Agencies are all the same. Or so you may believe.
It’s easy to see why. The language is often consistent. Websites promote seemingly identical services and approaches. Information sources and tools may seem similar.
But to say all agencies are the same sells the “Rogue Way” short.
At first glance it can be hard to see the difference between agencies. What's harder still is understanding why you should value any differences you do find. A driving principle at Rogue is to consult prospective clients on what they should be listening for and looking to see in any agency they consider.
That's because in the end, it’s not a common language and toolset that will determine outcome… it’s application. It’s perspective… and attentiveness… and grit… and hustle... and finding a whitespace… and...
To say that all agencies are the same is to sell the “Rogue Way” short.
Consider this. Our experience has been that it is hard for clients to tell us what they do that’s different. It’s easier for the Rogue team (outsiders) to uncover those valuable differences in the clients we consult…
What's true for our clients has been true for Rogue too. It was harder to see valuable differentiators in ourselves. To us, it’s just what we do… and how we do it. And doesn’t everyone do it that way?
In short, no.
Two Kinds of Agencies
Rogue has seen that there are two kinds of agencies: tactical and strategic. The agencies you come in contact with follow somewhere on that spectrum leaning more heavily one way than the other. Both can be very valuable.
A tactical agency is built on – and is great at – the thing they were founded on. That skillset serves as the thought process they come at problems from. If you meet a creative agency that appreciates experience and design and aesthetics, even when they branch out, the answer in most situations will return to creative design. It’s how they’re wired. With a paid media agency, the answer is paid media. SEO agency? Optimizing key words and building backlinks.
Each of those things certainly have a place. And Rogue believes in the integrated power of all those things to be sure. But a short conversation with a client really revealed an interesting perspective of what really makes our strategy agency different from the others.
She said, “Rogue is more than our digital agency, they’re our business strategy partner.”
Here’s what happened. Our calendars said Health System Planning Session and you know how these meetings go. Typically, these meetings involve a look at the previous year in review, upcoming marketing initiatives (campaign flight schedule, budget allocations, media mixes, goodwill campaigns, etc.) and what’s happening at the CPC, CPL, CPA, ROAS, and life-time customer value levels. There’s always a lot of talk in acronyms.
That’s what was expected. But Rogue goes beyond expected.
“Marketing is not the job. Not really.”
Marketing for the sake of marketing is not the job. Checking tactics off the list just to say we are doing them is not the job either. Expanding markets... finding untapped audiences... identifying white space... This is what growing businesses look to Rogue for.
That's why a few weeks prior, and unbeknownst to the client, Rogue took it upon itself to analyze the market and how it was performing. What market factors were shifting and impacting the industry overall? What happened this current year with respect to acquisition and consolidation? Where were media allocations being spent with respect to brand building vs lead generation?
You might expect that those could be typical activities of a digital marketing agency. You might think that. Even so, Rogue went further shifting the conversation by applying business principles of finance and operations to a forecasting and utilization story. the intersection of sales, business, technology and marketing is what defined our strategic versus tactical approach. Here was the Rogue approach:
- Analyzed the most recent annual report of the largest competing system in the D/FW metroplex
- Compared data provided by the local and state government
- Determined total universe and available universe available to determine possible patient population
- Evaluated growth patterns and market conditions to determine channel mix optimization for the coming year
To be a tactical agency has become plug and play. Collect a budget and spread that across Facebook, Google, and display… the end results simply determined by being in front of as many people as possible that meet your target audience. Sounds alright until you realize what the other approach can be…
The Rogue Way, on the other hand, is to reverse engineer out attention and intent to determine the proper sequence of channel, platform, and message.
There’s certainly a time and a place for both strategic and tactical agencies. If you just need the absolute best SEO shop, you might be looking for a tactical agency. If you just need a team that can pump out piece after piece of content to fit inside your existing approach, you’ll do well to find a tactical agency that does THAT, and does that well.
BUT, if you have a more integrated outcome you need to achieve, Rogue's Speedy Strategy Bundle can help you get started thinking differently. It is a group of tools and templates that can help you quickly build a powerful marketing strategy and identify whitespace opportunities.