A Different Breed: The Myth Of “Digital
Digital marketing is one of the most vast industries I’ve come across.
Through my four months of being in the space, I’ve realized just why the industry has so much attached to the phrase “digital marketing”. During my travels I’ve come across many different people who, when prompted, respond that they are in digital marketing (DM).
The companies that they work for range from asset management and messaging, public relations work, to full on advertising companies. Very few encompassed all of these capabilities. Every company had their specialties, but gave it the broad name of “digital marketing”. Part of me thinks this is because you tend to lose people when you delve into the specifics and technological lingo associated with our industry. Although there are many facets of this digital world that we live in, it is important to realize that all of these areas are precisely what makes MA+A so profoundly different from so many other companies in the Tampa Bay area.
…you tend to lose people when you delve into the specifics and technological lingo associated with our industry.
Looking at DM from a broad company perspective, it often requires interaction with multiple silos of a particular business. Ten years ago, there were five different people handling a particular silo. Today, it’s often just one person doing that same amount of work. This makes people very busy, but also allows more interface between these silos (due to the decrease of people and red tape). The result is more collective decisions about what path the business is going to choose, as opposed to one top level individual making the decision for the whole company. Generally, in a DM decision, you’ll have to speak to executive decision-makers, marketing departments, and IT/Technology departments. Interfacing with all of these different silos can make it difficult to implement strategies as a digital marketer.
It also adds to the confusion regarding what digital marketers do. The executive sees us as an advertiser and revenue generator that can help bring people to their specific good or service. The marketing division often sees DM as a PR outlet or someone to help manage owned assets (website, social media). The IT department sees us as a technology company and often feels threatened by the new technology that we are bringing to the table. The reality is that at McKay Advertising + Activation, we are all of these things.
One would think the confusion would stop there. Nope. On the agency side, there are many companies who claim to be in DM, but often only specialize in one particular portion of it. Some companies solely work on the website building itself. They design or improve clients’ websites to make sure they are user friendly or mobile-compatible. Others focus on owned asset management like Search Engine Optimization (SEO). SEO is a tool to ensure that your website pops up at the top (or near the top) of the results page when someone searches for your product or service. There are also agencies that focus on the advertising portion of DM. This includes, but is not limited to, advertising through search text ads, display ads on relevant websites, video pre-roll, native advertising etc.
Having said all of that, there are many companies that, in fact, do have the complete scope of the aforementioned skills that encompass DM. MA+A happens to be one of those companies. We can take you through the entire process of building a mobile-friendly website (responsive design), pushing content through your website and social outlets (blogs and whitepapers), and provide lead-generation through the form of email, search, display, and video marketing online.
There is one big difference between the majority of companies that offer all of these services when compared to us here at McKay Advertising + Activation. That last word, ‘Activation’. We are a data driven company in the sense that we can show you your ROI. That way you can see exactly how effectively your money is being spent, but on the back end, we use that data to better ourselves. We come up with a unique strategy for each client, put it to work, and then review the data with our clients. Afterwards, we assess how we can make it better. That work flow is at our core. We are constantly looking for data that is going to help the client get a more profitable ROI. In that, we become better marketers ourselves by seeing which processes work, which need to be modified, and which need to be left by the wayside. This is all completely transparent to our client.
Every day at MA+A, we strive to become better than we were yesterday.
We not only have more capabilities than the majority of companies that I have personally come across, but we use actionable data to make real-time changes to ensure that your campaign is running the best it possibly can. The best part about all this data, we share it. Every client is not only entitled but encouraged to see how their campaign is doing. We are constantly making tweaks to make campaigns to give clients the best possible ROI. Through the years of experience and A-B testing, we have found what works, what doesn’t, and keep discovering new approaches to the elements of each campaign.
We are one of only 100 companies in North America to be designated a Google All-Star by the Google themselves. We are extremely humbled and proud to wear this badge on our chest. This means that all of our theory and rhetoric around DM is put into place every day and actually providing the results we are predicting. We adhere to the Google’s best practices, create meaningful campaigns, and make our clients money. Despite all of our recognition and success, we still have an insatiable thirst to get better every single day. We strive to prove our worth as a Google All-Star and push the envelope with every account to see how much better it can get.
We have been doing this consistently enough that we have been recognized outside of Google’s standards as well! MA+A was just recently represented at Digiday’s Agency Summit in Key Biscayne, FL. The types of company that were invited to this DM training included some of the biggest and most well-known brands from offices (quite literally) around the world. MA+A was actually one of about 5 companies at the event that had less than 250 people working for them. We were beyond honored to be considered to be at the same digital caliber as some of the most globally dominant agencies in our space. It was truly a privilege to be invited to learn about the same insights that push the top tier of the DM industry to innovate.
In conclusion, DM has a huge umbrella that companies generally take a small piece of. Being one of Tampa Bay’s leaders in the digital realm, MA+A is proverbially holding the entire umbrella over our clients’ heads to keep them out of the rain. We don’t simply look at one portion of the problem, but rather expand our technological expertise to ensure our clients have a complete digital footprint that allows them to be up-to-date in what can be an emerging and sometimes overwhelming digital marketplace.