Relationship between Web Integrator and Digital Agency
A brief reflection on the relationship between a web integrator and digital agency.
Compared to the article describing a relationship between web and system integrator, the comparison with a digital agency considerably more complicated. Only finding a generally accepted definition of the term digital agency on the Internet is a difficult task - and where else to search it, right?
What Is a Digital Agency?
Wikipedia (in English), does not even know this expression and shows only "Advertising agency", which specifies in individual areas - in our case "online advertising".
Other definitions that can be traced, even older, are available on Digital Agency Blog, which develops the concept to "Full Service Digital Agency", UPANUP Studio, JDM Digital, Barkley, Kamber and certainly it is possible to find even more. What now? Trying to come up with another definition, the next in line? I will try it for the term Full Service Digital Agency ... After all, what agency states about itself that it is not "Full service".
A part "Full Service" described on Digital Agency Blog seems to be interesting to me. It is not primarily based on the range of services offered by an agency, but on coverage of three elements of marketing cooperation with client - Strategy, Delivery and Analysis. That represents the key to comprehensive services to me, unlike their mere list. There are so many various special services in the digital space and more and more are emerging.
But what is the "digital" space today, anyway? From my perspective, it is all that is processed using ones and zeros digits - yes, web site (in all its forms), mobile application, TV (from a certain part), radio and outdoor advertising and their interconnection. And digital space will only rise in the future - it will spread on your car, home, watch, Internet of things...
So the following definition is acceptable to me:
Full Service Digital Agency is a marketing agency that provides clients with strategy, delivery and analysis in the digital space.
What Is, on the Contrary, a Web Integrator?
And what is a web integrator? As I mentioned in the referenced article, so "The web integrator is a partner who provides a guarantee to the client that the project will comply with the agreed specifications. The web integrator is responsible for coordinating all of the necessary activities. A web integrator is a partner that guarantees a client that a web integration project will pass in accordance with the prepared specifications and ensure a coordination of all necessary activities".
Not a word about marketing, but a bit further the article says: "Unlike the system integrator, the web integrator’s activities include marketing and communications and new fields where the Internet is used...." So how is it? A web integrator is necessarily active in certain areas of marketing - no web portal can be built today without respecting the rules of online, or if you like, digital marketing.
Boundaries between Digital Agency and Web Integrator
A concrete boundary is difficult to find, and as shown in the diagram of the web integration effect, an overlap of provided services occur there.
The web integrator cannot avoid areas necessary for perfect delivery of web integration project. A good web is simply not possible to create without defining target groups, design, on-site SEO optimization, web analytics ... A conflict occurs particularly in delivery and analysis areas.
I do not believe that full service digital agency delivers an excellent extensive web integration project, which requires strong know-how in the field of software engineering, deployment and operation and where the issues of security, integration and performance are dealt with.
Conversely, a web integrator competence does not involve the field of marketing strategy. And given the increasing number of services in digital space, it is necessary to involve (integrate) some specialists for these services into projects as well - there is therefore a scope for cooperation in the area of delivery. Likewise a range of analytical services is enormous and a web integrator competence focuses mainly on "on-site" data and their processing, or other connections.
How Can a Web Integrator Work with a Full Service Digital Agency?
I have some experience with various forms of cooperation, but also with strong competition between the web integrator and digital agency.
What I know is that an escalated competitive attitude does not help anyone and an end client the least of all. Dissimulating that a digital agency will deliver a big web portal because it has already completed a lot of web sites (mostly simple business presentations or microsites) is just wrong. On the other hand, it is equally wrong to say that a web integrator will design a digital marketing strategy. It will not.
What I consider to be perfect is cooperation between the two entities, which obviously means that competences have to be determined where they overlap - elbows are therefore needed. Jointly, it is possible to deliver clients a solution that optimally fits into their digital marketing strategy, meets business goals and high demands for performance, safety and economy of operation.
Unlike cooperation with the system integrator, the most common form of cooperation between
a digital agency and a web integrator is therefore partnership, which does not even have to involve any mutual contractual relationship and coordination takes place on the client's side.
And What Is the Practice Like?
My experience is that after delivering a solution, it is the digital agency which is responsible for attendance (traffic) and quality of the acquired contacts (lead generation). The web integrator is subsequently responsible for maximizing the conversion potential of the web site. Together they therefore ensure the efficiency of the overall solution.
The ambition of either party cannot be "we will do everything" because they simply will not. Conversely, it is the emphasis on cooperation and the final value for the client what brings significant advantages for both sides, reduces risks for the client and allows to do what each party can do best and what it "likes the most".