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Friday, 11 March 2011






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Insights for advertising agencies

Advertising agencies, which we call now as marketing communications or brand building agencies, are changing grounds globally with digital and social media playing a major role whilst some traditional still remaining.

Mark and Comm Limited (MNC), an integrated strategic marketing, reputation communications consultancy and a boutique think tank recently carried out a survey during the month of February titling Digital and Social Media Study [Agency side] in Sri Lanka on how digital and social media is trending in Sri Lankan agencies, and how the landscape of the traditional tools, taking into account the present and future demand of their clients.

There were very useful and valuable insights, and MNC is more than happy to share this latest report with you.

The study revealed from 22 respondents consisted senior key executives throughout agencies in Sri Lanka such as Chairman, CEOs, COOs, and directors and managers involved in branding and client services.

Illustration One: Current priority from clients for agencies in Sri Lanka (2011)

The study was highly focused and narrowed, with a clear audience.

The below were the results and insights.

The study has revealed that agencies in Sri Lanka are moving towards the whole new digital and social media with Facebook suggested mostly taking social networks into account, and that there is an increasing consideration towards integrating these two mediums to bring out a wonderful mix in place.

However there needs to be healthy, ethical competition and an essence to work together with the whole ecosystem in Sri Lanka not fight and pitching in for projects.

Critical mediums for Sri Lankan agencies at present

When asking as to whether has digital media particularly pointing out social media hit the Sri Lankan advertising industry as a whole, 55 percent confirmed yes followed by 36 percent stating maybe and it will, along with a nine percent being pessimistic saying no, it hasnt.

Interestingly, when asking whether digital and social media has hit their agency in particular, 55 percent confirmed yes, it has followed by 36 percent stating somewhat yes and a nine percent stating no.

Illustration One:

Current priority from clients for agencies in Sri Lanka (2011)

Illustration Two: Future priority for agencies and clients demand

When surveying what their clients overall are giving priority to the current context (Illustration One), there were some very interesting insights. Yes, as we all know the traditional is the priority for now, along with the new media being somewhat a priority.

Print, television and radio ranked the highest priority with a 100 percent score, followed by Outdoor with 81 percent confirming a priority whilst 21 percent stating somewhat or not at all a priority, and sponsorships and endorsements with 82 percent confirming a priority whilst 18 percent stated its somewhat or not at all a priority.

Email marketing received a 60 percent confirming somewhat yes, followed by 32 percent stating not at all a priority at the moment. A 50 percent said its somewhat a priority when it came to Online advertising (banner ads, etc), with nine percent stating its priority whilst 41 percent stating not at all a priority.

A 69 percent stated that blogs and online forums are not at all a priority, with 31 percent considering its somewhat a priority. Finally, coming to social media, 59 percent responded that this area is somewhat a priority when it came to their clients demand, with 36 percent stating its not at all a priority, and five percent stating high priority.

Critical mediums for Sri Lankan agencies to meet client demand

When surveying about the critical tools the agencies will use in the future (Illustration two), and to meet the requirements of their clients demand, the new media, social media, online advertising, and blogs and forum along with email marketing was highly scored yet with traditional such as Outdoor, television and radio, sponsorships and endorsements, as well as print still remaining high.

Illustration Two:

Future priority for agencies and clients demand

Social media was scored 95 percent as important; Blogs and Online forums hitting up 82 percent as important followed by 14 percent stating its somewhat not important and four percent stating not applicable; 86 percent responded that online advertising is important with 14 percent stating its somewhat not important; 69 percent stated email marketing is important followed by 23 percent stating its somewhat important and 10 percent stating not at all important or applicable; Outdoor caught a 86 percent importance rate with four percent stating its somewhat important; a 95+ percent stated that television and radio as well as the print medium will continue to remain as a priority tool along with sponsorships and endorsements gaining a 83 percent importance rate with 18 percent stating its somewhat not important.

Sri Lankan agencies will suggest Facebook

Interestingly, when inquired as to which tools they will suggest to their clients taking Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and an own Blog site into consideration, Facebook received a 90 percent critical rate followed by having an own blog site which scored a 57 percent stating that its critical with the rest stating that its somewhat critical; 36 percent stated that Twitter, the micro-blogging tool, is critical yet with another 36 percent stating it can be somewhat suggested with the rest stating out that its not critical; and finally, LinkedIn was on a downside with 41 percent stating its not at all critical and not suggested yet with 32 percent stating its critical and 27 percent stating that its somewhat critical.

Facebook even hit up the frequency rate when asking the respondents how often they themselves get into social networking sites with options of Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. 55 percent stated that they login on a daily basis, with a 27 percent once in 12 hours and 18 percent on a weekly basis.

Twitter followed the second place with nine percent logging in once in 12 hours, 23 percent on a daily basis, nine percent on a weekly and 23 percent again on a monthly basis yet 36 percent said they never login Twitter. LinkedIn again got the worst place with half of the respondents saying never, nine percent on a daily, 14 percent on a weekly, and 27 percent on a monthly basis.

All advertising agencies surveyed stated that they already have a digital unit in place, and have already trained people overseas and getting projects on the way, with a very few seriously thinking about having a digital unit within their agency.

Every respondent stated that digital and social media is a key player and is the future of advertising and brand building though many rely on the traditional mediums there is optimism to integrate them. This research and study is done by MNC, and is published to bring in open knowledge and insights.


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