Digital agencies aren’t shrugging off management consultancies as competition anymore. Some are even promoting their consulting chops as they compete in an increasingly crowded market.
“Until this year, traditional agencies had their heads in the sand about the threat management consultancies were bringing to the market,” said Jay Wilson, director at Gartner and author of Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Digital Agencies. “A lot of the more traditional agencies led their stories with consulting capabilities and how they're looking to build those out.”
“Business transformation” was a key selling point this year for those named in the report, which recognizes digital agencies for their work in strategy, development, execution and measurement of digital experiences across the customer journey.
That transformation is beginning to give management consultancies with digital services a leg up against more traditional digital shops. For example, IBM iX, IBM’s in-house agency, made it into “Leaders” quadrant, which is dominated by traditional digital agencies, for the second year in a row.
Publicis Groupe’s SapientRazorfish and DigitasLBi were named leaders, along with WPP’s VML, AKQA and OgilvyOne Worldwide, IPG’s MRM//McCann and R/GA, and Dentsu Aegis Network’s Isobar. Hearst-owned iCrossing was also a leader, which is defined as having deep capabilities in business strategy and transformation, with notable investments in creative and marketing technology.
But to make the “Leaders” cut, digital agencies pushed their consulting capabilities far harder than last year, Wilson said.
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