Generalists versus experts
Do we all need to carve increasingly narrow furrows in order to achieve?
It’s a debate that’s raged for years and been thrown into sharper relief by today’s business imperative for everyone to be able to ‘do more with less’.
Does that mean therefore, that people are increasingly becoming generalists and this skill is becoming more valued? Or is the complexity of our modern, fast paced and technologically infused business environment mean that people have to be an expert in something to enable them to be able to contribute meaningfully?
A recent expert review concluded that both skills are required, but at different times and what’s really important, is demonstrating versatility and being able to interchange these skills for different situations.
And how does this question translate into the digital world? Let’s imagine you are looking to employ a digital agency to help with some specific marketing activities, for instance search (whether organic or paid or both)? Do you go to a specialist SEO agency or PPC agency or a more ‘broad brush’ digital agency (like Ergo Digital for instance)?
The pitfalls of a narrow focus
Well, the specialist SEO agency is going to be great at SEO (you would hope so wouldn’t you!) and will improve your score on the organic ranking. Naturally the PPC agency is likely to be good at driving the appropriate traffic to your site according to some carefully chosen keywords. However, and it is a big however, each agency is likely to ‘bang the drum’ for their particular expertise, they’d be silly not to, and invest an inordinate amount of value to what they do , even if the activity was of narrow or possibly limited utility.
The knock on effect of this is that often businesses commit to a solution which may not be the best route to growth and performance. Certainly unless you are 100% sure that you know that a specific method is the best means to grow your opportunity, you may be left disappointed.
In our experience, digital marketing doesn’t respond to the narrow approach – its more interconnected than that, and the importance of one particular tactic versus another is likely to fluctuate according to each situation you are looking at.
Every business needs to nurture and grow every opportunity
Another difficulty with putting ‘all of your eggs in one basket’ is that every business is never just a static enterprise. All businesses change and evolve with time. Some grow, others shrink, but they all, to a lesser or greater degree change. Which means that your digital marketing tactics likewise should not stay static but needs to change as your business evolves.
Finally, we now know that it takes a number of touchpoints with potential prospects in order for them to convert into being customers – so often a journey can start with, say, AdWords, then move on to organic, possibly then email marketing and finally social – so banging a single drum may not have the best impact.
So the picture now looks a little more complicated, doesn’t it? There seems to be more of an imperative to look more broadly when reviewing your likely digital partner. So how do you recruit the right agency?
Let’s outline the ideal characteristics for ‘the perfect’ agency and think of some of the benefits these characteristics would bring:
- Possesses an ability to see the bigger picture (its important to recognise which tactics are of greatest value at this point in the company’s evolution)
- Has the required degree of specialisation to be able to leverage successfully each digital tactic
- Has an understanding of the full suite of digital marketing tactics and the relative strengths and weaknesses of each when applying to different situations
- Possesses flexibility, versatility and independence – to apply tactics when they are needed rather than because ‘we do this’
Or, if you wish to keep things simple – just employ Ergo Digital. More traffic, more conversions, more business….