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Posted by Stuart Jansen on January 25, 2017

You need a new website. Or maybe you require a great online marketing campaign. Perhaps you want a company to manage your social media presence. You've probably asked yourself "should I go with a Creative Agency or a Digital Agency"?

To answer that question you must first understand the history of the Digital Agency. Let's rewind to the dawn of the new Millennium; computer technology and the internet brought about a new medium to reach consumers. Large creative agencies who had spent years developing their processes, partners and strategies were slow to adapt to this new space, preferring to utilize traditional media as their vehicle. The digital space required a firm understanding of the potential, and limitations of the technology, which was not the core competency of creative agencies. This opened the door for the Digital Agency. Often a partner to creative agencies, digital agencies mastered the tools of digital marketing, becoming technical experts in the quickly developing digital space and helping creative agencies execute their campaigns on that space. The overall campaign strategy and creative was still developed by creative agencies, and the digital agency was used as a means of execution.

Fast-forward to today, and the digital media space has completely transformed the marketing industry, with practically all campaigns requiring a digital element. The web is no longer shrouded in mystery as it has been engrained in our culture, and each year massive graduating classes of digital media and web design students enter the workforce. Creative agencies, such as ours, continue to focus on total brand strategy, conceptualizing fully integrated campaigns while developing web teams in-house to execute digital elements, and hiring talent who are expert on the medium. Alternatively, digital agencies continue to develop their skill and technical expertise on the digital medium, developing great web strategies based on their experience and expertise independently of creative agencies. 

So back to the question; should you go with a creative agency or a digital agency? Digital agencies have a strong core competency, and are technical experts on digital marketing, however their role is still very executional. They come up with great digital strategies, and design great websites. However, they can often overlook the overall brand strategy, specifically when it comes to imagery and tone, and how you communicate to your consumers. Whereas creative agencies specialize in total marketing strategy including branding and content creation, and execute digital tactics as part of a larger holistic campaign, ensuring a consistent theme, tone, and voice in all executions. With a team of strategists at the helm, building a team of designers and developers to execute ideas is not a difficult task. However, as a brand, you should never risk executing digital marketing without a strong strategy which supports your larger marketing goals and that ensures the brand integrity is kept in tact.

Consumers should not experience your brand differently in person and online; your brand identity must be consistent on all mediums. This is especially true if you are a new brand: you need an agency that will develop your entire brand identity, brand guidelines and standards, and tone of voice. Then, who better than the company who developed and understands your brand to bring it to life in digital executions?

It is a better bet to go with a creative agency that approaches your needs strategically as part of a total execution, than with a digital agency who will take a more task-oriented, technical approach, and may jeopardize brand integrity.

Do you need to execute a digital marketing campaign? Let's talk, so BTI can help you develop a great online strategy!