Should I get an Ad agency to develop my website?

  • By: Cris M.
  • Sep 7, 2014
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Recently, we have acquired clients from renowned advertising and marketing agencies in Melbourne. The clients have decided to move their web development work to Leading Edge because the agencies failed to deliver the expected results for their web production (websites, newsletters, landing pages etc).

Traditional advertising and marketing agencies offer an important service to most businesses. They bring to the table creative ideas, strategies and vision that the client may not be able to see while working on the every day running of a business. However, have most ad agencies kept up with the technical side of what has become one of the most important marketing tools for any business: the web? In our opinion, we don’t believe so.

Marketing and computer technology, once upon a time, were disconnected industries. With the development of advanced computing, IT started to move its way into ad agencies for graphic design purposes. Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Final Cut to name a few, became common terms within the industry. Then, professionals learnt how to apply their design skills in the new software.

With the dominance of the internet and the importance of websites for businesses, IT has made an even stronger step into ad agencies and businesses worldwide. Websites are a combination of marketing (visual and idea) and IT (web development, code and functionality). Website development requires a complete new set of skills, which is not the expertise of traditional advertising agencies. Web development became as important as all the traditional marketing products. Words like CMS, code, HTML, PHP, CSS, Magento, WordPress became very common.

Most agencies were not able to implement web development in house, because programming is not their main set of skills. Web development agencies quickly appeared around the world. Some traditional advertising agencies even tried to setup a small development team but failed to do so.

These are the barriers faced by traditional ad agencies trying to setup an internal web development team:

– There are several sets of skills required to develop websites (HTML, CSS, JQuery, MySQL, PHP, Ruby, ASP and the list goes on). One internal developer is unlikely to have mastered them all. It is inefficient for Ad agencies to setup such a team, especially as they may not have ongoing web development work.

– On the web development front, Ad agencies are not able to compete with Web agencies with respect to quality, production time and cost. They do not have the economy of scale for web as it is not their main business.

Most Ad agencies do offer web development as part of their services. However, they subcontract to specialised web agencies such as Leading Edge. As a matter of fact, Leading Edge provides web development services to many advertising agencies in Melbourne.

The question your business needs to ask is: should I use the web development agency directly for their expertise and the ad agency for theirs?

We hear too often of advertising agencies that have failed to provide web services to their clients, so much so, that they lost the whole account. The most common issues were poor coding, lack of understanding of the time frames required to build functionalities, and graphic design which does not comply with the website framework or database schema.

Next time your business is looking to engage an ad agency, understand if they have the capability to deliver on your web work. Otherwise you should consider hiring both: an Ad agency and a Web agency for their respective skills and strengths.

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