I recently came across a quote from IBM CEO Ginni Rometty:
“Clients say, ‘What’s your strategy’ and I say, ‘Ask me what I believe first.’ That is the far more enduring answer.”
That prompted me to think about the digital marketing strategy work we’re doing here at Inalign. What should clients know about us before we work together?
Its a fair question that facilitates transparency in the relationship and should be considered before moving forward with an egagement.
So, here are the beliefs we hold that guide the way we do business, and in turn, help our clients solve their most fundamental marketing challenges.
1. Business objectives, marketing strategy, and technology solutions must be in alignment
It’s in our name: Inalign. We have a lot of experience across different sizes of business and industries. The common thread is that value is driven by leveraging technology and marketing strategy to deliver on key business objectives.
The three are inextricably tied together and trying to move the needle without thinking holistically about all three will not work.
That’s what makes us good. We always start with the business objective, then work through a strategy and finally, we identity the technology components that will make it all work.
If those three things aren’t in alignment, you’re wasting resources.
2. Critical thinking differentiates us
One of the common denominators that makes our project successful is our ability to peel back the onion layers of the problems we are tasked to solve.
The problems they have are complex and they often don’t have the time to fully define them, much less solve them.
We’ve found over the years that our clients value resources that can get to know their business and embrace the challenge of understanding their problems, defining them accurately and then coming up with and implementing solutions.
We succeed when we become an extension of their executive team, collaborating with them to improve their business.
3. We can out-learn everyone else
We live in a fascinating time. The rate change has also never been higher. The good news is information has never been so easily available.
We take advantage of this fact by making it a point to be continuous learners. Whether it be reading content, taking courses on Pluralsight, sitting in on webinars, clicking an interesting ad on LinkedIn, or one on one conversations peers and clients. We’re always learning.
We draw on that knowledge in our client work.
When we come across something new, we can use our learning skills to quickly research, digest, and apply new knowledge.
This applies to our clients as well. Data is generated with every marketing tactic you execute. We will help ensure that it is collected, analyzed and leveraged in decision making.
Additionally, we view it as a key part of our mission to educate our clients on digital marketing with everything from best practices to cool tools to finding good people.
4. Value is in the strategy, not the tactics
Often business executives get in a mindset that they need a “new” something. The “new” can be a website, a blogger, social media resource, manager, director or executive – you can fill in the blank.
The problem is that the “new” often turns back into the familiar problem within 6 months.
Its easy to fall prey to this cycle of acting but not affecting the results. In these cases, the root cause is the strategy, not the tactics.
We start and end with the strategy. In our view, tactics are becoming homogeneous. There are resources available to help anyone execute a campaign competently. But if those tactics are not in alignment with an insightful strategy, measured by a quantifiable goal that delivers on a key a business objective, then they are wasted resources.
While we have the capability to be tactical, this belief is pushing us to commit to the strategic space where we believe our experience and perspective provides the most value for our clients. Which brings me to our last core belief.
5. It’s okay to say “no”
I’ve been a long-time fan of Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. I’m dating myself, but it was all the rage during the formative years of my career.
One of Covey’s concepts is that of the win-win deal, which is something we have internalized within Inalign. We seek relationships with clients where both parties feel like they are getting good value.
We’ve also determined that when we engage with our clients in the context of an online marketing strategy project, tactical execution is off the table.
The reasoning is that we want our clients to regard us as an indispensable adviser. It is hard for us to build that relationship of trust if they are wondering if we’re recommending changes to their website because they really need to change their website or if it is because we have an engineer rolling off another project that needs a new one.
So, while we’ll dive into the work necessary to help our clients formulate their digital marketing strategy and layout the steps to make it happen, they’ll need to use their own resources for tactical execution.
If they don’t have the right resources on staff, we’ll help them find someone who can do the work. If they ask us to do it, even if we have the capability, we’ll politely say no.
Our beliefs are the foundation we build our firm on. If they resonate with you and you’re looking for someone you can collaborate with you to ramp up your B2B lead generation, let’s talk.
If you want a good first step toward generating leads with your online marketing, read You Need to be Treating Your Competitors Like Enemies or check out our Competitive Analysis and Digital Marketing Audit service.