Agency types: Creative and Digital Agency

Roles and responsibilities

But roles and responsibilities are all in flux. Taking the pharmaceutical industry as our industry lens, examples include:

  • As HCPs and Patients spend more time online than off the grid, the data required for generating the insights necessary for a world class Creative Strategy needs to be gathered across the digital ecosystem and curated by a team with extensive digital competencies and experience. The team carrying out the digital study gets a unique understanding and firsthand window into the (digital) life of the target audiences, competitive situation and beyond. As a case in point, at Vertic our “Digital” Insights team constitutes our biggest team.
  • Persona definition & Customer Journey mapping devoid of digitally derived insights or digital channel insights, do not allow the brand to understand how to efficiently inject itself into the reality of our contemporary world. As an example, the evolution of trust of HCPs and Patient towards the pharmaceutical company and how it should translate into the channel strategy, e.g. third party HCP portals and collaboration with patient association, drives messaging at its core.
  • If the Medium is the Message (still?) and provided our inherently digital lives, the message and value proposition at the core of the Creative Agency’s work cannot and should not be detached from, but rather pollinated by the nature of the digital channels. As obvious examples, how much the short-form social format — think Twitter and a famous election — or the democratization of video production and publishing have influenced the “message” cannot be over emphasized? Specifically, as regards videos, the use of self-recorded videos by Key Opinion Leaders is certainly hitherto unchartered territory in terms of co-creation of content and messages.

Another categorization of agencies?

In fact, the tags “Creative Agency” and “Digital Agency” have lost their meaning as mutually exclusive terms. Rather this categorization sometimes comes in the way of clearly understanding the key competencies necessary to solve the required tasks to efficiently create a multi channel launch of a product into the market. You may choose a portfolio of agencies to ascertain coverage across all relevant competencies, however competencies do not have a natural separation that align with Creative vs Digital.

All in flux

Below is a high level description of the tasks divided according to a classic separation between the Creative Agency and the Digital Agency. At Vertic, we most often do the tasks in “red” and “black”, and with select clients, the tasks in the Creative Agency bucket.



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Mads Krogh Petersen

Mads Krogh Petersen

Perspectives on Marketing in a Digital World. Co-founder of Vertic