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Subject: UKNM: Web Agency decline and fall
From: Stephen Byrne
Date: Thu, 11 Jun 1998 17:12:07 +0100

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[Moderator's Note: to put this in context and explain the addressing,
Stephen also posted this to a number of editors of marketing and new media
publications as well...comments anyone?]

The Editor

Dear Editor,

Just a few comments on the flurry of opinions and explanations on the
decline and fall of new media agencies.

First of all, Online Magic, AMX Digital, WebMedia, Poppe Tyson, Denovo,
Smartnet, Lowe Digital, Smartnet, CHBi and the scores of SOHO operations out
there that have either fallen over, been gobbled up or merged by ominivorous
US corporates are all victims of what appears to be a short tem
concentration on web site creation alone rather than technical and marketing
partnering.

Our Interactive Division is one of the UK's most successful with close to 1
million in billings in its first year but I'm sure you've never heard of us.
But you'd be sure to have heard of many of our clients including Swiss Re,
Nortel, Commercial Union and Marks and Spencer.

The thing seems to be that if you've got sexy consumer brands as clients
then everyone gets excited and knows who you are. Ours are mostly in
financial services and telecommunications but we're providing everything
from full strategy for intranet through to multimedia graphics.

So its no news to us that web agencies are redefining their position to fit
into the just as risky, just as cash flow-driven and just as untested, the
murky waters of web consultancy.

The problem is that the web as we know it right now is less than five years
old and, of course, everyone's working out how to make money from it.

The one's that survive and the one's that are making money, like us, already
know that you just can't design a site, you have to understand where it fits
into the marketing strategy and you have to know the web is NOT like
everything else we've ever known.

As the web is an international market of one, defined by its user profiles
and other less known and understood demographics, it will years before
anyone can truly assess and advise on what works and what doesn't on the
web. So the idea that you can turn from being designers and builders of web
sites to become the new architects of web strategy and consultancy, while it
seems to be a natural progression - is just as likely to beset by the same
problems as it started out to avoid.

Meanwhile, like Hollywood in the early part of this century we are just
beginning to understand more about what the web does, what it can do and how
it can be driven to make money. There will be many hits and there will be a
few stars and the technology will keep on improving and we will move on.


Yours sincerely,

Stephen Byrne
Group Marketing Manager
Revolution Ltd
9 June 1998

Revolution Ltd
700 Great Cambridge Road
Enfield Middlesex EN1 3EA
0181 267 1040

web: http://www.revolutionltd.com
email: stephen [dot] byrneatrevolutionltd [dot] com

Stephen Byrne
R|EVOLUTION

E-mail: stephen [dot] byrneatrevolutionltd [dot] com
Web: www.revolutionltd.com
Direct dial: 0181 267 1040
Tel: 0181 267 1000 Fax: 0181 267 1066




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