Seems like a generalization right? Let me explain. I've worked with quite a few large companies over the years, and my experience is that those companies can't ever bring their digital marketing completely in house. I know that my opinion might be suspicious, because I am a senior strategist at Converseon, a digital agency, so you might expect that I have every motivation to advise you to work with consultants. But I actually learned this lesson when running parts of IBM's digital marketing in house. I found that it wasn't possible for me to bring everything in house.
Now, that might surprise you, because after all, it's IBM for Pete's sake. Can't IBM do anything? No, even IBM couldn't do everything. Not because IBM isn't capable, but for more practical reasons that permeate every kind of digital marketing.
You see, what happens when any particular part of digital marketing takes off is that it goes through a few stages:
Am I painting too bleak a picture? Yes. But hey, this is a blog post and I need to get your attention. I found at IBM that you can bring a great deal in house and it saves a lot of money. But I did learn that you can't bring everything in house. It always helps to have an agency partner that can handle spokes in demand. And having an expert agency that is always keeping up with changes and learning from other clients can be very helpful to the in-house marketer.
So what is an in-house marketer to do? Choose your agency carefully. Don't look for people who want to be your experts. Look for people who want to make you the experts. It's the attitude that makes the difference. With an agency like that, you'll be able to bring as much in-house as possible and you'll have an agency partner that can handle what you should leave outside your walls.
Mike is an expert in search marketing, search technology, social media, publishing, text analytics, and web metrics, who regularly makes speaking appearances.
Mike's previous appearances include ClickZ Live, RKG Summit, Ticket Summit, Webdagene, the CiTE conference, and the Forrester Marketing Conference.
Mike also founded and writes for Biznology, is the co-author of the best-selling Search Engine Marketing, Inc., and sole author of Do It Wrong Quickly, named by the Miami Herald as one of the 11 best business books of 2007.
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