Our Secret Sauce — Not Having a Black Box

February 16, 2016 by Mike Barbeau in Strategy Digital Agency Secrets Feature Image

What makes your agency special isn’t your recipe, but how you cook the dish.

I met with a data science company recently and I asked them to help me identify our best clients, and how that could help us grow to a $100 million agency. Their answer included words like “algorithm” and “output,” but nothing around the word “client.” Did they not think I would understand their methodology? Did they not understand my question? Why wouldn’t they just tell me what they were going to do? The thing was, I really respected their company and the approach, but I was still left wondering what they were going to do to actually help me.

And maybe “help” is the operative word. As an agency in a well-trodden digital marketing landscape, we don’t pretend to have all of the answers, much less answers that sound incredibly different than the next guy’s. Same goes for our process — everyone has one, and everyone claims theirs is the best. Our belief is that it’s our people’s implementation of that process that makes the difference. Because most of the time, our clients don’t need to be told their strategy or their challenges, they just need help with the implementation and optimization of what they already know they need to do.

We’re going to share how we do everything.

It’s why when we talk about our process, we literally put it on the table for our clients, and even non-clients, to see. Want to know how to do a ROT content analysis? I’ll send you our template. How Ethology does modern search? I can give you our approach. If you find the information helpful and it moves the needle for your business, that’s great. If you get stuck and need your current agency to help, that’s fine too. If you want to hear more about it from us, we’d love to talk.

Admittedly, this approach was at first met with skepticism here because we were “giving things away for free.” But I brought up the point that I’m pretty sure Emeril has a dozen or more published cookbooks on the shelves. And even with that knowledge readily available, I’m entirely sure that I’m not beating him in any cooking contests (I do make a mean taco pie, though). The point is that it’s not the recipes that create success, it’s the skillful cooking of those recipes that sets a chef apart from the rest.

So, initial skepticism aside, we’re now building out playbooks for modern search, paid media, consumer experience and strategic planning that we’ll have available for anyone who is interested. For free. At no cost. That’s zero dollars down and zero due in the future. With no catch.

Because at the end of the day, the only thing that matters in the world of digital marketing strategy, approach and execution?

The outcome.

Need help cooking your digital marketing recipe?

Ethology’s goal is to optimize every part of the digital experience to drive measurable results. Our team can help you create a customer experience that drives the right traffic to the right places, maximizing conversions and impacting your bottom line.

Get in touch with Ethology

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Mike Barbeau

About the Author

I'm a University of Colorado grad who somehow skied his way to a degree before moving to San Francisco for a career in advertising. It wasn't long before I met a girl, got married and watched my hero of a wife give birth to two kids. Now, I'm the VP of Business Development for Ethology. Want to talk? Look for the guy trying not to sweat through his shirt in Scottsdale's 115-degree heat — that's probably me.

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Then you’re in the right place...sort of. We’re thrilled to announce that we've been acquired by Tallwave!

We will still provide the digital strategy, search, content, and performance media we’ve come to be known for over the last six years. But now, leveraging Tallwave’s strengths, we can provide you business strategy, product design and development, branding, and market intelligence.

We put these services together to help you tackle your biggest business challenges, check out tallwave.com or email us at info@tallwave.com to learn more.