Today I heard about Photon‘s latest start up agency called “The Population“. In an interesting move, Photon has decided to create a niche online social media and marketing agency which focuses purely on blogs, online forums and social networking websites. You can find out more about the press release in the AFR.
I feel quite unsettled about this new development in an already extensively fragmented digital agency market. Whilst I appreciate the value in having core specialists to manage complex areas in digital marketing, I am uneasy about splitting off each area into a separate agency. Now in addition to the potential 3rd party developer, strategy, SEM/SEO, media buying, email, analytics, creative agencies etc that a company has to worry about (and thats just in digital!), a social media agency has been thrown into the mix. Surely this could have been a specialty offered within one of Photons already existing 6 internet marketing and communication companies?
In Brisbane it is still hard enough to get digital on the table in a truely integrated campaign. With The Population, how will the agencies work together to make sure that social media is a part of the whole online strategy, backed up by everything else the company is doing online?
Whilst I’m sure some companies will jump at the quick fix answer to leveraging social media, I urge you to stop and think about the bigger picture here. And that is, if it’s not a concerted effort that ties in with everything else done online, we are only creating an additional separation from other online marketing activity occuring, thus potentially confusing and/or isolating our target audience we are trying so hard to bond with.
The Population website wasn’t live at the time of writing this article. Hopefully soon!