Marketers Take Mobile, Digital Reins

RSW survey reveals disconnect between growth in mobile marketing and agency assignments

Advertisers have online and mobile marketing fever, but agencies aren’t necessarily writing the prescription.

Although marketers are using both channels significantly more than three years ago, agencies have seen a much smaller bump in these types of assignments, according to a new poll from consulting firm RSW/US.

Mobile marketing was near the bottom of advertisers’ digital activity in 2009 but now ranks near the top, the poll found. In contrast, mobile assignments still hover near the bottom of all digital work agencies receive.

So, what gives? Well, advertisers once unfamiliar and hesitant in the digital space have grown comfortable and are probably doing more digital marketing themselves, according to Mark Sneider, president of RSW/US.

Also, some marketers at industry conferences and in polls like this one ”feel like they are leading the agency and the agency isn’t leading them in the digital space,” Sneider said. “Agencies are providing counsel, but marketers aren’t using it. Maybe what agencies think is good counsel isn’t carrying marketers far enough.”

A total of 230 advertiser and agency leaders participated in last month’s poll. Among the brands represented were Purina, Hershey’s, Converse and Panasonic. The agencies included JWT, DDB, MEC and Ketchum.