The advertising market changes from year to year, with the barriers between media constantly diminishing while the role of technology grows increasingly important. In this context, independent digital media agencies are able to complete with large international groups.One such media agency is Webranking, which has seen two very positive years.We talk about this with Nereo Sciutto, CEO and Co-Founder of the agency
Caterina Nappi: Good morning Nereo, the last two years have been intense, both because of the pandemic and in view of the changes that the digital sector is going through. How did you deal with these and what results were you able to achieve?
Nereo Sciutto: 2020 and 2021 were both very anomalous years but, fortunately, the shift in digital and the positioning we had obtained saw us successfully get through a two-year period that was challenging for everyone.In 2020, we focused a lot on the environment, on keeping alive the spirit of the agency even during remote working, on people and on training. The result was that 2020 was actually a record year for us, after more than twenty years of operation, so not easy to beat, and we also managed to win several awards for the way we managed remote work and, more generally, the challenge of lockdown and the pandemic, within the company.
So we are delighted because we have received recognition both from outside and in the level of satisfaction expressed during a survey of the people who work for us. 2021 was the record year because we grew by 48.5 percent in a single year and exceeded 30 million in turnover. Right now, we’re about to hire our 200th employee. It was a very important two-year period, despite the challenges from the situation in the world outside.
In the meantime, we have been able to launch products and services, despite the pandemic emergency. Today, there are three important things we do macroscopically:
The whole digital media part of purchasing and planning, both performance and branding awareness; the creative part, Daimon who takes care of creativity and contributes to branding efforts; finally, we know that digital is a sector quite different from any other: the dreams of a marketer and a creative always need to be considered in the context of the enabling technologies that make it possible to do things. So, we are able to combine the tech part with the creative content part and with the planners.
Caterina Nappi: And right now, what are you working on and how are you preparing for the near future, so full of challenges for the world of digital marketing?
Nereo Sciutto: You got the picture. Apart from everything else going on in the outside world, digital marketing is still subject to the behaviour of large companies on the global scene; they are the ones who decide, more or less, the rules for the functioning of services that we now see almost as commodities. As if they had some sort of social responsibility towards the fact that, if it doesn’t work, the search breaks the internet. On the other hand, the behaviour of public regulators, the shift towards balancing individual privacy and the need for marketers not to overspend are leading to a sort of major upheaval. Being active in both the advertising market and on the technology side means that we are at the forefront in trying to solve a series of problems involving what companies can do to remain effective and efficient in a world of change when it comes to how these services work at the global level.
Fortunately, we have an advantage over many others because internal analysis and technology are areas that we have always been active in. So, apart from being in a position to be affected by what happens in the market, we are the actor that customers often turn to for advice on what to do and how best to put together information in order to succeed, using the latest means of digital advertising.
So, in answer to your question, we are ready to face this challenge because we saw it coming and because we have our own people, innovators working in marketing technology in order to understand how to use platforms and how to adapt to this kind of scenario. Gone are the days when a major agency would call a dealership to negotiate a space, now everything is processed via technology and even cookies are technology-related. Digital is much more complicated than other media and the challenges we face in the next two years call for a very high level of technological competence, something not so easy to find on the market.
Today, thanks to this kind of positioning, we are already partners of some of the most important international brands. For them, we are both the media player who manages all their digital investments in different countries of the world, and the ones who take care of those technological aspects that also help other offices – not only the marketing and communication departments – to operate and exchange information by connecting the digital, physical and retail worlds. This is why we now employ more than 200 people and collaborate with many of the greatest Made in Italy brands that promote their products all over the world.