Mobile and social analytics company Webtrends has launched an online community specifically for digital marketing agencies. The Portland, Ore.-based firm said the site, webtrendsagency.com, allows agencies to share best practices and access resources to improve the design and performance of online campaigns.
The site is an outgrowth of a dedicated digital agency business begun by Webtrends about 18 months ago, according to James McDermott, vice president of business development, and Elizabeth Robillard, director of agency programs.
Since then, Webtrends' agency business has increased about fivefold, says Robillard. Most of the agency business comes out of client budgets, but McDermott says he expects direct agency buys to increase as Webtrends continues to focus more on "interactive markets and campaigns."
This change will be propelled, in part, by social apps and a next-generation analytics platform, which he says will launch soon.
One of the original reasons for starting a dedicated program was to support brands working with agencies, so shops could "leverage the data," McDermott says. Agency involvement and collaboration was important "for clients to get the most out of our apps."
Robillard notes that about 75% of Webtrends' agency business has come to the company directly rather than through agencies' clients. It currently boasts 45 digital marketing agencies as "partners."
One-third of those have signed up as "premier" agencies, meaning they pay $12,000 a year to receive product discounts on analytics services, free training, 10 hours per month of consulting services, and other perks. Webtrends' premier agencies include Omnicom's Tribal DDB, WPP's Ogilvy, SapientNitro, Rubicon, and Publicis/VivaKi's Digitas and Razorfish.
Other agency clients, which include WPP's VML and MDC Partners' Crispin Porter, are dubbed "standard" partners. They pay no annual fee, but receive smaller discounts. Webtrends also offers separate agency packages for apps and optimization services.
McDermott says the site, which is open to anyone, has been designed to have "the look and feel of an agency" rather than a tech look. "It provides a palette for agencies and Webtrends to collaborate around digital marketing," he explains. With such new areas as social marketing and Facebook marketing, Robillard adds: "We're trying to shine a light on what the data can show us about what works."
"Data and the art of marketing are really becoming one," McDermott notes, "and the community site will hopefully serve as "a crossroads for people to participate."