By Maria Harrison, President, and Jonathan Schwartz, CEO
Bullseye Strategy celebrates its 10-year-anniversary this month! In that time, we’ve had our highs and lows, met some of the most impressive digital brains in the industry, and have grown more than a few grays. Above all else, we have had the opportunity to get under the hood of how digital marketing works. Here are 10 online marketing tips and tricks we’ve learned in our decade of partnership.
Maria Harrison & Jonathan Schwartz
1. Our team is everything.
All digital marketing agencies have access to similar tools; it’s the people using those tools who are the key differentiator. The most important decision any business makes is the talent they choose to invest in, and this is especially true in our industry. It takes a certain mixture of grit, curiosity, savvy and creativity to rise ahead of the pack. Within an agency, you have to combine those qualities with amazing people skills and white-glove customer service. If it sounds like it’s almost impossible to find individuals who fit that profile, you will understand why we have learned why hiring is so critical to our success. Ultimately, the extra scrutiny has paid off for us. People do business with people they know, like and trust, and people know, like and trust us.
Bullseye Strategy leadership team
2. Core values matter.
You need to eat, breathe, live and sleep them. Our core values are:
Passion: We love what we do, and our clients feel the love.
Excellence: We deliver what we promise and deliver unexpected value.
Curiosity: We dive deep beneath the surface of our clients’ businesses to discover untapped opportunities to grow.
Personalized Service: We make our clients feel like they’re our only clients.
Results: The bottom line is always top-of-mind for us.
We apply these values to everything from who we hire to how we pitch. Not all agencies will have these exact same core values–nor should they. The important thing is to have a consistent ethos that underpins your approach to strategy, client relationships and hiring.
3. Not every client is the right client for us.
Our “right client” wants a partner, not a vendor. We want to work with someone who understands how marketing and media works so that we can drive real results for them. Being choosy with who we work with has allowed us to focus on clients for whom we could drive real results, and it’s resulted in mutually beneficial, collegial relationships with the people who we work with every day.
4. Change is guaranteed; it’s how digital marketing works.
You’ve got to expect it. You’ve got to be flexible. Embrace those ever-shifting algorithms, new consumer behavior patterns, and seismic trend shifts. It’s what makes our line of work exciting.
5. No two clients are alike, even if they offer the exact same products or services.
Ultimately, cookie-cutter strategies will disappoint the client and the agency alike; this is digital marketing advice you can depend on. Customizing strategy is a time investment at the beginning of a partnership, involving a careful audit of the client’s current approach, goals, marketing roadmap, and digital footprint–but it’s the only way to get real results that will cultivate loyalty.
6. Keep people well-fed and hydrated.
There’s something really special, even familial, about breaking bread with your clients and your colleagues. It extends your relationship with them beyond the office. It might seem strange to see advice about in-person gatherings listed in a series of online marketing digital tips and tricks, but the fact is, as much as teleconferencing technology has evolved, there really is no substitution for face time–particularly when food is involved. You’ll often find our team on planes just to grab a dinner or lunch with a client.
VP of Digital Strategy Matt Bray dining in NYC with a Bullseye Strategy client.
7. Use data to drive decisions.
Don’t rely on opinions; rely on historical knowledge. If you’re in doubt, test it. (Even if you’re not in doubt, it never hurts to do an A-B gut check to make sure the approach you’re following is the right one.) There is no shortage of objective information that can be pulled or compiled: qualitative, quantitative, via everything from a basic site traffic report to market research interviews and brand uplift studies. When dealing with stakeholders who feel personally and passionately attached to a concept that might not be performing, numbers are our best friends. Let data tell the story: this is the beauty of how digital marketing works.
8. Skip the silos.
A decade ago, we were in the Stone Ages of marketing technology; it used to be a single pixel here, a cookie there. It made sense for specialists to develop and expand upon their expertise within a specific channel. We’ve since evolved into an era in which customers have come to expect a unified message in the market. That’s why our entire team sits together and strategizes collaboratively, and we look for subject matter experts with deep understanding across all digital channels and marketing levers. The more unified the approach, the more effective the results.
9. Being successful requires complete empathy with our clients.
Our leadership team has all come from the brand side, most of us from large enterprise organizations. We’ve been the clients ourselves, and we know the challenges of rolling up to the C-suite. One reason why we have twice the tenure of a typical agency is that we’ve been in our clients’ shoes.
10. There is never, ever enough time or money!
Learning how to become efficient with both of these things is why we’ve been able to move our business forward for a decade.
Maria on the move!
We thank our clients and colleagues for an amazing 10 years. We can’t wait to see what the next 10 bring!
Interested in a consultation with Bullseye Strategy? Contact us to take your digital marketing to the next level.