internet takes its toll! However, it’s extremely important that they make time for learning new skills. A study last year made a big splash revealing the extent of the skills gap in digital marketing, the gap between best practices and most marketers’ current capabilities.
If best practice was set as 100, the average marketer in this study rated themselves at 57. Part of the problem is that companies don’t prioritize continuing education. Instead of encouraging digital professionals to master new skills, they focus on areas that have been successful in the past. Don’t fall into this trap! Encourage your team to keep learning, and make sure they have the time and resources to do so.
It’s no secret that digital is front and center in today’s marketing world. Since online marketing is becoming increasingly specialized and data-driven, it only makes sense to give digital operations a dedicated place within your agency. One small team of experts can bring your whole agency into the future.