A 5 minute read by Tom Ellis, CEO/Founder
The challenge that is constantly put in front of us is how to deliver better results for our clients than their competition is getting. From a digital perspective, all of us agencies are going to battle with the same arsenal of tools and tactics. What truly allows us to break the mold of the "run another paid search campaign, do some SEO, post some stuff on social, etc." is our ability to think DIFFERENTLY than everyone else.
Back in the early to late 2000s, many traditional agencies tried to take what they knew about advertising on TV, radio and print and apply those principles to digital. While they weren't all unsuccessful, it allowed for the "digital agency" to emerge. We were the ones with little traditional advertising experience that wanted to figure out how to use digital to target and acquire consumers. We didn't have a play book - we defined it.
Now that the digital space is more matured, the thinking that goes into digital strategies has started to get a little stale from many agencies. While the creative can be great, and we can have a good team with specific subject matter expertise - that doesn't mean that the same tactics we have been running will continue to be as effective as we march forward.
It is easy to get caught up in the mindset of "fixing" a campaign to get better results. Make a tweak here, change the budget there and maybe the results will get better. While there is validity in this thinking, it puts boundaries on the results you can achieve.
On a daily basis, we are pushing our team and our clients to "break" what's been working and build it stronger. Just because the creative and tactics you have may be working doesn't mean you aren't missing out on huge opportunities to blow away the competition if you have the stomach to try new things. Every minute a new technology emerges, a new way to reach consumers, a new way to communicate.
This is why strategy needs to lead everything we do. A strategist's job has to bring us back to the 2000s. The strategist must view digital as if it is an ever-evolving "new frontier" to keep us from falling into the trap that many traditional agencies did. How can we "break" what has been working so we can blast the competitions' campaigns out of the water?
Unrealistic expectations + ability to break things = unimaginable results.