Should a company choose a growing hungry digital company or an established one?
Should a company choose a growing hungry digital marketing company or an established one?
Marketing operations is certainly not the sexiest part of marketing, but it is becoming the most important one. With businesses unable to keep pace with evolving consumer behavior and the marketing landscape, the pressure is on to put digital marketing operations—skilled people, efficient processes, and supportive technology—in a position to enable brands to not just connect with customers but also shape their interactions.
When done well, we’ve seen marketing operations provide a 15 to 25 percent improvement in marketing effectiveness, as measured by return on investment and customer-engagement metrics. Yet achieving that level of improvement is elusive for many. While marketers are embarking on a wide array of “digital transformations” to reshape their operations and business models, many of these efforts are stymied by marketing’s difficulty in delivering on its aspirations. For example, one recent survey found an astonishing 84 percent of marketers do not have a formal content strategy or distribution process to feed their growing bevy of marketing channels, and they lack any kind of formally managed content supply chain.1Despite this, content budgets continue to increase.
Growing digital marketing companies are better off because:
You’ve had a fantastic idea for a new product, piece of software or solution to a business or personal challenge that everyone has, but no one has fully solved. The idea was so good you decided to quit your day job and found a start-up and have defined your business model using the legendary Business Model Canvas and built the online revenue model to prove the idea will fly.
Maybe you just invented a mobile app that allows you to hire someone to stay in your house for when you’re waiting for a parcel to b e delivered that is going to be ‘The Uber of getting people to wait for parcels’. Maybe it’s a website with a new photo-analysing algorithm you can submit photos of yourself to that finally answers the question ‘does my bum look big in this…?’. Maybe it’s a social network for cats. Whatever your idea, no matter how brilliant, you still need a way to tell people about it, but inevitably, initially budget, or rather lack of it will be an issue. You may have budget for coffee-fuelled planning or partner meetings, but not large media budgets.
But you have a tiny challenge…
The problem is that, unlike the established digital marketing companies, you may well be trying to un-seat; you don’t have a marketing department. It might just be you, or you and a co-founder. Maybe if you are a bit further down the line of start-up growth, it is you, your co-founder and a couple of developers. You have to do marketing on a shoestring budget, so how can you possibly compete with the big players in the industry you’re trying to disrupt?
The answer is simple, although to put it into practice it is rather complex and needs a lot of hard graft and testing. The essence of this approach is to leverage the excitement around your idea via free/low-cost platforms, using your time or those of your first employees.