PepsiCo may have retired the term last year, and brands’ in-house expertise is growing all the time, but the agency skills and services that were historically grouped under the umbrella of “digital” remain the most sought after by CMOs.

In fact, 60% of all marketing budget-holders Pearlfinders has interviewed this year have said they are increasing their use of digital agencies - up 20% on 2015.

How exactly are the top brands investing?

For the FTSE 100, the role of a digital agency is often as much about providing counsel and strategic guidance on emerging channels and technologies as it is day-to-day implementation. Take, for instance, what the senior brand manager of a FMCG behemoth told us recently:-

"The notion of future thinking is what's really driving marketing activity. We need to be reacting to trends in our category and leveraging new tech in this context."

What are CMOs prioritising?

Whatever your reservations about digital's exact definition, new business teams need to acknowledge where the minds of their prospects are. Naturally brand priorities – and the levels of sophistication they require – vary...

Take for instance, the Digital Content & SEO Manager at a "big four" Supermarket, who told us they were interested in understanding digital software that can deliver "downloadables" faster on mobile, tablets and PCs. On the other hand, a recent conversation with the EMEA Marketing Director of an Apparel brand revealed that their priority is to target young consumers through user-generated content - enabling its lifestyle and socially influenced young consumers to engage on an organic level. 

So, while you may feel the term digital is pretty meaningless - even foolish - in this day and age, senior stakeholders at FTSE 100 brands are still thinking, and more importantly allocating larger budgets, to solve their "digital" problems.

To request a free trial of Pearlfinders - giving you access to the digital requirements we've profiled with brands including Coca-Cola, Honda, Morrison's, Aviva, WHSmith and InterContinental Hotels, simply click the link below...

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