Digital strategy

The Key to Cultivating Digital Talent Is a Great Digital Teacher

So you’ve just hired a recent college graduate to handle your agency’s social media accounts. Congrats. Your Twitter account might get a few more followers, but you want more than that, right?  The truth is that it takes more than hiring digital natives to make your agency digitally savvy. Don’t get me wrong — hiring fresh, young (and less expensive) employees can add tremendous value to your team. But a lot of agencies only have one or two people managing the company’s entire digital presence; many times, those employees are younger and not fully up to speed on your overarching strategy. Your agency’s veteran staffers are the ones who understand the core business and how to think strategically. To reap the full benefits of digital tools, you need to make sure everyone in your shop is comfortable in the ever-evolving digital landscape. Not sure you can get your more experienced employees to work alongside the young digital natives on your staff? That’s where a talented teacher might come in handy. What a Digital Teacher Can Do for You Hiring a qualified teacher to make sure all of your employees understand online platforms is a great way to get everyone on board. The 35-year veteran who hates the idea of Facebook can hardly argue with learning new digital strategies if everyone else (including the boss) is getting that same training, can he? Great teachers will, of course, have their own methods, but here are a few things they should do: Develop individualized plans for each employee to identify gaps in his knowledge base and provide training to fill those gaps. Partner junior employees with veteran mentors so younger employees can become more familiar with the nuances [...]

Digital Media Buying, Programmatic Buying & Real-Time Bidding Best Practices with Jay Friedman

If you’ve been in the agency business for any length of time you know that nothing is static in our world. But I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a constant state of change like our industry is in now. Many of these evolutionary changes in our business surround digital media buying, programmatic buying, and real-time bidding in the digital paid media space.  These things are no longer an option anymore; they are a necessity. This is a topic that I know you’re hungry to learn more about, so, in this podcast, Jay Friedman and I talk about the ways agencies can use these tools to effectively market themselves and reach their target audiences in the digital media space. In this podcast, Jay will help you make sense of this changing environment by showing you: how programmatic buying flips the status quo by asking the questions that really matter when starting out what it takes to get started and build momentum how you can get the results you want when starting in the digital media space the steps he recommends agencies take to effectively use programmatic buying and digital media for success how agencies can become more educated and find the right partners to effectively market themselves in the digital media space. ways agencies can utilize programmatic buying for better accuracy in targeting to their audiences. Jay Friedman is a nationally recognized and accomplished digital media expert, speaker, writer and author. Jay has been with the Goodway Group for the past 10 years in their digital division.  You'll find him often at some top industry conferences, writing for lead industry publications and websites. He's even written some books. Some of his latest books are the 7th [...]

How agencies should use content to attract prospects

Content marketing is all the rage but most of it is just packaging. Frankly -- agencies have been using content marketing for decades for their clients.  It's not new.  But what I think is new is the idea that agencies should use content to attract prospects for themselves. This type of content management strategy was the focus of an article I wrote for The Agency Post before the holidays. Agencies are, by their very nature, superb story tellers.  And they have an incredible depth of knowledge when it comes to marketing strategy, their own agency's niches, etc.  I get the whole "we're too busy doing it for our clients to do it for ourselves excuse" but honestly -- that needs to stop. In theory, agencies should be perfectly structured to create content so intriguing that people never want to leave the conversation. But the reality is most agencies practice a conservative approach with their content management strategy because they are paranoid about sharing anything of genuine value. They fear their competition might see it or that they might turn away potential clients because of what is posted. They’re also afraid that if they give knowledge away for free, the reader might never become a client. This is why most agencies are still just curating content or talking about their business, which of course means they’re not inspiring anyone. They are simply restating their company slogan or biography to exhaustion. If what you have to offer is high quality and helpful to the client, he or she will come back. Today, the model for professional services new business efforts is -- you give first.  Share something of value.  Demonstrate your expertise.  Show me you know your [...]

Do you know your agency’s sales life cycle?

Every business has a sales life cycle and communications agencies (whether you're an ad agency, digital, PR, etc.) are no exception.  It used to be pretty straightforward -- you either chased after a prospect or met them at some networking event or got a referral but the face to face happened early on.  Today, an agency's sales cycle is 70+% done before the prospect ever reaches and even has an email interaction with the agency. Every agency needs to map out their sales funnel, understanding that the first three-quarters of it happens prior to contact.  The visual shown here is my agency's (MMG) sales funnel. (If you click here, you can see it full sized). The left side of our sales life cycle shows the prospect's relationship to the agency at the time.  It flows from I've never heard of you to I'm a customer.  The question is how do you move a potential client through the funnel when you don't even know they're out there? You use your content marketing, social media, SEO and active prospecting to capture their fleeting attention and then you begin to serve up content that demonstrates that your expertise could help them achieve their business goals. Once they're paying attention to your smarts, you also need to give them a chance to get to know your agency's culture, values and what it's like to do business with you. Now, they start to like you. That's usually when they actually initiate contact and you have a shot at actively pursuing their account. As you can see by the bottom of the diagram -- you shouldn't leave current clients out of the equation. You need to be re-earning their business every [...]

Agencies need to walk their social media talk

I had the good fortune of being a guest on a RockStar Radio Network show a couple weeks ago to talk about a topic I believe in strongly -- agencies need to walk their social media talk.  My good friend Steve Olenski was guest hosting for Carol McManus, the LinkedIn Lady and he asked me to be his guest. The topic Steve wanted to talk about is one I have been passionately talking about for some time.  Agencies who sell social but don't do social for themselves are going to be unmasked as the naked Emperors in the near future. Right now, most clients are still mystified by digital/social and they look at the agencies who guide them as magicians.  But pretty soon, everyone is going to understand that social is just a channel and it's really a reflection of our society fundamentally changing how we connect and communicate. At that point -- clients are going to point to the agencies who are charging them a pretty penny for creating and executing their digital strategy and say "hey, if you think this stuff is so revolutionary and important and worth the investment we've been making -- why aren't you doing it for your own agency?" Busted!  You've been exposed as a poser. Most agencies are doing an abysmal job with their own digital strategy.  They're either on auto pilot or they're jumping in and out, depending on how busy they are.  Worse... are the agencies who think their blog is where they should talk about themselves, their awards, their clients, their work.  Ugh. Steve and I dig into all of that during the show.  I'd love to hear what you think after you have a chance to listen [...]