Agency of the Year 2008: Agency V Client

For the overall categories agency and client votes were taken into account and in many of the categories their votes agreed with each other, however there was some considerable disparity in preferred online media for some of the questions posed.

Overall those participants from agency side consistently favoured Google over Yahoo when it came to selecting between the search engines, across nearly every category where either Google or Yahoo triumphed.

Marketers were more likely to lean on their favoured search engine, Yahoo, than nominate a specialist site across many of the categories, whereas agency participants often voted for specialist media offerings in certain categories and in fact spread their votes thinner across a more diverse selection of sites. It was marketers' heavy reliance on Yahoo, even in specialist areas, that gave the company its overall win as top online media.

This trend may be a symptom of a certain conservative attitude among Singapore marketers in the online space, where an offering that has been around as long as Yahoo may be perceived as less risky than specialist sites, it might also be that marketers are more convinced by Yahoo's pitch as an advertising vehicle through its various offerings.

For instance for the question "What media would you use to target the buyers of household products?" where as 21.43% of agency participants suggested AsiaOne was the best choice, 28.57% of marketers said they would prefer to Yahoo.

Similarly while marketers gave Yahoo another clear lead in the Business Travelers segment of the survey, agency folk divided their votes among CNN, Channel NewsAsia, Google and AsiaOne, and in the CFOs and Accountants category where Marketers chose Yahoo, agencies favoured AsiaOne and Channel NewsAsia, before reverting to type and selecting Google as their third placed choice.

Where marketers did stray from their preference for Yahoo over Google was in categories including the "highly educated" segment, where clients chose Google with 30.52%, while they only gave Yahoo 9.09% of the vote behind Channel NewsAsia and AsiaOne. In the same category agencies chose Channel NewsAsia as their top choice (22.92%) and only gave Google 17.71% of the vote.

The interesting but still greenfield marketing territory of social networks agencies showed a statistically significant preference to use these platforms to reach a number of demographic subsets than marketers did. In the category of women aged 18-24, 41.80% of agency participants chose Facebook as their preferred media, while marketers also gave the social networking site the lead in this market segment with 29.09%, and followed it closely with Yahoo at 23.64%.

It is a fair enough reservation as no one has made a very convincing argument that these networks can deliver "valuable" audiences and more importantly ROI.