Thinking Holistically about Marketing Services – Tearing Down the Silos
For quite some time online marketing has been broken up into silos of disciplines including content marketing, search marketing, social media, public relations, and email marketing.
In order to execute great online marketing in today’s digital landscape- we must look at these different disciplines as a whole.
The Silo’d Services Approach
Each of these marketing tactics were executed differently and separate from one another. SEO, PR, SEM, content planning, email were all seen as separate channels meant for individual campaigns.
Does this ring a bell?
Content was relegated to brochures or 1 pagers about product specs- it was that pdf being sent out by sales reps.
SEO was a black box with endless optimizations, focus on search ranks, and no easy way to track what counts from search.
PR is a tedious beast with endless pitch emails to journalists and very few online bloggers.
Social Media was a series of posts in industry forums and maybe some empty or underutilized social accounts.
Email included the monthly newsletter sent to a large contact database with no way of seeing who was most engaged or responding.
Times have changed with new consumer demands and new technology- these separate channels are now becoming intermingled.
Not only that- you can’t execute a successful single channel marketing campaign without including the others. We’re going to have to tear down those silo’d marketing services.
Let’s use a real world example.
Let’s say an agency is implementing a content marketing strategy for a client.
The content must be optimized for search and be good enough to share, oh and what better way than across social media?! The content (blog post, whitepaper, infographic, video) must fit into some sort of strategy- perhaps a search strategy targeted at the client’s ideal audience? Thus, uncovering our need for a search marketing strategy- which is more than a one time project. (This is a good thing, agencies.) Let’s remember there is never a scenario where building a website and “setting and forgetting” it will get a company traction. This isn’t a RONCO rotisserie oven people! So the agency tackles the content project first with their keyword research based off the client’s target audience. This helps give direction to actually creating the content. Good content requires a solid search strategy and good search marketing requires good content. Get the picture? To top it all off how does the agency get distribution, good link backs, traffic, and or sales/leads quickly? Enter social media. The agency must then come up with some sort of sharing strategy for the content in order to get their clients some real traction.
WOW…my head hurts. I thought this was just a content creation project.
In today’s world all these channels play off one another. We can see this project included aspects of SEO, content marketing, and Social Media. Arguably, they could’ve included a PR strategy and email if they wanted to.
New Trends, New Behaviors. How does a marketing agency adapt?
If an agency understands how to integrate these channels- they’re on the right path. Just a prediction- agencies only offering one or a few services are going to be left behind by the other agencies who can offer a one-stop-shop approach for their clients.
Measure New Metrics
Across channels, the holistic agency will have to track new metrics like content reach, traffic, search rankings, social media shares, link-backs, and or leads/sales.
Ultimately, how do all of these efforts integrate together to drive your client’s brand and generate leads and sales?
Measuring takes time, crunching numbers for insights hurts, and having to organize all this in a nice report just stinks so pick some good tools to help you do these tasks. Since you’re taking a holistic approach why not use a tool that does the same and saves you serious time? (Insert shameless plug for Optify’s Digital Marketing Software for Agencies.)
Streamline your agency- free yourself up.
I would argue the marketing agency who has separate specialists for each marketing channel are actually limiting themselves.
By cross-training members of your team you’ll all be able to accomplish a lot more and a lot faster. Teams that are well-rounded will have an easier time working to put strategy in place and managing it over time. And by cross-training, team members understand how to measure their campaigns and tie back to success for the client.
Offer A-La-Carte Services… Only When You Must
Yes, the 1x projects for clients won’t go away.
It’s hard to drive decent results to your client with the one channel approach, however by developing other channels and offering a more holistic service package you’ll be able to gain better results for clients and ultimately, migrate into an ongoing, retainer based relationship.
What if a client insists they only need “X” you ask.
If it will get them in the door then certainly- but the challenge is on the agency to grow the relationship and a holistic approach can help. For more insight on a holistic marketing approach, read Scott Fasser’s post on inbound vs. outbound marketing
And as always, leave your comments, questions, or feelings of love in the comment section below.