Don’t Get Bundled in Digital Marketing

“Yeah, we can do that too”. Famous last words of the once-focused agency. Too many agencies and marketing contractors go the way of the cable companies, bundling their clients into massive contracts offering multiple services for one large fee. Marketing your company should be no different that your personal life. Do you LOVE your bundled cable package? Do you like how they keep raising fees but their service is terrible? If so, then bundling your marketing might be right for you.

If you’re like most people, you despise getting bundled. You feel taken. Not Liam Neeson “Taken”, but you feel like the cable companies used their power to con you into more services than you wanted. The “we do everything” agencies are the same way. Smooth talking sales people talk you into using their “full service” offering without telling you that one guy, fresh out of college, is actually doing the work for you. Unless they actually have a dedicated specialist at each area – which many do not – avoid getting bundled at all costs.

I’ve seen it first hand and I have actually done it before. Shocking, I know. But when I first started out working for an agency, they had me do PPC, SEO, Social, CRO and Email Marketing…FOR A PAYING CLIENT. I wasn’t great at anything but PPC, but I did them all. Our client was getting good service, but not great service. There’s also a cost associated with bundling. It’s an opportunity cost. The lost opportunity your company could have had by using a specialist at each channel costs you in the long run.

Things to check before you get bundled:

  1.  Is there a specialist with more than 2 years of experience for EACH channel? (SEO, PPC, CRO, Social, etc)
  2.  Is there a project manager assigned to your account to ensure that each channel manager works together for YOUR greater good?
  3.  Is there a reason that you would rather get bundled with one company than use multiple specialists?
  4.  Is that reason more important than profitability for your company?
  5.  Do you notice how one-sided my questions are? That’s because bundling is terrible for the client.

Times have changed. Agencies need to change with it. Granular is the modern solution for SEM.

We are hyper-focused and specialized at a few things. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills, skills I have acquired over a very long career.” Yes, that’s “Taken” making it back into my rant about getting bundled by marketing agencies. At Granular, we offer services around Search Engine Marketing, paid search and some CRO consulting services. We are not your creative firm, we are not your SEO, we are not your one stop shop. We do partner with other specialized agencies and consultants to round out the needs our clients have so they can complete their marketing mix outsourcing if they need it. But you’ll never catch us saying, “yeah, we can do that too”.

We may move into other areas of focus in the future as we grow, but that only comes after we hire a specialist for that particular area. Right now, we’re heavy PPC. VERY heavy PPC, with over $50 Million in management between our specialists’ experience, $100’s of thousands in Facebook spend, and over a dozen landing page CRO wins.

If you want the best, don’t get bundled.