With the internet, new marketing opportunities opened. From the early world of banner ads to search engine marketing with the rise of Google, from animated GIFs in the early days to targeted video ads on platforms like YouTube, from PCs to mobiles – the digital agency’s ambit has grown through the past 25 years. Pricing models too have evolved – from CPM (cost per thousand) to CPC (cost per click) to CPA (cost per action). The availability of data has made digital marketing an art and a science, with Google and Facebook offering finely honed segments for targeting. The past decade has seen massive growth in revenues (and valuations) for Google and Facebook, as they rode the wave of brands hungry for new customers. The pandemic accelerated every digital trend and the growth of the Google-Facebook duopoly.
With FOMO (fear of missing out) engulfing every B2C and D2C brand, this has now become a spending war to acquire every possible digital customer before someone else does it. Easy investor money has fuelled the spiralling spends on Google and Facebook to the extent that marketing departments have become their collection agents. Left to themselves, marketers would not have been able to make optimal use of the features provided by the adtech platforms. The digital marketing agencies made it very easy: decide the budget for customer acquisition, hand it over to the agencies who then provide the desired outcomes. They have been the secret behind the rise of adtech. If martech has to become front and centre, it too will need a similar agency construct.