CHINA - Marketers in China are "far from ready" to go digital-first on their own, but only three agencies in the nation—Isobar, OgilvyOne and Wunderman China—tick all the boxes for what a "full-service" agency should offer, according to a new report from Forrester.
In Forrester's 'Vendor Landscape' report published last week, "full-service" digital agencies in China are defined as those that fully cover three categories: digital strategy, digital marketing, and digital technology.
Among hundreds of digital marketing service providers in China, many offer just a handful of services, according to the report. In particular, these agencies fall into in three areas: social, mobile, and ecommerce, even though some claim to be "full-service" companies.
These agencies are "often happy with focusing on one specific area that they’re really good at", according to Forrester, which cites CuriosityChina’s focus on WeChat CRM and marketing. Apart from exceptions like Social Touch, "few have the ambition to broaden their services and become a full-service agency".
Many digital agencies are consolidating resources to stay competitive. For example, Razorfish has partnered with Hybris to enhance its ecommerce capabilities.
For marketers to differentiate between true full-service digital agencies or otherwise, they need to check if the agency encompasses 15 digital services, including creative (advertising) services, analytics, and technology architecture and support, according to Forrester.
So far, digital agencies operating under the umbrella of large global holding companies like WPP and DAN are still the primary players offering a full range of digital services in the Chinese market (see below).