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The advertising industry as a whole is often thought to be carnivorous. Indeed, the ‘Mad Men’ stereotype of popular culture depicts advertising agencies as sharks – menacing and voracious. They use the available mass market technologies of radio, television and magazines to maintain their place at the top of the food chain and devour a naive audience. In the days of ‘Mad Men’, advertising was generic, manipulative, largely untargeted and expensive. Clients had no real way of measuring the effectiveness of advertising campaigns beyond long term sales figures and the audience were treated like minnows.
Today’s advertising bears little resemblance to the stereotype. The internet has empowered advertisers to target a particular audience cheaply and effectively and measure that effectiveness in almost real-time. Through search engines, social media and the web, advertisers can now deliver much more nuanced advertising based on web surfing interests, online buying habits and social media feedback.
A much more sophisticated buying public now finds itself part of a two-way conversation, with endless buying choices and an advertising industry listening to what they have to say. Thanks to changing technology, the sharks of ‘Mad Men’ are now extinct.
The advertising industry are now much more accountable also. The web has reduced the barrier to entry for new players entering the advertising fray and created a plethora of relatively low cost alternatives for businesses to market their goods and services. As a result, the new advertising agency is leaner, hungrier, more creative, more innovative, more competitive and contributes much more to the business community.
A new term has also been coined to describe this new breed – ‘Digital Agency’.
In simple terms, a Digital Agency is an advertising agency that has evolved to meet the changing needs of advertising in the digital realm. They bring the traditional “commercial” arts of graphic design and copy writing together with new technology and modern marketing techniques. The result is a highly creative mix of artistry, science, engineering and soldier-like determination to fix problems, find solutions and, well, soldier on in a very fast changing landscape.
Jake Sorofman, Research Director at Gartner, puts it this way.
He says that Digital Agencies…
The existence of the Digital Agency and everything it encompasses reflects a paradigm shift in how we work, how we play, how we communicate ideas and how we connect with each other – fuelled of course by the ongoing march of technological change.
Today, with the help of a Digital Agency, you can reach a million potential “qualified” customers and verify that you have done so. Google Adsense and Facebook Business are prominent examples. This sort of reach was almost unthinkable not too long ago.
The term “qualified” is particularly important here. With traditional advertising techniques – radio, television and print media – advertising is still an expensive blunt instrument – targeting everybody and getting relatively few qualified leads.
Digital Agencies specialise in cost effective solutions that only target the audience you are interested in. Here’s an example.
If you are trying to sell walking canes, teenage kids are probably not your market. Search Engines, Social Media and the Web can all be harnessed to target only the age or demographic relevant to your product. Also, it can be done at a fraction of the cost of traditional advertising.
Digital Agencies bring a range of multi-disciplinary solutions to every problem. This kind of cross pollination means that solutions developed for one client (or ourselves) can often inform those for the larger business community – often from humble beginnings. For example, the range of expertise inhouse at WebAlive includes graphic design, web design & development, mobile application development, online marketing, social media and much more. This breadth of expertise lends itself to solving problems far beyond the scope of traditional advertising. Digital Agencies can often provide solutions for the entire customer experience including sales and marketing, online shopping, subscription services, billing and delivery.
WebAlive are a prime example of what the term Digital Agency has come to mean.
In today’s world, web design, mobile design, eCommerce, automated billing, online marketing and social media are cost effective, dynamic business solutions which have become must haves for many businesses – reaching out to customers through a multitude of devices and platforms.
Here are a few examples of the kinds of services we provide.
Developed initially as an inhouse solution to our own billing woes, AutoBill comes to the aid of business owners drowning in a sea of repeat billing paperwork, customer subscriptions, invoices and manual processes. AutoBill can fully automate the billing process allowing business owners to concentrate on growing their business.
WebAlive wanted to develop a comprehensive eCommerce solution that would solve all of our client’s online shopping requirements in one product. After all, why reinvent the wheel every time.
With WebCommander, if there is a function it doesn’t have it’s not worth having. WebCommander makes complex eCommerce functionality easy. With WebCommander’s powerful CMS (Content Management System), business owners have complete control over their customer’s online shopping experience including drag-and-drop design tools, online store design and product catalogue.
WebCommander can be branded to give customers a unique online experience and because all functionality is built in, WebCommander is very cost effective.
WebAlive’s website design and development solutions can be custom built to suit any and all requirements. For many potential customers, the first impression they have of any business is its website. The importance of a professional, informative, attractive and engaging online presence cannot be overstated.
In addition, almost 50% of our “computing” time is spent on mobile devices (on public transport, at work, in restaurants etc.). It is very important that business owners cater to this audience. Responsive website ensure that potential customers enjoy a professional online experience when they are on-the-go.
SEO or Search Engine Optimisation is extremely important to attract non-referral customers through search engines such as Google. A beautiful, professional website is no good if hardly anyone sees it.
WebAlive employ specialised SEO techniques to greatly improve a business’s Google ranking which include link building, blog and article writing and social media involvement.
PPC or Pay Per Click is the process of purchasing keywords from search engines and social media as part of a “sponsored” online marketing campaign. Google AdWords is a common example of this.
As a Certified Advertising Partner of Google, WebAlive is able to optimise PPC campaigns to ensure each dollar is spent efficiently – attracting qualified leads with advertisements that are relevant and timely.
WebAlive offer professional Social Media management services that encourage customer loyalty and customer advocacy.
Social Media has become the buzz word in modern advertising – and for good reason. Gone are the bad old days of beat-em-over-the-head hard selling (‘Mad Men’). Any business that wants to compete in an online world must engage in a 2-way conversation with their customers.
The sophisticated customer of today would expect nothing less.