Your clients see you as a vendor and HOW to fix it.

As 2016 winds down, I reflect on many conversations with digital marketers and how the majority of them continue to wrestle with the reality that their clients still see them as just vendors (and NOT strategic partners). I heard countless stories of how as an agency, they did a website but another firm is doing the social work or, how they developed a new application but lost out on the work for brand content programs and on and on it went.

This problem happens because marketers are still selling digital the wrong way.

Before we unpack the right way, you need to realize there are two VERY different approaches you will enter in the digital sales process. And, you also need to understand that you’ll face two VERY different realities.

Let’s start with the 2 dominant realities or, said differently, the 2 most common situations you’ll face when selling digital:

The first reality is what I call “cash work” – this is when the client indeed simply wants you to be a vendor. The “I need SEO, I need a website, I need an app, PPC campaign, etc. etc.” See this for what it is: a tactical monster client who thinks they’re strategic but what they really are is stuck in 100 year old thinking being shoved into digital media.

Simple advice: take it. Do it. Invoice it and…move on. Realize this: this type of client will NOT be loyal and is only hunting for the latest digital tactic of the day.

The second reality is what you must be hunting for. This is the long-term, program-based partnership work. This is where you’ll be respected as a partner but of course how do you do this? (we’ll get to this in a second…)

So as you seek to hunt out the right situations, you also need to understand the two approaches to digital sales so that you don’t make a mistake.

To understand the approach, you must grasp the reality of the growing power of marketing in the overall sales process. Historically, marketing was responsible for awareness and generating interest BUT, today, marketing is responsible for everything from awareness to interest to consideration to intent to evaluation and priming for purchase.

The point:

Marketing plays a HUGE role in terms of client attraction, engagement and loyalty. Marketing has BECOME a strategic driver and catalyst for profitable growth.

Based on this new and critical role of marketing, the two approaches to sales are as follows (more...)


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