Content marketing: Telling Meaningful Stories

[AGENCY LIFE] Why marketers should take an agency stint


You might care about this article if you are:

  • A recent marketing college grad
  • A marketing or communications (executive) recruiter
  • A CEO who needs to bring in a CMO change agent
  • A new agency employee
  • A leader who hires agencies

The first time I ran a marketing and communications team as a vice president I often had strong negative reactions to digital or traditional agencies and their often lame pitches, mostly because:

  • They were doing things cookie cutter
  • Their creatives didn’t even look that much better
  • They didn’t take workload off my plate
  • They didn’t listen

I’m pretty transparent and people can get a good idea of my pain points and current projects simply by reading my blog. That’s been the case for many years.

So when people call and address something I mentioned on a blog, I’ll listen a little longer. It was top of mind, you know! I just blogged about it. It also showed that they might listen when we work together. I say might because many times the sales people aren’t the people you’ll work with when you hire the agency.

These were the main reasons  I would weigh when I decide to hire an agency:

  • Could I even see myself working with them? Meet the worker bees 🐝! Nobody wants to work with jerks – and that’s a two-way street, by the eay.
  • Could they do the work? Some people just talk! More on that here. 
  • Highly important: Will they make things easier for me?

All three pieces are important but the last one especially and working with high-maintenance agencies is just too much work. I’ll hire people instead.

But all three combined are magical and often worth the money.

  • Here’s what I need.
  • Agency plays back request.
  • Agency offers feedback and expert tips based on things they know that I cannot know.
  • Agency goes and creates and reports back in a mutually agreed on timeframe.

And what do these agencies do well (in addition to their agency expertise?) They listen. And they adjust based on your perceived and actual needs.

Having worked in an agency capacity for  some years, I see it often that people do not listen.

Heck, I like to talk too. Do you hear me? 😂🤔 Expert or not, we cannot solve people’s problems if we don’t listen to them.

I’m actually surprised how often potential clients tell me that all these consultants (another word for agency)  just want to sell what they offer.

It’s easy to do. I love storytelling, so it’s easy to jump to that. It’s my thing after all:

Prospect: <presents problem>

Agency guy: “Oh yes, storytelling is the answer.”

Prospect: “How does that exactly apply to THIS problem?”

Agency guy: “What problem?”

😂😊🤔

That’s obviously not how anyone will get or keep business. Listen, offer expert input and then go implement.

It’s not necessarily something learned while working on an in-house team, but it can be applied and used by people who learned it during threir agency life and then moved to an in-house team.

Agency life can help us:

  • Be better listeners
  • Be better implementers
  • Be more customer centric.

One thing it rarely does is let us own a project. The client does. It’s their baby – even when it’s ours. But that’s just another reason to do and learn the three items of great agency work above. You can set up a successful program and add a happy customer!


Don't miss the next blog post:

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Christoph

Christoph blogs on The Authentic Storytelling Project and is a globally recognized content marketing expert. The IMA named him Internet Marketer of the Year in 2015. He works with healthcare organizations and other brands around the globe.

Related Posts

[TRAVEL] Two ways travel technology has recently helped me

Technology can make our lives easier and of course harder. There are still plenty of times when technological solutions don’t work or aren’t keeping my specific customer journey in mind.  But then there are the times when I’m  delightfully  surprised and when technology makes a transaction simple or helps me accomplish a goal on a […]

Read More

STARTUPS ➡️ Clients are lining up – how to get paid? Check or digitally?

I think of myself as more of a storytelling and growth innovator  kind of person as opposed to a numbers person. Though numbers can certainly help us tell better stories and help us tell better stories continuously if we can get paid for it. As a businessman I’m certainly a numbers person when it comes […]

Read More

June 26 – Free upcoming webinar

Click on the image for more and to register:

Let’s talk!

Updates in your inbox! No spam!

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Hire your next content marketing strategist here

Is it okay to swear in blog posts?

My Authentic Storytelling Book

book cover crop

"Get Real: Telling Authentic Stories for Long-term Success" discusses why you, your organization and anyone really should consider sharing authentic stories with each other ... READ MORE

My customer service book

Confirmed talks

Druck

Berlin, Germany
June 29, 2017

Raleigh, NC
Aug. 22, 2017

sao-paolo

Annual conference
Reno, NV
Oct. 8-9. 2017

Austin, Texas
Oct. 23-25, 2017

book now

Speaking feedback

Top twitter accounts to follow for marketing

Top 10 Content Marketer

on Klout 2016

klout





Official PayPal Seal

Quotes

social media book

Stories from the Social Side Book

%d bloggers like this: