Full-Service Ad Agencies Now a Negative?

The year is almost over, and as I sit back and reflect on marketing days gone by, there’s one trend in 2010 that sticks out like a sore thumb: Full-service advertising agencies have become somewhat obsolete and boutique, specialized online ad agencies are thriving. Businesses are flocking to Social Media Marketing (SMM) and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) like flies on…. my food, and this has paved the way for a drastic, e-centric shift in the advertising world.

Companies are no longer spreading marketing budgets over an entire piece of fluffy Wonder bread, and have realized the true potential of online mediums. Print and television campaigns are being downsized while digital marketing is thriving, which creates a dilemma. To stay afloat, conventional full-service advertising agencies need to either a) attempt an adaptation; or b) give up and stick to the conventional. After all, an agency that specializes in print/TV will have quite a mountain to climb before achieving Social Media and SEO relevance.
All in all, I believe full-service agencies will have a difficult time in the future, and will ultimately lose business to more specialized, unique agencies that provide a very particular set of services (e.g. Social Media consulting, SEO copywriting, etc.). Being a jack of all trades may sound cool, but is it best?

Aaron Schoenberger

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