The Ready to Roll series is all about implementing holistic business solutions that translate into a better bottom line. But there is something else to consider, too: while you can do a lot of things, you may not be able to do everything. Over the past few years, many marketers for brands and agencies alike have come to us with various problems, both tactical and strategic. But it all boils down to one thing: how can I keep up with everything going on in today’s digital world? And the truth is that it, at times, feels impossible. Whether it’s staying up on the latest digital advertising trends, vetting a digital campaign idea, figuring out how to match online activity to offline sales or assessing what the latest and greatest tools can do for your business, it’s silly for you to think that you can keep up with it all. Companies with Research and Development departments the size of your company can fall short. However, what’s important to realize is that just because you feel like it’s impossible to leverage the deluge of information does not mean that you can’t enlist a little help.
Think about it: you hire people based on their individual experiences, knowledge and skill set. Each of your business’s employees brings something unique to the table. Their past work environments, leadership and responsibilities have shaped their professional lives. In that same vein, agencies can enlist the help of other agencies that have had a different breadth or depth of experience with different industries, client challenges and obstacles overcome. Therefore, it is prudent to enlist their expertise for the betterment of your business and clients’ businesses. Here are the ways in which various partnerships can be leveraged to grow your business and get you on the path to better ROI:
Agency – Brand
Here’s one relationship scenario with which we’re all familiar. Agencies (hopefully) provide brands with perspective and insight into their consumers’ behaviors and actions. The processes for doing this may vary: running traditional or digital media, guerilla marketing, running market research, developing databases to manage their Big Data. The list goes on. However, what other businesses could you enlist to help your brands?
Agency – Agency
Here’s a relationship with which you’re likely unfamiliar. We’re supposed to be fighting and competing with each other for new business, right? Not helping each other and consequently our clients, right? Wait. Is that right? Well, of course it isn’t. Perhaps the best thing a traditional ad agency can do is not try to go down the digital path themselves (who has the time + resources to do both well?), but to partner with a digital agency. Digital agencies have the knowledge and experience to know what channels are best for your client or brand’s industry, where their target audience is online and what tactics to use to get in front of them. Just like a digital marketer wouldn’t presume to know everything there is to know about TV ad placement, a traditional marketer shouldn’t presume to know how to build an effective paid search/display or social campaign. It simply doesn’t make sense to spread yourself that thin. Similar to how we hire individuals based on skill set, you should partner with agencies whose predominant job is something that you don’t do.
Let’s talk silos. Partnerships are also great because you don’t have to look at your digital and traditional marketing in their individual silos. Instead, you can look at marketing in a holistic way and use the data gleaned from both sides. Overlay that with additional sales, inventory and pricing data, and you’ve got yourself a pretty amazing looking analytics solution. Did we mention, too, that this historical data can be utilized to predict future business trends? Yeah, agency partnerships aren’t looking so bad anymore, are they?
Agency – Agency – Advocacy
This last one is the most rare. It’s when agencies get together to partner up for the greater good. Advocacy brands are always looking for corporate and agency partnerships. Why? Because they add funding, credibility and increase the advocacy brand’s reach and exposure. Similarly, corporations and agencies get to contribute something good to the world (and perhaps get a news piece written about their work). But what if powerful agencies all got together and leveraged their areas of expertise to create better solutions and thus, a better world? Well, that’s how the Collective for Good was born at the Adobe Digital Marketing Summit in 2012. It’s important to remember that it’s not just about creating work; it’s about creating work that matters.
In short, strategic partnerships can not only help you grow your business’s reach or increase sales for a client; they empower marketers and agencies to do more, be more. Your business has the power to leave a bigger, better mark on the world–but you might need a little help from your friends.
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