Agency Marketing: An Interactive Perspective

Agency marketing initiatives are somewhat paradoxical by nature. Agencies are so obsessed with making the most out of the brands they serve, they oftentimes forget about their own. They organize priorities based on client demand and profitability. They’re in continual pursuit to seek out the appropriate balance of delivering work for clients, new business acquisition, agency marketing and experimentation.

We are no exception. Client work comes first. We’re in the service business and our primarily intent is to serve the people we work with and the brands they work for. After that, new business, agency marketing and experimentation fight for our attention. Not only is it challenging to balance client vs. non-client work, it becomes even more complex when you try to divvy up what remains among initiatives such as these.

Of the three, new business probably gets the most attention, followed by agency marketing and experimentation. Depending on which agency you work for, or with, the prioritization and time allocation will fluctuate depending on their purpose. However, the consistent element across all three is interactive marketing. An agency’s digital ecosystem influences new business activity, agency marketing and experimentation.

As is the case with many brands, interactive marketing offers opportunities for agencies to stand out and be known in an increasingly noisy marketplace. With all of the digital shops and social media agencies claiming expertise, options for marketers are many. Knowing this, we had to modernize the architecture of our interactive experience to take advantage of the opportunities the Interwebs bring us today.

We are in our final week of preparation as we get ready to initiate our new interactive experience. To this point, I’ve led the team from strategy through execution, working with the most talented interactive-oriented people at the agency. Knowing how influential our new interactive experience would be, we spent several months on this project and learned a ton along the way. Here are a few things that stood out to me. 

Know What You’re Great At

There are thousands of agency Websites, blogs, Facebook pages and Twitter handles. We have a limited amount of time to inform and make a good impression. Focus on a few things (ideally one) you’re great at and back it up with the work you’ve produced. 

Stay On Strategy

Once you’ve done diligence, formulated a strategic vision and gained approval, stick with it. As people review conceptual architecture documents and creative concepts, the level of subjectivity increases and things become less clear. To maintain a healthy balance of objectivity, keep the brief in a visible place to refer back to at all times.

Less Casual, More Formal

Do not let casualness get in the way of productivity. You can be casual in a buttoned up way that still allows for group autonomy and fun. Hold people accountable for delivering what they’ve agreed to do. Be upfront with expectations, demand timelines and formally structure the makeup of your team. As long as you’re appreciative and respect those you’re working with, rigor will follow.

Develop An Ongoing Support System

What used to be “launches” are now “initiations.” While these words have similar meanings, I argue the philosophy behind them is very different. To me, launch indicates pushing something live and not thinking about what happens next. An initiation, on the other hand, better emphasizes the beginning of something. Social media demands regularly published content and technology demands constant adaptation to multiple platforms and screen sizes. Develop a plan to address the ongoing needs of interactive.

Know When It’s Good Enough

Q: How do you know when you’re ready to initiate an experience?

A: When it’s sufficient to surpass the standards you’ve set.

This answer is directly from Seth Godin’s post How Do You Know When It’s Done?. It surfaces an important point. People have their own expectations of completeness and / or perfection. But the question really is, “When is it good enough?” If you openly discuss this at the beginning of a project, you will minimize the chances of delay when attempting to initiate.