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10 Critical Digital Marketing Questions to Ask Your Agency Partner in 2014


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MSLGROUP has listed out the top questions that clients should be asking their agency partners about digital marketing at the start of 2014. The questions, from second-screen programming to mobile messengers to online video to 3D Printing, portray the accelerated pace of change in the social and digital space.

According to Stephanie Agresta, the start of the new year is the right time for conversations built around strategic foresight and the key trends driving change in the space. “A strong perspective on these critical trends can help inform and optimize strategies that are being put in place,” she said.

Published in: Business, Technology
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10 Critical Digital Marketing Questions to Ask Your Agency Partner in 2014

  1. 1. 10 Critical Questions to Ask Your Agency Partner in 2014
  2. 2. 1 What do you think we should do with our website? It's back to digital marketing basics – your website matters again. After years of shifting resources away from corporate sites and into social channel development... ...companies are realizing that they can gain great value from infusing their owned sites with new sophistication, making it more social, personalized and mobile.
  3. 3. 2 How should I go about setting up an Innovation Lab? No longer just for the big technology companies, Innovation Labs have become a required foundation for marketers that merely want to keep up with the crowd. The digital marketing world is moving so fast. Mission Control Centers are helping marketers keep up. Without dedicated resources to keep up with new technology & platforms, customized solutions for companies and brands, as well as education inside the organization, you can't keep up.
  4. 4. 3 We built it. So why aren't they coming? If 2013 was the year of content marketing, 2014 will be the year of content distribution. It is important that content be high quality and based on insights related to the target personas, but in the coming year we are going to see more discussion on paid content and native advertising, as well as branded content partnerships. The goal is ensuring the audience you are trying to reach sees your great content versus "hoping they will find it and watch it" position of the past year.
  5. 5. 4 Should I invest more in online video production & distribution? For some, this question may be obvious. For others, it is still an important question that requires a strategy. 50% In Brazil, video consumption was marginal in 2008. And now it represents 50%. Facebook is a digital marketing hub to many brands. We will see more brands starting to invest in some of the other platforms — YouTube, Linkedin — where video and other sophisticated content can play a major part. Snackable video drives traffic through Vine and Instagram.
  6. 6. 5 Big data is a digital trend again. What are we going to do differently this year? Data capture, analysis and reporting is a messy business. Country-specific data laws, data activists, and ownership and privacy concerns add a layer of new complexity to an already complicated landscape. Brands can rise above the fray with a data value exchange, through crowd-sharing (WAZE) and real-time reporting (Nike+, FitBit, etc.). The data can be used to create dynamic reports and new content through data visualization.
  7. 7. 6 Amazon has joined Netflix as a content creator. How are we programing for the “second screen” (which is now the new first screen)? Social networks have become less about connections and more about showcasing individual identities and providing a platform for selfexpression and personal branding. Twitter has sought a role beyond the newsfeed "bullhorn.” Real-time Twitter integration can enhance TV coverage and help drive viewership. Facebook has become TV, interrupting our programming with unwanted — but often ignored — ads. G+ has gained mass but cannot seem to drive participation. Niche networks — SnapChat, WhatsApp,, Learnist — disrupt traditional media consumption. Cord-cutting has gained momentum as enabling hardware like ChromeCast, Roku and AppleTV proliferate.
  8. 8. 7 As consumers become more geeky and streamlined in how they access information, what do I need to do differently to reach them? Probably the best thing to do is to keep a great handle on your consumer. Understand not only how they access information, but how that access is evolving and the speed with which it is changing. What's trending up and what's down? Armed with this data, you can develop the strategies you need to make continual course corrections and maximize your digital marketing reach. The new generation that you need to think about builds experiences mobile first. Along the way, it'll be helpful if you learn to speak “Geek.”
  9. 9. 8 What digital marketing efforts should I say no to in 2014? As platforms continue to recalibrate, the larger channels build or buy whatever is creating a buzz, and target audiences diversify their time and attention across many channels. It will be increasingly important to make selective and deliberate content, initiative, program, and channel choices. Taking a long-range view and developing critical metrics with robust analytics will help ensure that each YES decision is a success and offer quantitative grounding for the NOs.
  10. 10. 9 Why should I care about mobile messengers gaining in popularity in Asia? Asian messengers are growing at an immense pace, and Asian brands treat the messengers - WeChat, Line, KakaoTalk like Facebook, engaging with the followers and audiences for digital marketing. The messengers have invested heavily in entering India this year, and activated Indian brands around their platforms. In 2014, they're heading to the U.S.
  11. 11. 10 How well are we doing at omni channel retailing? In 2013, Forrester noted that omni-channel marketing or retailing — an integrated sales experience that melds the advantages of physical stores with the information-rich experience of online shopping* — was a “business need.” In the omni-channel world, customers expect the business to know they are following them on Twitter, Facebook and that they just emailed customer service. In this world, all platforms have an awareness of each other. The customer is at an inflection point and expects the same level of experience across all channels. *Darren Hitchcock, en/blogs/tipspractices/the-rise-of-omnichannel-retail-definitionand-5-tips/ Omni-channel success can be powerful once the business endures that painful organizational restructure, and provides a more consistent message and content delivery to the customer, and more responsive customer service that leads to more repeat business. Note the emphasis on MORE.
  12. 12. Bonus Question Is it finally time to care about 3D printing? Jeremiah Owyang — industry analyst and thought leader who recently launched a new company, "Crowd Companies," in December 2013 — has pointed to 3D printing hubs in China that make this technology accessible. 3D printing has cross-functional applications in a modern company, from R&D to marketing and even communications. The specific applications of 3D printing to marketing and communications may not be known yet, but through innovation, new applications are bound to become the cutting edge.