What does the future hold for social and digital agencies?

What does the future hold for social and digital agencies?

According to research conducted amongst 2,000 marketing students across Europe, the days of the specialist social media and digital marketing agency are numbered.

Over 80% of our industry’s up and coming talent reckon that these standalone agencies will disappear within the next 10 years, as digital becomes a mainstream discipline for all marketers.

The research, commissioned by the MediaSchool Group, also reveals that 70% of respondents predict the marketing landscape will be dominated by Content Marketing and PR Thinking.

Content Marketing, where brands become publishers and creators of their own content, was considered by 4 in 5 respondents to be an essential part of the job of a marketer in 10 years’ time. Interestingly, they said the overwhelming role of a brand in this timeframe would be to entertain as opposed to sell. As for the rise of PR, this shows how word-of-mouth endorsement and trust has become essential for brands. Today, brands need to have an ongoing conversation with their consumers and not broadcast at them in one direction only. Setting the tone for this ongoing narrative and managing it will undoubtedly see the interaction of content marketing and PR.

The results reveal a generation convinced that social media is applicable across all marketing functions – close to 90% of respondents believe that social media is not ‘stand-alone’ and that by 2023 agencies will be integrated with other marcoms agencies, or be full service themselves. Practitioners would become jack-of-all-trades and be comfortable creating strategies across all disciplines – advertising, direct, social, digital and PR.

In a reaffirmation of a traditional media channel, 68% disagreed, or strongly disagreed,that TV advertising would be ‘irrelevant’ ten years from now.

However, the students, aged between 20 and 25 years old, do not believe that it is they who are the ‘digital natives’ but the generation 10 years younger than them: today’s teens.

While offering a fascinating glimpse of how tomorrow’s generation of marcom professionals view our industry, it’s also great to see that our very own Publicis Groupe is seen as a source of inspiration. A smashing 54% cited Publicis as the most admired international marcoms group, ahead of TBWA (15%) and Havas (12%). As Maurice Levy says, this shows the network is well in step with how the industry is evolving. His words also reflect our own values at Kitcatt Nohr Digitas: “There’s a sweet spot at the intersection of digital intelligence and emotion, and that’s where you’ll find Publicis Groupe: the human digital agency,” he said.

The research was published by the MediaSchool Group. To read the full report go to:http://www.mediaschool.eu/NextGeneration.pdf