Be the Wolf (Advice For Marketing Agencies)
Don’t Take Orders. Take Charge.
Many companies approach a marketing agency with an idea to implement as opposed to a problem to solve.
They treat agencies like restaurants – looking at the menu and ordering what they want. While this approach can certainly lead to a fine outcome (in dining and marketing) it’s not always the best course of action.
A better approach would be for companies to think of marketing agencies as The Wolf from Quentin Tarantino’s classic film, Pulp Fiction. Tell them what’s needed, and let them work their magic.
Unfortunately, many conversations look something like this (I’ve been in plenty of them):
[Scene: network event, a cocktail party, a business opening, etc.]
Future Client (FC): So you own/work at a marketing agency?
Agency Person (AP): Yes, I do!
FC: Do you guys do SEO?
AP: Yes, we’re one of the top SEO agencies in town.
FC: Can you make us rank higher?
AP: Of course, no problem.
FC: Okay, here is a bunch of money, now rank us higher.
***3 months later***
AP: Look at how high you are ranking for these keywords! Isn’t this great?!
FC (Now Current Client, or CC)): Well, I guess. I gotta say, we haven’t gotten as many leads as we had hoped. We kinda were expecting to start getting a bunch of new clients from this.
AP: Oh really? How are you tracking where your leads are coming from?
FC(CC): Well, we ask our clients how they heard of us.
AP: Are you tracking this, or…
FC(CC): We just ask how they heard of us. I don’t have the exact numbers, but I can’t recall many new clients in the last three months who said they found us online.
SEO & Lead Generation
SEO is NOT Lead Generation. SEO is a factor of Lead Generation. Using the above example, I think it’s fair to say that the following statements can both be true:
- A Robust SEO strategy should lead to more leads.
- There are quicker and more efficient ways to generate leads for a company than SEO, especially in the short term.
So, now we have a dilemma: the company didn’t get what they wanted, and agency feels (rightfully so) that they did a good job. So, who’s at fault? Both. Let’s rewrite the first interaction and see how we could have avoided this yucky situation.
FC: Do you guys do SEO?
AP: We sure do. In fact, we do a lot of things for our clients. Why do you ask?
FC: We feel that business has been a little slow lately and we keep hearing the term SEO. I know a friend who works at company X and they are on the first page of google.
AP: That’s great for them! Do you know if that’s where they’re getting their leads? Are they doing any other lead generation efforts, like PPC, Display, Print, etc?
FC: I’m not sure, but it seems they are doing really well.
AP: Well, I’m sure we can make your company do just as well, we just need to get a plan in place. How about we get our teams together and come up with a plan based on your company’s goals for the next 12 months.
Companies: don’t ask an agency to perform a task. Ask them to solve the problem.
Agencies: don’t be order takers.
Dig deeper and find the actual pain points that your clients are looking to solve. Marketing is not a blanket solution to cover all grievances. There are many factors at play. Type of industry, business model, geographic location, competitive landscape, company goals, customer demographics, and budget should all play into the overall strategy used when growing a business.
Who We Are
Astute Communications is a team of creative marketing professionals located in Nashville, TN. We pride ourselves on providing measurable solutions for businesses that are ready to spread their wings.