In a MarketingVox piece posted today, Jennifer Nastu explores the relative importance and respect offered to interactive marketing professionals in both the marketing world, as well as in "mainstream agencies." I work at a mainstream agency right now. I have worked in pure interactive agencies in the past. The question is, has a rise in the importance of our medium led to a rise in the respect afforded to our roles? The article concludes that there is still some progress to be made, perhaps due to interactive marketing’s close ties to direct marketing (condescendingly referred to in agency-speak as "below the line" activities).
Still, I remember working at Leo Burnett in Sydney where our new business unit (iLeo) was the result of the unhappy merger of the interactive group with a direct marketing firm just acquired. In that world we struggled to earn as much respect as our direct marketing peers were given. Two years later, interactive marketing is moving "above the line," hopefully taking us practioners with it. No matter where we are today – it would seem that for interactive marketers, the best is yet to come.