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Why I Love SoDA (Society of Digital Agencies)

Society of Digital Agencies

I have just returned from the annual global member meeting of SoDA (Society of Digital Agencies) and thought I would share a little bit about this truly remarkable organization.

I was one of the founders of SoDA seven years ago and now serve as the board chair. I have watched it grow from the original 13 members to 74 agencies with almost 200 offices around the world. Many of these agencies are what we think of as full-service digital agencies, but there are also creative production companies and specialists in particular disciplines such as user experience, technology, and social media. The result is a diversity of experience that inspires new ideas and perspectives.

SoDA is a very exclusive organization. Only 11% of agencies that apply for membership are invited to become SoDA members. It’s a rigorous process. First agencies are nominated by a member, then a regional membership committee reviews their work and gets to know their senior management. Those that pass are reviewed by the board, which presents its recommendations to the entire membership.

Members vote on the candidates and can strike any that they do not believe meet SoDA standards.  This commitment to only having the best digital agencies in the world in SoDA has produced an extraordinary peer group that is unique in the digital marketing world.

Unlike most trade associations SoDA requires active C-level participation, and despite frequent competition between members, operates with a transparency that some might find shocking. The culture of trust and candor that is the foundation of SoDA enables every member to share their knowledge, experiences, insights, and advice.

Our mission is to help one another create more successful digital companies and we believe that we gain much more by collaborating than by operating in isolation. We recognize that many factors influence the success or failure of a digital agency, but we choose to compete based on the quality of our ideas and innovation not on the mechanics of our business.

That means we share best practices for everything, including: documents, techniques, technologies and systems. This rich knowledge exchange is spread throughout our agencies with additional peer groups for the leads of our 16 primary disciplines.  The result is that the best digital agencies in the world keep getting better.

SoDA also produces extensive research, thought leadership, and events throughout the year for the agency, brand and marketing communities, including the regular SoDA Reports, which have a readership of over 150,000 per issue worldwide.

As SoDA enters its 7th year as an organization, it is gaining significant recognition and momentum around the world. In the coming year I am more excited than ever by the ambitious agenda we have laid out and the continuing contribution SoDA will make to the digital agency and marketing communities.

To learn more about SoDA please visit www.sodaspeaks.com

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