Adapting and Collaborating: Marketing Agencies Today

feat-imgHere at Optimum7, I’m lucky enough to work among a group of people with vast experience on various subjects. Together, our skill set includes copywriting, social media marketing, SEO, web development, ecommerce, web and graphic design, and more. In theory, we are truly a force to be reckoned with. In truth, we are also all human.

When we work as team – completely in sync – we are absolutely unstoppable. The problem arises when we begin to think and act on an individual level.

So what is the solution? Fix what is broken. In a recent article, I discussed how clients must play a vital part in online marketing today. In this post, I will examine the reasons why we must not stop there.

New Processes

In all actuality, I believe that this is a relatively new idea. The early days of marketing seem to be very linear in their chain of command. Sales executives would sell, marketers would come up with ideas for the new clients, designers would create the ads, copywriters would craft calls to action and body copy, and that was pretty much that.

Unfortunately, we cannot work this way any longer. Life is a bit more complicated these days. As the web and its users become savvier, more is expected from online marketing. In addition to being an online marketer, your clients also expect you to be a web designer, a copywriter, a social media specialist, etc. etc. This, of course, is utterly impossible. I am going to go out on a limb here and say that no one person is an absolute expert in all things web and marketing related. This is why you’ll need a whole team to handle your marketing campaigns, a team like, say, Optimum7. ☺

Specialists Are a Good Thing

I have never quite understood why some clients expect a single person to possess all of the knowledge that I mentioned above.

Let’s look at another profession: medicine. You may have a general practitioner, but in the event that you need open-heart surgery would you want that general practitioner to take a stab at it? Of course not! You want someone with years of experience under his or her belt – a specialist. The same must go for your marketing campaigns. If you are currently working with a single person who seems to have all the answers on every single subject, chances are the answers aren’t all correct. When someone needs to consult with another member of the team- that’s a good thing. Rather than giving you an educated guess, they’ve gone straight to the source and gotten the definite answer.

Stop Wasting Time on Meetings

As a relatively small company, we don’t necessarily consider time a good friend. We are often pushing the clock to its limits, coming in early, working late, or researching on weekends in order to stay ahead of our competitors, and create the best possible results for our clients.

It is because of this that you won’t often find Optimum7 employees in lengthy staff meetings – we simply don’t have time to waste. We meet once each Monday morning to discuss all client and internal business, and once on Wednesdays to discuss all creative ideas and provide updates for work in progress. Apart from that, a great deal of our time is in front of our individual computers.

But this doesn’t mean that we aren’t working collaboratively.

Thanks to software solutions like Basecamp and HipChat, we have the opportunity to communicate quite frequently, without disrupting our workflow or peers.

Determining What Requires a Meeting

In my mind, there are three types of meetings: planned, proactive, and reactive. The weekly meetings I discussed earlier would fall into the “planned” category. They are scheduled, held every week consistently, and are meant to give updates, answer questions, etc. The second type of meeting, “proactive” is called when we are aware of something – am impending Google algorithm update, for example – and we must discuss what action to take before it happens to prevent further complications. The final, “reactive” category is my favorite. Reactive meetings take place because of some kind of error has been made and we need to fix it. Although the word “error” may seem a bit scary – I truly don’t mean for it to be. These are typically related to internal processes that need to be edited.

So why is this type of meeting my favorite? It is during these meetings that I have the opportunity to speak with the rest of the team, discuss what aspects of a process does or doesn’t work, and help formulate a plan to fix it.

Maybe I’m a huge nerd, but this is awesome. Not every company works in this way. On the contrary, many companies discourage this type of behavior.

To quote Daenerys Targaryen of the hit HBO series Game of Thrones, based on George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, “What happens to things that don’t bend?”

Of course we know from experience (and from watching the rest of that episode) that things that do not bend inevitably break. Here at Optimum7, we work to constantly adapt. We adapt our internal processes, our responsibilities, our client relationships, and more. We work every day to create more efficient ways to serve our clients.

Limiting the Meetings, Not the Collaboration

A few months ago, I was working on a logo design for one of our clients. Irritated, exhausted, and dangerously close to my deadline, I spoke with another member of our team- Lucia Sastre, our Social Media Specialist. She suggested that we meet for fifteen minutes, along with our copywriters, to discuss what I had so far.

This is exactly what I needed. By taking fifteen minutes out of my day, I avoided hours of solitary headaches and frustration and created several great concepts to show the client.

My point is this: do not be afraid to work together as a team. I find that we often worry that involving more than 2 people in a conversation about a client or process becomes a waste of time. This isn’t always the case. When 4 people meet for 3 hours to hammer out a new process that will save every single person in the company time, it’s worth it.

The Takeaway

Online marketing has come a long way since the days of link directories and keyword-stuffing. As a result, marketers need to adapt their processes, and work together as a team to accomplish the best results.

Are you looking for a team full of experts on all things off- and online marketing? Contact Optimum7 today for a free consultation.

June 28, 2013

Written by Bridget Farrell

Bridget Farrell is the designer, illustrator and artist in charge of creating and implementing clean, elegant web solutions for Optimum7 and their clients. Upon her graduation from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, FL, Bridget began to design professionally. Although she loves logo and print design, she feels that web design is where her true passion lies today. “I enjoy designing for the web because it’s truly the direction marketing is heading in. Most CEOs aren’t looking to order stationary for their companies; they want polished, well-developed websites- and this is where I come in.” Bridget has a constant thirst for knowledge and thrives on keeping current with all of the latest technology. She works with Photoshop, Illustrator, HTML, CSS, PHP, Javascript, MySQL, WordPress, Joomla and Volusion. A true nerd at heart, Bridget can often be found spending her nights and weekends reading, researching and occasionally practicing yoga.

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