Ask the Expert: Interactive Agencies

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What types of interactive services do your b-to-b clients want? Maheu: Our b-to-b clients are leveraging interactive services to achieve three objectives: drive sales (generate leads), engage the influencers in their marketing programs, and leverage rich media and video to drive brand awareness. In the b-to-b space, lead generation involves the whole range of interactive marketing techniques, from teleweb to e-mail marketing. They are also interested in how they can leverage social media to identify the influencer audience and then tap in to the influencers to learn from them, to engage them in solving problems and turn them into brand advocates. Finally, our clients are also interested in leveraging reach media and video to communicate their stories, engage with their target audience and drive persuasion. Are they exploring Web 2.0 services? Maheu: Our clients are looking at Web 2.0 services to do three things: Listen to what people are saying about their brands and competitors' products and services; engage influencers and brand advocates and develop an advocacy channel—a channel between the brand (our client) and their advocates for communication, collaboration and problem solving; and distribute their content to drive engagement with their brand. Web 2.0 allows marketers to seed the Web with engaging content and nurture through search and social media the distribution and viral spreading of that content. How is your agency handling the growing demand for interactive? Maheu: Ogilvy has been hiring talent across the interactive field. In particular, we are hiring specialists to help us lead new practice areas and to add to our expertise in growing areas such as social media, search engine marketing and digital analytics. We have also been looking at targeted acquisitions. Last year we purchased GSI, a leading organic search company to add to our paid search expertise. M
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