Boston Business Journal writer, Lisa van der Pool, examines the convulsions being felt throughout Adlandia. She says traditional advertising agencies are facing a difficult paradigm shift–the need to evolve their businesses to accommodate for all things digital.
“Our digital group used to be a department. Now, they are right at the center of the agency, digital guys are imbedded into every account,” said Fran Kelly, CEO of Arnold, which now has 100 digital experts in its 600-employee workforce in Boston. “Arnold will really morph into a digital marketing company over the next two to three years. Digital used to be on the edge of what we do. Now it’s more and more at the heart of what we do.”
“The fact of the matter is that it’s all about digital today. Every ad agency in the country needs to get comfortable with it,” said O. Burtch Drake, president and CEO of the American Association of Advertising Agencies in New York.
“I don’t know if 2007 is the threshold year per se, but it is conclusive that the Internet has changed everything — that’s absolutely conclusive,” said Joe Grimaldi, CEO of Mullen. “Our eyeballs are there and our engagement is there. The smart companies are the companies that have been changing all along.”
Of course, Boston’s Hill | Holliday made quite a statement last year by changing their brochureware–still the industry standard–site to a blog.