Art, Copy, Code: Marriage in the Interactive Agency World

David Ogilvy would love today’s interactive advertising agency model; he was, after all, a man who valued research and understood the power of data.

“A consumer is not a moron. She’s your wife. You insult her intelligence if you assume that a mere slogan and a few vapid adjectives will persuade her to buy anything. She wants all the information you can give her.” ~David Ogilvy

Mr. Ogilvy would raise a glass to the amount of information that today’s consumer also gives him. He’d be in 21st century glory running PPC ad tests and tracking email open rates through MailChimp.

What makes today’s interactive agency services so exciting is that what we’re also creating for our clients’ customers is the power to listen to and learn from them.

It’s always been true that the better informed I am as a copywriter about my client’s customer the better job I can do writing (marketing) to her. I’ve never been able to market to her alone, but my traditional marriage of art & copy now includes a third party: code. Art, copy & code are now an essential creative threesome at interactive agencies for communicating brands’ stories across a variety of digital channels. Don’t let the technical jargon and intimidating software languages mask the creative solutions provided by our front- and back-end developer partners.

Progressive threesome that we are, our new interactive agency Art + Copy + Code marriage also allows room for more. Analytics and community managers and SEO specialists offer essential expertise and insight that guide our client’s digital marketing strategy and inform creative execution.

Aside from reaping in her reams of data, today’s housewife consumer would be hardly recognizable to David Ogilvy. Imagine him observing her in the grocery store as she pulls up her shopping list from a digital app. Or as she scrolls through hotel reviews before booking the family vacation. Or as she live-tweets the finale of her favorite series.

Just 10 years ago, none of these engagement points were available to the consumer.

Ragan reports that content creation will increase by 15.1% in 2012 to total $118 billion, which is exciting news for everyone involved in interactive. Agencies that want a slice of the pie, however, must deliver value by producing quality content over quantity. Although today’s consumer spends increasingly more time online, competition for attention also grows. The content winner will be determined by the interactive agency who uses the consumer’s behavioral data to drive creative execution.


Katie Sweeney is a freelance copywriter in Philadelphia. Follow her bite-sized bits on Twitter @k8iedid.

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