The growing influence of technology on the US advertising industry has been highlighted with the revelation that one in four ad agencies have a dedicated group for managing digital campaigns.

According to a poll from Second Wind, a consultant to medium-sized ad agencies around the country, approximately one quarter of all companies have a dedicated digital group for overseeing activity across social media, branded blogs and email among other platforms.

It is thought that larger businesses have been leading by example with their creation of digital-only groups. Smaller set-ups with fewer members of staff have traditionally struggled to dedicate the necessary resources for a complete shift to digital, but Second Wind says businesses of all sizes are now following suit.

The digital age

Insights from Second Wind shed light on the traits of US digital agencies, 46% of which have staff rosters of just 1-2 employees. A total of 36% have 3-4 workers, while 13% have 5-10 employees in charge of their campaigns.

Social networks such as Facebook, used by 93% of clients, Twitter (77%) and LinkedIn (55%) are driving the need for digital agencies, as an increasing number of brands turn to advertising through these channels.

Branded blogs are another big hit with advertisers, with 64% of digital agency clients investing time and effort into company posts.

As for the agencies, they too invest heavily in social networks. Facebook is used by 81% of companies for their own promotion and Twitter is utilised by 78%.

There is also a need among these businesses to prove return on investment, and was of little surprise to see that 93% use Google Analytics to track their digital marketing efforts. Over half (59%) have turned to providing social media tracking for their clients, with HootSuitePro, Radian and Sprout Social among the most popular programs.