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The Coming Digital El Niño
Traditional Interactive Agencies are Facing Extinction

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A conversation with DJ Edgerton, Founder and CEO of Zemoga, and other invited experts (including Fabio Gratton, Co-founder, Chief Innovation Officer, Ignite Health; See guest bios), about the failure of traditional interactive agencies to keep pace with social media technology and how emerging market social media boutiques like Zemoga are positioned to take advantage of pharma's growing need for innovation in this space.

Aired LIVE on: Wednesday, 12 January 2011.

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Background

"While the digital revolution has given birth to exciting new forms of media that help brands reach their desired audiences, it has also exposed just how much some traditional U.S. ad agencies have failed to keep pace," said DJ Edgerton in a recent AdWeek article (see Additional Resources below). "In fact, U.S. agencies must adopt a new model of collaboration to avoid being washed over by the digital El Niño swelling just south of its borders.

"Over the past decade, more than a few U.S. Fortune 100 companies have awakened to the digital innovation and creative talent coming out of countries like Colombia, Argentina, Brazil and Costa Rica. American powerhouse brands like Sears, Nickelodeon, HBO, Rodale, Pfizer and Toyota have all discovered the wealth of forward-thinking, strategy-driven digital products and services coming out of South America -- as well as other regions around the world -- as our global economy becomes increasingly borderless," said Edgerton.

"It's been a long time coming since we've seen major disruptive in the agency space," said Jeremiah Owyang of Web Strategy Blog (see Additional Resources below). "10-15 years ago we saw the rise of internet agencies, digital agencies, and web marketing boutiques, and then a fast consolidation during the downturn. Now, we're seeing the rise of social media boutiques, and we have telling data that shows they are threatening the budgets of traditional digital agencies in a particular type of client."

"Once corporations realize that social business is not about short term campaigns, they give $ to boutique agencies," said Owyang. "The data from the buyers indicates there's a significant jump in spending on boutique social media firms when the buyer is advanced and sophicaiated in social business. They know their traditional agency lacks flexibility or doesn't have a business model for social engagement and relies on them. This is a great opportunity for the boutique agencies, who let the traditional agency do education, set plans in place, experience a few failures letting boutiques swoop in."

Questions/Topics Discussed

  • How do you grade your agencies digital chops?
  • What to look out for when partnering or "collaborating"?
  • What are the key capabilities/skills and agency should have to offer the greatest opportunity for success?
  • What are the major differences in digital projects that if not aware of, can derail a project?
  • How can we make Reg Revue more efficient and flexible?
  • How can we educate both clients and agencies on best practice?


Guest Bio

DJ EdgertonDJ Edgerton, Founder and CEO of Zemoga, has worked in the traditional and digital agency space for over 20 years. During that time he has specialized in developing and leveraging technology to provide groundbreaking business solutions for Fortune 500 companies. His range of expertise includes development of large-scale enterprise-wide custom applications and digital campaigns that feature award-winning design, user experience, and information architecture. His combination of traditional and interactive design skills has led to the creation of award-winning projects across a wide variety of media. Edgerton's distinct multidisciplinary and multimedia skill set provides a unique resource that helps create innovative, engaging, and exciting projects for consumers and clients alike.

Fabio Gratton Fabio Gratton is the Chief Innovation Officer and a founding partner of Ignite Health, one of the fastest-growing healthcare agencies in the US. Gratton works closely with the agency's creative and account teams to develop Internet strategies for all agency clients. Gratton, a graduate of UCLA's acclaimed film program, worked as a screenwriter prior to channeling his passion for storytelling to the medical marketing industry. Ignite recently launched Incendia Health Studios, a purpose-driven media company focused on creating media properties that leverage rich media, video, and interactive technologies to engage people living with chronic illnesses and those who care for them. In addition to helping develop Internet strategies for existing Ignite clients, Gratton has assumed President and CEO responsibilities for Incendia.


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