My partner introduces me as someone who works in IT. It drives me mad, but then I do my best to retaliate by telling everyone she is a builder when she is in fact a Chartered Building Surveyor advising on technical due diligence.

I am in fact the Director of Digital at Zest The Agency, and have been working in similar roles for close to a decade now. Yet the question of defining digital, or at least the scope and remit of my digital team has always troubled me.

Think about it – what does digital mean to you… A website? An app? The internet? Technology and software? Digital marketing? Social media? Big data?

In that context what does a digital team within an integrated agency actually do? It’s a question I’ve been trying for a while to get to an answer on, as it is important not only to have an answer I can articulate well to my clients, but also internally so other teams within the agency understand what we can do for them.

What’s your flavour?

The definition of digital is so broad after all that many businesses can become blinded when dealing with agencies. How do you compare a digi-comms focused agency with a digi-brand, digi-marketing, or even digi-tech agency? Their answers to the same challenges can be so varied.

Not feeling entirely comfortable to be pigeon-holed in any of the above, I have been trying to define what the ‘flavour’ of Zest Digital is.

And then yesterday it came to me when speaking to a potential client…

It’s a common scenario – said organisation invites us in as they need a new website, in part because it’s not working for them from a sales/leads perspective (but they can’t articulate or quantify that), partly because it doesn’t reflect them or what they do (the brand angle), partly because it doesn’t connect with their CRM (the tech bit).

Balancing the ingredients

All of these digital ingredients are out there, but our job as an agency is to understand what the real problem is, and success for us is developing a recipe for the client that helps give them better outcomes – whether that means more sales, more visitors, greater footfall, or better brand recognition.

The only way to do this is to think about all the digital ingredients that can help deliver against your objectives – creative and brand development, messaging, content marketing, SEO, PPC, CMS, email marketing, CRM, marketing automation, data and analytics, social, social listening, and paid display …. and you soon realise that the website is just a very small part of what you need to get right.