Finding out where to draw the lines, and turn your “Venn” into “Zen”.
Pretend you are an organization and you hired a team of marketing folks to run your awareness and communication efforts.
You even hired an in-house technology team to manage your online infrastructure. You have content strategists and storytellers and even some analytic gurus. You want to be more agile and hiring a full time staff will solve the problem, right? So can we now can we finally get rid of advertising agencies?
Yes, there is overlap and a “shared” area of expertise. But you only fail by thinking you have it all under control. Instead of people “owning” a whole area, embrace the collaboration and confront it. Make it work for you and not against you.
If your agency doesn’t want to play nice and instead operate in a silo – find a new one. There are benefits to having agency partners, especially if you define a strategic relationship AND your plans take into account everyone’s strengths (Oh, and you get people to throw out egos too).
For example, this Venn diagram shows marketing broken out into 3 main areas: paid, earned and owned media.
What do you think should be outsourced? What has to stay in-house? Let’s take a look and see if we can create a standard set of rules and keep peace and harmony among the ranks.
- Ad Buying and Media Strategy
- Media Optimization
- Paid Search “Evergreen”
- Content Strategy
- Enterprise Business Goals and ROI
- Brand Guidelines
- End to End Conversion Reporting
- Audience Targeting
- Social Media Advertising (promoted posts)
- Social Media Strategy
- PR Releases
- Promotional Creative Concepting
- Blog Articles
- Campaign Social Posts
- Engagement Promotions
- Regular social posting
- Content / Theme Calendar
- Website SEO
- Public Relations Special Events
- Corporate Partnerships
- Referral Programs
- Quick Turn Campaign Landing Pages
- Channel Audits and Recommendations
- Funnel Testing & Optimization
- Lead Nurturing
- Email Marketing
- Campaign Reporting & Optimization
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
- Marketing Automation by Persona / Segment
- Triggered Email Streams
- Content Management System
- Enterprise Level Reporting and BI
- Content that will last longer than a year
I wish there was an easy answer, but there are too many fuzzy lines here. There are several different ways to slice and dice this list. I have been on both sides (advertising and organization) and you just can’t standardize roles because of the “SI” factor. Staff Intelligence.
The people you have on staff is one of the variables that controls your decision making. But don’t let that be a barrier to creating the best customer experience – it’s going to keep changing – turnover happens and you can’t stop it and there is no way to keep up with every emerging role in digital.
Put the customer at the center and operate under an entirely new ecosystem – organize around one. The unfunnel conversion model. Everyone has a seat at the table. Let the best idea win and move forward and solve for today.
Here’s another angle….
An objective agency opinion can sometimes help move your OWN internal initiatives along. Partner with the agency, tell them your ideas and have them flush out the details. Agencies are able to “cross-pollinate” initiatives across many accounts making them more cost effective, they are positioned to bring the new and already proven idea at a lower cost.
Let it go. In-house teams could use agencies at the right time – especially when deadlines get tight and when Senior Leadership needs inflated confidence on where to put marketing dollars.
Agencies also rely on in-house teams to provide clear direction and generate new business. They’ll listen to you – try it. (If they don’t, again, thrown them away and find a new one.)
The traditional ad agency relationship has changed to a strategic partnership, knowing the brand and being able to be more agile to act quickly on timely initiatives. (If you disagree, ask how many web applications you have developed by an in-house team in under 6 weeks.) It’s just not possible in a corporate marketing environment. Too many “cooks in the kitchen”, too many approvals, too many walls and barriers.
When you are in a large corporation you forget how easy it could be to create a website. Just do it – and keep testing into the final optimize product. Focus on what your consumer wants, not what a marketer wants. Your CEO doesn’t know the marketing answer, there is no secret sauce. But you have to start, get moving –pull the trigger and take a chance based on what the customer has told you.
Stop worrying about having full control, replication and individual ROI and attribution on something that might exist for just a 6-month campaign. For the time it takes to talk about it, get alignment and get approvals, it could have been done and promoted. Think about the cost of 10 people in a meeting just 5 times. That could be 5 grand! But people will still spend hours negotiating $500. It’s crazy. But we’ve all done it. It makes you feel better.
Integrated channel marketing had demanded a cohesive messaging across all channels and everyone working towards the same goals. The rules have changed. It is nearly impossible to execute a campaign outside of some help from in-house technology or marketing teams. By why the pushback on something so obvious that would make everyone more successful?
I am open to suggestions, but my take is that goals and objectives are not defined at the organizational level, they are determined for different departments. Wouldn’t it be great if business objectives were a team effort?
And if we learn to play well in the same sandbox, we can all win.