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December 7, 2010

Welcome to the new digitalArbor blog! There is tremendous change going on in digital advertising and marketing that is shaking up the agency world.  I hope to engage you in conversation about the digital marketplace, and more specifically, about the challenges in balancing the competing demand for digital innovation and relevant creative content with the seemingly endless demand for cost reduction from clients and margin from agency leadership.

The ANA estimates that 74 percent of agency compensation arrangements are labor-based fees, and according to a recent 4A’s report, the highly complex nature of digital programs makes it the most labor-intensive medium in the advertising industry – with production accounting for up to 60 percent of total campaign effort. This is precisely the foundation on which digitalArbor was built.

If you’re not familiar with digitalArbor, let me take a moment to introduce you. Our passion is helping agencies and companies address the competing tensions between the fast-growing need for digital innovation, and increasing demand for relevant creative versions and the increasing technical complexity of skills to build, maintain and measure digital initiatives in an environment of increasing cost sensitivity.

We saw these two competing macro trends  (innovation and cost control), combined with the relentless corporate focus on cost and agency leadership focus on margin, as creating a massive demand for a high-quality, creatively sensitive, low-cost production solution.  Looking forward, we saw an exponentially growing demand for creative versioning and digital content to address the search to display disconnect and meet a growing consumer demand for marketing and advertising messages and content more relative to their needs.

Having led the creation of a near-shore enabled production business model at Digitas (Prodigious), we identified a large gap in the marketplace that we could fill by providing a low-cost digital marketing and advertising production services solution that was sensitive to agency creative processes without compromising quality or speed.

digitalArbor’s  near-shore digital production capabilities offer creative agencies and marketing corporations dramatic cost savings and rapid scalability when it comes to quickly developing digital marketing and advertising  content – websites/landing pages,  banner/display ads, email campaigns, social media and other digital content and communications.

Having spent more than 10 years as a senior leader of a very large digital agency that grew out of a top direct marketing firm, I have led through and lived through dramatic digital growth, the burst of the bubble and the ongoing changes and challenges of the digital space. In this space, I hope to create a dynamic conversation about changes and developments in digital marketing and how it is driving change in the agency world. I will also address the growing digital production outsourced model, the challenges, the key success factors and anywhere else the conversation is led. Please join in!

Robert Willms

CEO, digitalArbor

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