As I was catching up on reading some older newsletters, I came across one that had an excerpt from an article written by Joe Marchese, dated July 1, 2008. Marchese’s main point seems to be that agencies, creative shops, marketers and such aren’t ready ready for, or have an organizational structure that supports social media for brands. His contention:
Put simply, Madison Avenue wasn’t built to service brands in social media and, more importantly, Madison Avenue is not built to make money from the proper activation of social media for brands. The question is, can the system adapt, or will a new breed of agency be born in the vacuum of effective social media campaigns? Evolution or revolution? I have seen evidence of both.
He goes on to outline his vision for what a social media agency could look like, and how it could function. One point in particular that seems to give today’s agencies pause lies within this: “You can’t predefine your creative in social media, because it is a conversation. To predefine your creative would be like entering a conversation with a script, and no matter what the other person says, continuing to stick to your script. You might as well be standing in front of a microphone reading a product description.”
So, this begs the question: Are today’s agencies ready for tomorrow? There are several ways to get ready – from staffing up with those who have unique social media skills to outsourcing certain functionality to specialty shops to developing more long-standing partnerships with individuals or companies that can augment an agency’s existing services.
Are today’s agencies ready? In some places, yes. Overall, not yet. But there are ways to get there, as long as you’re willing to take the first step.