If you see the tremendous opportunities in growing your business by improving its web presence, you have a conundrum: Should you hire a Digital Consultancy or a Digital Agency?
What you really need is a Consagency (or, "Consulting Agency"), a hybrid of a Digital Consultancy and Digital Marketing Agency.
Let me explain why …
A consultancy looks at the big picture in helping your business profit by integrating digital media. But, a consultancy is not enough on its own. Most businesses don’t have the resources to create and manage digital media to take full advantage of the technical side of web media. For example, search engine optimization has a marketing side and it also has a technical side. The deeper the technical expertise available, the greater advantage can be gained.
So a consultancy is not enough. No matter how powerful the marketing message is, the need for creating compelling digital media and managing it as a system still remains.
But a digital agency, as it is usually perceived, is not enough either. An agency is like a traditional advertising agency in that the relationship implies that the customer has already made the shift of mental models necessary to adapt to how much the internet has influenced how people consume media, research products, and buy things. And the internet has changed these habits tremendously. It's not just a different medium that uses electrons instead of ink. It is a whole, two-way, multi-media communication portal that has changed the relationship between customers and businesses, changed buying and consumption habits, and changed the way the consumers are persuaded to engage with a company and make purchases.
A digital consultancy will work with the key minds within a business to empower them to change how they approach marketing by accommodating the shift in customer behavior and attitudes caused by the internet. Of course, using traditional advertising model of interruption in the consumption other media, like TV commercials and newspaper ads, still has its place. These models are now largely overshadowed by the new emerging paradigm of seeing content as a service for potential customers.
Seeing content as a service gives a business power to tap into how people now extensively research before they make a purchase. In most cases, your potential customers don't just begin this research just before they make a purchase. They start researching long before then, when they're farther away from a buying purchase, when they're just starting to begin to understand what the benefits to them may be of a particular service or product. This means a company can take a leading role by educating the customer, from their point of view, to help them gain higher and better benefits from this purchase. Then, when it's time for that customer to buy, the company is in a preeminent position by having gained that customer's trust and confidence much earlier in their thinking process.
This takes seeing content marketing as a service provided to attention customers. Attention customers are prospective purchasers who pay initially with attention and eventually become paying customers. This means revering the attention customer and giving them the highest possible value in exchange for this precious attention. This means you have empowered the attention customer with the highest possible level of the proprietary expertise in a specific, distinctive way that is unique to your company.
So, the traditional model of a company hiring an agency who then promotes what they do is outdated. The company needs to lend its own highest and best knowledge sources to the program. Content writers can't be expected to research at the level that would give them expertise at the same level as the experts within the company, can they? So it becomes a partnership, where the consagency elicits the resources within the business that can develop this high value content for attention customers and organizes it in a way that is consumed by these prospects who learn to trust then buy.