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Interactive Design Firms to Consider

If you are interested in working at an interactive design shop for an internship or full-time position, here is an interesting article to consider -- and its a great way to learn about some of the leading and up-and-coming firms. Be sure to check out the comment box for the article via the link to learn of some others.

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Forrester Rates Digital Shops
Forrester's numerical evaluation system judges agencies in current offering, strategy and market presence

Aug 7, 2009
- Brian Morrissey

NEW YORK Leading interactive agencies have matured to the point where they are finally getting a seat at the table with top marketers.

That's a key finding in the latest installment of Forrester Research's annual evaluation of i-shops.

OgilvyInteractive, Sapient Interactive, R/GA, VML, Wunderman, Razorfish and Organic scored best and were named category "leaders" by Forrester.

The firm's numerical evaluation system rates agencies in current offering, strategy and market presence.

Forrester praised OgilvyInteractive's breadth of services and ability to run integrated campaigns using Ogilvy's broader resources. Sapient's tech prowess was noted, and R/GA was cited for having a clear mission as the "agency for the digital age" and excelling in new technologies and trends.

VML was praised for its strength in an array of areas -- it garnered the highest scores in "current offering" -- while Razorfish's suite of digital services and emerging-media capabilities won plaudits. The strength of Wunderman's Zaaz in analytics garnered praise; and Forrester cited Organic's analytics and positioning as a "total experience" marketing advisor to clients.

Forrester based its rankings on its own evaluation of agency capabilities and client references.

Sean Corcoran, the Forrester analyst in charge of the evaluation, said developing a straight list of the top shops is difficult since many excel in vastly different areas. R/GA, for instance, has strong design capabilities, while Zaaz is mostly known for deep analytics.

This is indicative of an overall change in the industry, Corcoran said: "We're looking at a market that's really mature. Everyone is going in a different direction. I feel the industry is at a crossroads."

Forrester's evaluation included a second rung of "strong performers." They are: Rapp, Draftfcb, Rosetta and AKQA. Corcoran said AKQA was hurt by not having a strong analytics offering compared to its peers and not faring as well in client evaluations.

Overall, Forrester concluded that clients are mostly happy with digital shops, based on the referral interviews it conducted.

The research reinforced the notion that the growth these agencies are experiencing, while suffering hiccups due to the economy, is coming at the expense of traditional shops as marketers reevaluate their strategies. That in turn is leading digital agencies to expand into new areas, such as running offline campaigns and collaborating on product development.

Forrester also noted the growing role of data management, with top agencies boasting mature analytics teams. And more agencies are beefing up their social-media resources, Corcoran said.

"It's not enough just to have Joe Blow the social-media guy," he said. "You need to have specialists and cross-discipline teams."

Posted by kkowatch at August 11, 2009 11:37 AM

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