Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Forrester's weird interactive marketing agencies report

A tipster has slipped me a PDF of Forrester's annual report about interactive marketing agencies, which picks OgilvyInteractive as best among the best and brightest. There's a full accounting of the agencies they rated here. This report, which has been known to make interactive shops shake in their Doc Martens, is both the most and least comprehensive of the, um, genre, if that makes any sense. It rates agencies on a voluminous 52 criteria ranging from campaign integration to financial resources to account management, using Advertising Age's Top 50 Interactive Agencies list as a starting point. But then it gets really, well, uncomprehensive. The study only examines seven agencies closely, and it's a peculiar bunch of cats and dogs—in addition to Ogilvy, Forrester looked at Avenue A/Razorfish, Critical Mass, Digitas, imc (squared), Sapient and VML. VML? A fiarly minor WPP shop? Forrester's rational is that it wanted to look at both independent and holding company-owned shops, that the shops had to have crossed a number of thresholds in terms of revenue, revenue growth, client growth, employees and ability in social media. (The report also points out that it does a separate review of Web design shops, where no doubt some of the missing are located there.) But still, one of the problems here, I think, is looking at only one source. Virtually everyone who tries to compile a comprehensive list of interactive agencies, defines the segment differently. As some of you know, I worked on Adweek's Top 50 interactive agencies list for some time, and although we all became frustrated at the increasing difficulty of getting accurate information, at least, back when we were doing it, it offered an alternative viewpoint. The Ad Age list, for instance, doesn't include McCann WorldGroup's MRM Worldwide, and, indeed, MRM was not evaluated. It's also strange that RGA didn't make the grade, but if that's because Forrester considers it a Web design shop, that seems misplaced given how the shop has expanded into other areas over the last few years. As for Sapient, the company has only recently started building creative into its tool set ... and without creative, it's hard to see how a company could be a superlative interactive marketing agency. Just ask Avenue A, which had to go out and buy a few shops a few years back to become full service. Well congrats anyway Ogilvy.

1 comment:

David Sanchez said...

LBi's (Framfab, IconMedialab, IconNicholson, Lost Boys), Euro RSCG, Tribal DDB, RG\A? - I think the Ogilvyinteractive will make sense given the fact that WPP cannibalized Grey Digital Marketing, Blast Radius, Refinery into their numbers, and actually VML is part of Wunderman, another WPP Shop, so what the hell?