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As you’re thinking about next quarter and your new business efforts, I want to issue a challenge to you, and it’s one you’ve heard before:

You need to create content for your new business efforts.

Before you stop reading (because you’ve heard it all before), let me give you a few key stats, followed by two suggestions I truly think will help.

First stat:

Websites with blogs get 55% more traffic.

If that’s not enough impetus to get you on the content train, I don’t know what is. But there’s more!

Second stat, from R2i’s Kelly Kennedy, in our 2018 RSW/US Agency New Business Thought Leader Survey Report:

42% of agencies tell us they either only have a lead gen effort in place and do very little marketing to support it, or don’t do much lead gen or marketing at all.

Yikes.  But not surprising, and we’ve heard all the reasons why.  Time is at a premium and you’re wearing a lot of hats, as are others in the agency or firm.

Our Director of Marketing, Miguel Trejo, has a post coming up specifically on the topic of blogging, so I’ll let him delve deeper, but from a prospecting perspective, it is a mistake not to back up your effort with marketing.

Otherwise, you look like every other agency, and sure you may have good work examples/cases studies (and you should!) but some form of content helps in so many ways.

So I wrote that I would give you two suggestions to help ease that effort:

One: Consider video

This may seem daunting, and it is an initial investment up front for equipment, if that doesn’t exist, but you can do some pretty amazing things with your phone these days, in terms of quality, and post-production software is getting consistently less expensive.

I can speak from experience: it works.  We’re 14 episodes in the can in our video series 3 Takeaways, and I can point directly to two clients who have come on board because of it.

Sure, it takes time, as we do our best to stick to a release every 3 weeks.  I can tell you though, writing a script is easier than a post, at least in my opinion.  We’re still learning a lot, but once you get into a repeatable rhythm, it gets more manageable.

A simple Google search will provide voluminous stats on why you should (here’s one), but another good reason?

Not a lot of your agency peers are doing it.

Two: Simplify your content process

Specifically when it comes to blogging. We had a client who, once a week, would take an article specific to their vertical and the first part of every post would be a paragraph synopsis of the main points.

And the remaining paragraphs would be their take on it, based on their expertise in the sector and specific knowledge of the challenges inherent to the vertical.

Not rocket science, but agencies don’t tend to stick with a content strategy.  It worked for our client and it was, and is, a great way to get started, or restarted, without having to spend time creating original posts ongoing. And it provides a snapshot of your thinking and knowledge-exactly what your prospects want to see.

It also gets you in the habit of writing, where you might eventually create original posts.

Take the plunge.  Start with a post like the above every 2 weeks, or a video once a month.  Get it on the calendar and get your team involved as well.

It will pay off.

(The following post is part 2 of the previous post, Does Snackable Content Engage Your Prospects?)

Now that we’ve laid this groundwork… maybe NOW you’re ready…maybe NOW we can bring in those watermelons and I can share the secret of holding your audience’s attention.

One more thing, though.

How does this information apply to agency new business content and communications?

Ah, yes. That.  This is where I’ve landed on this question.

We all know prospecting emails and B2B content tend to lean towards the utilitarian.  The marketers we’re trying to reach are not your average consumer and we’re not Netflix or YouTube.  Our audiences aren’t expecting compelling stories or content worth tweeting about.  However, whether they know it or not, they are susceptible to tension building tactics and relish a good story as much as anyone else.

When it comes to outreach emails, your primary goal should still be to communicate clearly and directly, but that’s not to say you can’t build elements of tension into these touchpoints.  In your new business outreach quiver, you should possess different types of prospecting emails, each with its own specialized purpose. You should occasionally dust off that intro/case study/webinar/blog post email you’ve been using for months and give it a polish.

Are you cutting the tension of your email off at the knees by leading with the payoff?  Are you laying it on too thick and overhyping a weak blog post?  Do your case study email subject lines whimper into the inbox when they could be roaring?

Look out across the entire spectrum of your outreach emails and ask yourself:  Where are the opportunities to build suspense and curiosity?

Be the Reality TV Editor Your Audience Deserves

Recently over a beer, a colleague confessed to bingeing on Bachelor in Paradise for an entire weekend.  I won’t judge the man for what he does in the privacy of his own home and I would hate to reveal his identity because he’s a respected colleague and upstanding member of society…but his name is Lee McKnight Jr., VP Sales at RSW/US. (Note from Lee: I regret nothing, but I am dumber for it.)

If you want to ask Lee about his Bachelor in Paradise Fan Club find him on Twitter or Linkedin or email him.

I’ve outed Lee to illustrate something Andrew Davis pointed out about creating a curiosity gap.  The Reality TV Editor is the undisputed champ of using curiosity gaps to create tension.  How else can we explain the fascination with such banal, trivial subject matter as Bachelors, Kardashians, Dancing Celebrities, and Projects Runway?  Reality TV Editors are master manipulators of their audience’s need to know more.

I’m going to focus on case studies at the moment because that’s a content type that most agencies are likely to create.  Also, while any outreach email can do with some punching up, it’s case studies and blog posts that can benefit the most from some showmanship and sparkle.

Many agencies excel at crafting a compelling narrative with their case studies but just as many see their case studies as little more than a vehicle to boast of client results.  I won’t dispute that ROI is important.  Showing a significant increase in ROI can, on its own, be a powerful motivator for a prospect to take notice.  However, ROI stats alone don’t provide context or show prospects why a result was so significant and why the agency’s unique approach matters so much.

These types of case studies will usually try to get away with doing the bare minimum, which is stating the scope of the client’s project, describing the components of the solution, and rattling off the results.  This gets the point across, but doesn’t this approach make the relationship between the agency and its client seem too, I don’t know, transactional?  Not that “transactional” is a four-letter word, but blech.  What this does is paint the agency as little more than a merchant or worse yet a vendor.

Don’t commoditize yourselves agencies! 

If you can help prospects see your clients as innocent villagers that had a dragon problem, guess who gets to be the knight that slew the dragon.

How do you take a bare-bones case study to the next level?  Try thinking a little more like a Reality TV Editor.  Let’s briefly touch on the first component of the standard 3-part case study structure, The Challenge, to give you a few things to consider. (And we also plan on expanding more on case study writing in future posts.)

The Challenge or Act I: Woe to the Innocent Villagers

Knowing your audience helps.  A lot!

It’s asking a lot of one case study to showcase the entirety of your capabilities, culture, and unique approach.  Don’t try to make a case study be all things to all prospects.  It can be done but the case study is almost always weaker for trying.

The good news is that if you’re building your prospect lists according to your expertise and client experience, you’re already starting off on the right foot.  You’ll have a better idea of who you are and how you’re selling yourself and this will inform your messaging.  Your experience, and thus your case studies, will naturally align with your target prospects and speaking to your prospects’ pain points becomes as easy as dramatizing your former/current clients’ challenges.

What were your clients’ anxieties before you came on the scene?  What were they in danger of losing?  What was their vision of who they wanted to be?

Clearly laying out the answers to these questions in the opening of a case study will either get your prospect nodding in agreement or mulling over something they’ve had trouble articulating.  By setting the scene, you’ve more effectively cast yourself as the hero who will swoop in during Act II of the case study.

The Payoff

Maybe this whole post is a waste of time.  Maybe trying to inject a few elements of storytelling into your outreach emails or case studies is too lofty or high-falutin’.  Sales should be practical.  Prospects only want to know if you can give them good ROI, right?

Here’s what I’ll say about that.  In agency new business, methods will change. Channels will change.  Your prospect targets will change.  This will happen in what seems like the blink of an eye.

What changes much more slowly are people.  That’s people with a capital P.  Humans have been about the same type of creature for the past 200,000 years.  We’ve been weaving stories and trying to place our daily trials and tribulations into a grander context since day one.  Do you really think the artists creating early cave paintings didn’t make a buffalo’s horns a little sharper or a herd more numerous to raise the stakes?

With that, I think it’s finally time to get to those watermelons.  You’ve earned it.

In his talk at CMWorld, Andrew Davis offered examples of two very similar pieces of content that took entirely different approaches to entertaining their audiences.  In both, the content providers mutilate melons for our enjoyment.

One is from the Slow Mo Guys, a very popular channel on Youtube.  The Slow Mo guys create videos for their over 11 million strong subscribers following a tried-and-true formula, show a cool thing and then show that cool thing in slow motion.

Its videos are the very definition of snackable, few are much longer than 5-7 minutes, titles tell you exactly what to expect, and they’re all payoff!  They linger on the payoff, they luxuriate in the payoff, they wallow in the payoff.  They take what is, in essence, a few seconds of actual footage and stretch it out for minutes.

Compare and contrast this to what Buzzfeed did in a FB live stream with their Rubber Band Watermelon event.  Over the course of the 45-minute live FB event, two Buzzfeed “scientists” added rubber bands around a watermelon, one at a time.  The goal was to determine how many rubber bands it takes to implode a watermelon.  Stupid, right?  Yes, but also a masterclass in creating tension and holding an audience’s attention.  At its peak, 807,000 viewers tuned in and many watched for the whole 45-minute live stream.

In those 45 minutes, viewers despaired at their life choices.

Others forsook their familial obligations…

Then when the glorious moment finally arrived, the internet rejoiced.

The takeaway is this: People Aren’t Goldfish.

Social media and snackable content haven’t melted our brains…yet.  Our problem – as content-makers, marketers, salespeople – is that at some point we began to feel that we’re entitled to our audience’s time.

To grab, and more importantly hold, our prospects’ attention we have to earn it, continuously and continually.

Release Your Inner Curator

 

If you read our recent post, “Is your blogging bad? Maybe you should try content curation…,” you may be starting to feel your inner curator stirring.  The post introduced the idea of content curation for new business development.

Over the next three weeks, we’ll show the steps you can take to gear up a content curation program of your own.  The first two steps follow here.

Step One: Set Your Curation Strategy.

The first decision you’ll have to make is how big you want to go.  This will determine the scope of your efforts and will guide you towards the tools you’ll need to accomplish your goals.

For some businesses, content curation is the core of their inbound marketing effort.  An entire site or microsite may be devoted to sharing their curated content, and the company’s lead generation may live and die by the strength of this website alone.

But for discussion sake in this series, let’s say you want to start small, especially since many of the concepts we present over the next three weeks will upscale nicely.

Maybe sharing a monthly digest of curated posts and articles with your prospects will suffice; or maybe sourcing content to bolster your agency’s presence on various social media outlets is what you’re looking for.

Begin with the end in mind.  Specify the results you want your curation strategy to deliver, and build your strategy to deliver them.

Step Two: Choose a topic.

Some agencies may struggle with this aspect of the process, if only because it requires that they take a conceptual leap in how they approach new business.

As an organizing principle, you’re going to want to choose a topic that will guide your search for content sources.  It has to be specific enough to appeal to your audience and set you apart from competition, but general enough that you can find content reliably.

So, as an agency, have you even defined an audience yet?  Have you differentiated your agency positioning?

(Differentiation! We write enough posts about you.  Get out of here,  you little rascal.)

If you have carved out a unique agency positioning, then you’ll know who your audience is and your content curation has a much better chance of being successful.

Search for blogs, articles and other content that will appeal to your prospects – on the topic of “small business social media marketing” for example – and see if you can find enough sources with quality posts updated on a regular basis.  It may take some fine tuning, but eventually you should be able to dial in on the level of specificity that suits your needs.

…Coming Next

Next week, we’ll present the next two steps to bring out the inner curator in you:

  • Gather Sources
  • Provide Your Own Insight

In the meantime, give thought to your strategy and topic. These two steps set a solid foundation for content curation, and will facilitate the new business results you seek for your firm.

found-gold

 

Your blog, no matter how good it is, will never beat the internet.  It just can’t.

For an agency, seeking to engage with an audience by adding value to their lives with meaningful content, here’s one stat to consider.  According to WordPress, their users produce 64.3 million new posts a month!

64.3M with a capital M.  That single kind-of-weekly post you’ve coaxed your intern into writing during their lunch breaks amounts to less than a drop in the bucket.  Heck, it’s not landing anywhere near the bucket.

panning-for-content-curation

Don’t take this to mean that we think blogging and creating other content is futile.  We blog, we video, we webinar.  It’s a lot of work, but we love it.  And the bottom line is that it helps our business.

Creating content is important because your agency has insight to share about its industry.  (That’s not a question, it’s a statement.  Trust us – your agency has insight to share about its industry.)  If you have the time and resources to create good content then do it – write blog posts, film videos, host webinars.  Wade into the internet and make your mark.

But, what if you don’t have the time and resources to sustain a consistent and high quality content creation effort?  That shouldn’t stop you from providing your audience something of value that can help deepen your relationship with them. Consider content curation.

Content Creation

 

What is content curation?

In much the same way a museum curates a collection, a content curator aims to sort through the massive amounts of content available on the web in order to present an audience with the most relevant and meaningful information possible.

At its most basic level, content curation involves selecting a topic, gathering content from around the web about that topic, evaluating the material you’ve found based on relevance, providing your own insight to give the piece some context, and then publishing your findings.  There are various free tools online that can help with each step of the process, or you can get out the credit card and pay for a platform that automates many of these processes.

This curated content can live on your site and drive inbound traffic.  Or, it could be formatted into a weekly newsletter digest to send to your prospects.  Or both.

What’s in it for me?

Some of you may be asking, “Aren’t people already finding their own content? Haven’t they ever heard of a Google search? Why would they want us to curate content for them? What does my agency get out of it? I’m hungry…what’s for lunch? Has the intern finished my post yet?”

The answer to all, or most, of these questions is, “Time.”

Your prospects have limited time.  You have limited time.  Remember the 64.3 million posts a month on WordPress?  Not all of that information is going to be content gold and much of it won’t address the needs of your prospects.

By finding the best content on topics your audience cares about, evaluating it, and contextualizing it you’re providing a service that will help your readers cut through the noise.  If your agency has staked out a differentiated position and you’ve selected a topic that is focused on their needs, your content curation will eventually begin to lend you authority as a thought leader in your sector, even though the content you’re curating isn’t your own.

How do you curate content?

Well…come back next week for more on that.  We’ll talk about the entry level version – how to get started if you all you can do is read, write, and access the internet – and the deluxe version – forking over some cash to access the power of automation and artificial intelligence.

Yeah…that’s right. A.I. like the hit 2001 movie starring Haley Joel Osment, but way better.

ANA recently posted this brief video featuring Robert Rose, chief strategist at the Content Marketing Institute, suggesting that organizations can drive more value out of content marketing by looking at it as a business strategy instead rather than a tactic.

In this brief video, Rose stresses that content marketing should not be viewed as a “supercharged” marketing campaign.

Rather, as a business strategy – an activity performed by marketers. Content marketing has real power to add value for a company’s customers, current and prospective.

This proposition seems to echo and expand upon ideas expressed by our Thought Leader panelist, Tim Williams, in our video interview, “Four Foundational Questions” for Agency Positioning.

Tim expresses that much of the agency content he sees when he first begins working with agencies is highly self-promotional – a lot of “brag and boast”.  Instead, a content strategy that provides utility and usefulness, that offers true value to clients and potential clients, is necessary to effectively set an agency apart.

water drop lenscape

As a business strategy, this is the ideal objective of content marketing.

And, as you develop content strategy, as well as the content itself for your clients, surely you are looking at it this way.

Can you say the same about your own content strategy?  Do prospective clients LEARN from it?  Will it prompt them to buy from you?

Tim Williams is one of several Thought Leader panelists who stressed the importance of distinctive agency positioning, and quality content to support it.

If it’s been a while since you’ve read the 2016 RSW/US Thought Leader Report, or if you haven’t had a chance to do so yet, do give it a read as you look to new business development planning for the upcoming year.

Consider giving your own content marketing a promotion.  What would it look like if it were a business strategy of your firm?

 

Tim Williams for survey

 

Is your firm practicing the Confirmation Bias?

That’s the question Tim Williams, Founder and Managing Director of Ignition Consulting Group, asked himself when considering agency responses to survey questions he provided for the recent RSW/US Thought Leader Survey.

Over two-thirds of agencies believe their positioning is unique relative to other firms.

Tim williams chart

 

However, when asked to share their positioning by way of “elevator pitches”, the unique value propositions proved to not be all that unique.

A sampling of many less-than-unique statements follow:

  • We work with “companies for good” those who put their customers’ needs first.
  • …we exchange egos for listening…helping clients live the brand as much as communicate the brand…
  • We help brands create abundance for the greater good through the power of storytelling.
  • We help clients with big creative appetites punch way above their weight and deliver positive results.

The 2016 RSW/US Thought Leader Survey Report features Tim’s survey questions, along with examples of quite unique and effective positioning statements.  If you haven’t seen them yet, you can download the report here.

As an industry expert in agency positioning, Tim relates that agencies are not differentiating themselves as much as they perceive internally.

He describes a big discrepancy in how marketers perceive agency differentiation, compared to how agencies assess themselves.

Furthermore, he’s concerned that much agency content is way too self-promotional.

Along with these thoughts in a post-survey interview with me, Tim described the confirmation bias.

He also presented “Four Foundational Questions” that are required to define positioning, and subsequently content, with effective differentiation.

Tim observes that agencies have “lots of irrational fear around selecting a niche”, but that in fact, the most profitable agencies are the most focused.

Watch the interview I conducted with Tim to learn about these questions.  See how you can sharpen your positioning and your focus, and grow more profitable.


*See Thought Leader material and related resources below, including blog posts, interviews and a webinar:

Blog Posts

Mark O’Brien: No Silver Bullets for Agency New Business

Blair Enns: The Only New Business Indicator That Matters

Jay Baer: Account-Based Marketing –What’s in it for Agency New Business?

Michael Gass: Fish Away from the Boat

Peter Caputa IV: Differentiate and Articulate – Emphatically

Tim Williams:  Agency New Business Success is NOT about LOCATION!

 

Interviews

Mark O’Brien: Marketing Automation and Agency New Business

Blair Enns:  Have a Polarizing Point of View

Michael Gass:  Lose Your Fear of Positioning

Peter Caputa Interview: “Table Stakes” for Agency New Business

 

Webinar

Inbound Cannot Live Alone – Agency New Business Webinar

 

The original agency new business questions in this ebook came from a group of agencies who took part in a luncheon at the 2013 BOLO digital conference in Scottsdale, AZ.

Agency New Business

You can view and download it here in our White Papers section.

Agencies were asked to provide one prominent agency new business challenge or question, and initial discussions around each began at the luncheon.

Time went quickly, and we weren’t able to get to nearly as many questions as we wanted to, so as a means of follow up, this ebook presents 7 key questions asked by those attending agencies, initial insight around each from RSW/US and links to further thought leadership around each.

Thanks to BOLO and to all the agencies who participated.

When the week kicks in (all too soon) and your agency new business activity kicks into gear, think about the picture below:

 Agency New Business Copy

As important as a content engine is for agency new business, agencies tend to forget that what they’re saying about their agency is equally if not more important than how they say it.

The percentage of time given to what is said about the agency is entirely disproportionate to the amount of time given to how it will look.

3 things you need to think about:

 

1)      Don’t get cutesy

 Creative is good, schlock is not.  I’ve seen some impressive and creative new business collateral (digital and physical) and have also seen some overwrought and trying pieces. Remember, the first impression principal, if the marketer thinks what you’re saying about your agency is crap, they’ll equate your agency with crap.

2)      Boring* agency new business copy is good

This is always a tough one for agencies to wrap their head around. The creative impulse is the engine that drives the agency, but when it comes to new business, restraint in your copy (at least initially) is the way to operate.

Why restraint?

Because you have a minuscule window (10-20 seconds) to break through to a prospect and you need to instill brevity and plain-spoken language into your overall messaging. (*So not truly boring.)

Can you showcase some of your great creative early on-absolutely-but your content has to spot on in terms of your expertise and how it can help your prospect.

Cut out the fluff.

Copy

3)      Don’t obsess

Are you laughing at this point?

I don’t think you can start or get hired by an agency if “neurotic” isn’t front and center on your resume.

Having said that, the one trait that makes your agency so successful can also torpedo your new business strategy-that is, your dedicated attention to detail and pride in your work.

It’s understandable-you take great pride in the work you do for clients, so when you’re creating something for your own agency, about your own agency, it has to be really good.

That is true, but

. . . the end result is usually an inert new business program.

Many (most?) agencies are too close and can’t be objective about their own messaging, content or site for example.

That’s why you have to bring in someone from the outside, and not necessarily a consultant or some like RSW/US, just someone “outside” you can trust to be objective and truthful.

So put yourself in your prospect’s place this week-

Would you hire you?

I was originally led to the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) site in a discussion with an agency principal and I would recommend it as reading that will help boost your agency new business content efforts, and one post specifically, The 7 Business Goals of Content Marketing: Inbound Marketing Isn’t Enough.

The first half of the post delves into the fact that the author, early on, thought inbound marketing was pretty much the same as content marketing.

I have to admit, I often find myself lumping them together even now, but the distinction is there and worth noting.  Per the post:

While inbound marketing (as opposed to outbound marketing) and getting found online by prospects are critical, what do you do with your story once they find you? If content marketing were a football field, inbound marketing would get you to the 35-yard line. Definitely critical, but hard to score from that distance.

After inbound marketing, you need lead nurturing.

While that distinction is 100% correct, the channels employed by you and/or your team in getting that agency new business content in front of your prospects are also important.

 agency new business content

Agency New Business Content-Not A Singles-Only Dance Folks

Note the importance of the plural=channels. Per the post:

Even more importantly, content marketing is channel-agnostic. That means that content marketers should be looking at ALL available channels to engage with customers… print, in-person, and online (including mobile).

OK, ignore the mobile part for now perhaps, but the use of multiple channels is critical to your effort.

This all came about because I mentioned to the agency principal, in discussing our services, how important it was that we never focus solely on just one communications channel in our client programs.

So that means the phone (because nothing beats that actual personal conversation) but also email, direct mail, web sites, social media and carrier pigeon, if that’s what it takes to break through.

agency new business content

And that reminded me of the Springsteen song, 57 Channels and Nothing On. (Nowhere near my favorite Springsteen song, but it fits, so here we are):

 

Man came by to hook up my cable tv

We settled in for the night my baby and me

We switched ’round and ’round ’til half-past dawn

There was fifty-seven channels and nothin’ on


Does this sum up your agency new business content efforts?

All those channels and you’re not using any of them-in other words, there’s nothing on?

Or maybe you’re just using one.

Reality Check

You’re reading this and saying, “yeah, that’s great, not only do we not have time for agency new business content as part of our new business program, we barely have a new business program.”

Fair enough, one of my biggest pet peeves in this business is that agency leaders are constantly being told, “here’s what you should do,” and “look at all these options,” when the reality is you just don’t have the time.

Unfortunately, the reality is also that you have to make time, if you’re not doing it now.

But it really is about baby steps, you can do it.

agency new business content

If you want to have content marketing as part of your program, you’ve got to activate (as we like to say) your inbound effort, make a realistic schedule, assign a person to it, and make the time.

The biggest misconception is that you have to spend copious amounts of time generating the content-you don’t.

Understandably, agency leaders and members of the team put their heart and soul into the utmost quality of their client work, so they feel like, if they don’t spend enough time on their own new business content, they’re cutting corners or it’s crap.

Well, most likely it isn’t.

Focus on what you do for clients every day and write about it.

Then blog, Tweet, or create a white paper that speak to your prospects, and in the process, helps them understand you could help them as well.

Showcase your expertise in a direct, enjoyable way-you’re not writing technical manuals here.

And for goodness sake, once you do write it, don’t make your prospects “drop their remotes” in disgust because they’re checking the channels and there’s nothing on.

If you’re thinking about starting a digital-only Agency, you might want to think again as the growth potential might be somewhat limited long-term.

So say Marketers in our latest 2011 “A Marketer’s Look Ahead at Agencies” survey.

67% of Marketers surveyed state that in order for digital shops to survive they will need to offer more traditional media/marketing services.

Agency New Business

This same sentiment was echoed at last year’s Mirren Agency New Business Development Conference, where CMOs from American Express, E*TRADE, Travelocity, and BlueCross BlueShield stated they are less inclined today to hire a digital-only shop that can’t help them operate in traditional media.

The challenges CMOs face are great enough as it is – with corporate boards, Wall Street, communities, and employees all placing increasingly greater demands – leaving little time to manage much more than a single marketing agency capable of helping them carry the entire ball.

We’re also seeing it happen among our RSW/US clients.

We represent five digital firms and all of them are playing cross platforms (digital and traditional).

They recognize Marketers are less likely to accept them if all they are is a singularly focused digital Agency silo.

They’re (and we) are finding that Marketers need the expertise of either a strong full  service firm with excellent digital resources or an exceptional digital firm with strong traditional resources to help them navigate into a smart, integrated marketing  campaign.

Separate, but somewhat related…and merely interesting and  thought-provoking….Andy McMains of Adweek asked me an interesting  question yesterday when interviewing me for the article.  He said,  “all else equal and if nothing were to change, who would survive: the digital firm with traditional capabilities or the traditional firm with  digital.

I voted for the former.

As a Marketer, I can always teach “traditional”.  It’s digital that will prove daunting and challenging.

In our survey 174 senior Marketing executives state they are more inclined to hire a single firm that can “do it all” versus parsing out the business to different firms.

Rather than taking the time to coordinate and manage a brand’s messaging and equities across a multitude of firms, Marketers in our 2011 survey state they would rather find one firm, particularly when it comes to bringing together digital and traditional media.

We have seen this on our AgencySearch side of our business as well.

Domain Chandon was trying to manage about a half a dozen different firms and found the exercise to be relentless and tiring.

The brand’s character wasn’t consistently represented, they didn’t know if they were getting their best bang for their buck across traditional and digital, and their costs were clearly not well optimized (or controlled).

Finding one Agency (in this case BPN/Pollinate out of Oregon) enabled them to count on one single point of contact and deliver effective cross platform campaigns to market.