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Future of Digital, Social Shops in Doubt

From Tuesday, May 21, 2013 Online Media Daily: Future of Digital, Social Shops in Doubt by Steve McClellan

Companies talk a lot about fully integrated marketing strategies. One result may be the demise of stand-alone specialist shops, such as social media and digital agencies.

A new study from European business school Mediaschool Group, polled 2,000 marketing students across Europe and found that 80% believe that stand-alone social media and digital marketing agencies will disappear within 10 years. The study was conducted in March and April.

The study also found that 70% believe the marketing landscape will become dominated by content marketing and “PR thinking,” with a focus on creating brand trust.

But while digital continues to transform the marketing landscape, TV isn’t going away any time soon, per the survey. It found that nearly 70% disagreed that TV advertising would be “irrelevant” in 10 years, and 70% believe that in 10 years the role of advertising will be mostly to “entertain,” and not to “sell.”

Some 77% percent said that Facebook is the most important social media tool a brand can use to communicate to millennials. And only 40% agreed with a recent statement by WPP CEO Sir Martin Sorrell that Twitter was not an advertising medium.

While millennials are often considered the first generation of “digital natives,” the survey sample disagreed. Seventy percent said it’s the generation 10 years behind them that represents “true digital natives.”

“This next generation of marketing leaders clearly has a strong point of view on the future they will shape and create,” stated Anne Pflimlin, director of the Mediaschool Group. “It’s clear to them that the questions of silos and channels don’t exist.”

Maurice Levy, CEO of Publicis Groupe, stated that the study “underlines just how rapidly digital is becoming an integral part of everything we do,” and is also “indicative of how even our new talent should not be complacent when it comes to new, emerging and existing ways to connect with the consumer.”


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