Do Interactive Agencies Have A Bloated View of Their Capabilities?

Is anyone really willing to admit that in the Internet marketing space the hype from agencies is far exceeding the reality at this point? I know it may be heretical to even imply this but I prefer to dabble in the truth rather than BS. In the Internet marketing space that point of view earns me the title of ‘contrarian’.

Well, I accept that title and look to results like those found by PulsePoint (reported by eMarketer) to further make the point. It appears that the agency side of the ledger sees their delivery capabilities in the three major areas of marketing as either ‘very’ or ‘extremely’ effective. Confidence is good I suppose but only if it’s based in reality. Otherwise it can be little more than salesmanship.

Why do I see things this way? It is just that SO many people I run into have major gripes about the ‘help’ they receive from agency providers, regardless the size of the business. The get sold a bill of goods (the same bill of goods that was drilled into a salesperson’s head as gospel) then when it comes to delivery there is a serious disconnect. Unfortunately, the way many agencies handle client engagements is in a ‘fake it ’til you make it’ mode. Delivery is done by underpaid and relatively inexperienced folks and, well, you can guess where it goes from there.

The next chart made me chuckle a bit. It shows just how confident agencies REALLY are. This chart shows the marketing priorities of these three groups. If agencies were truly as good as they claim don’t you think they would be more willing to measure results better?

The revolt by marketers and others seeking agency level help has been a long time coming and really it can’t come too soon. How many monthly retainers will it take for clients to finally yell “No mas!” and simply do the best they can in house since their results were not that much better after paying someone else?

Now, don’t think this is a blanket statement or indictment against the agency model. There are great providers out there. It’s usually the ones, however, that aren’t out there saying how good they but rather doing good work and living off referral business, that steer clear of this mess.

How do you feel about the agency side of the interactive space? What has been your experience? Are you an agency provider who disagrees with me? Then please let us know your thoughts in the comments. We can’t know unless you make yourself be heard.