This is becoming one of my favorite topics. I have accumulated tons of agency contacts over the last few years but am still reluctant to call on them simply because many of them just don't get it. Dana Todd is exactly right in her statement below. But why don't they get it? This is the part that baffles me. A recent IAB study told us that 40% of the interactive budget is going to paid placement search marketing. The agencies are famous for chasing the money so why are they not better at this.
My theory on why agencies don't get it is because this is dirty work. Any good SEM firm will tell you that they work their butts off and are accountable for results. Hard core accountable for results. Most agencies measure success not by actual results but rather by awareness or visibility or some other fluffy metric.
I do have a couple of agency clients and although this is self serving, they have made the decision that I am their SEM guy. They do their thing and I do mine. The end result is a successful campaign and a happy client.
"Dana Todd, co-founder of SEM firm SiteLab, said that this out-of-place feeling gives agencies something of an inferiority complex when it comes to SEM and SEO. They want to feel like they hold dominion over the entire campaign, and that outside firms are mere facilitators of that process. But Todd argued the reality is that the agency gets in the way of a campaign by unconsciously trying to over-exert its authority. 'You can't control what you don't understand,' she said. "