Since Fusionfarm has gone to market as a full-service digital marketing agency, there have been many fun conversations within the local Cedar Rapids business community about the Fusionfarm organization and our approach to digital marketing and promotion. (After all, in the community we’re generally known for our traditional media offerings, like The Gazette, KCRG, The Penny Saver, Hoopla, etc. So Fusionfarm is new and is shaking things up a bit…)
The funniest conversations seem to be when you mention the word “agency.” Eyes glaze over. Heads nod. People start to check out. (Okay, maybe that isn’t fun.) Consequently, I’ve stopped using the word “agency” altogether when discussing what Fusionfarm does. Instead I’ve started using the admittedly more clinical sounding “digital services group”*-- that always generates the magic question that I’m looking for: “What is that?”
The exchange that follows usually goes something like this:
Me: “Fusionfarm provides services that help small- to medium-sized businesses improve their brand, reach and advertising effectiveness focused heavily on the web and social media.”
Person at Cocktail Party: “So, you’re an ad agen…Wait, did you say web and social media?”
Me: “Yes, Internet marketing and social media are our primary focus. Seems like most businesses know they need to be doing more in that space, but for whatever the reason – they aren’t. Some businesses think it’s too expensive, others just hope it goes away, but most people are just too afraid to try and figure it out on their own. So we help create a strategic plan customized for their business and do it for them.”
Person at Cocktail Party: “Yeah, that pretty much describes where our business is at. We’re not sure where to go with all this Internet marketing and social media stuff…”
And the conversation gets more productive from there.
What gets even more interesting is the meetings that come out of those conversations. While local businesses inherently know they need an improved web presence and be involved in social media, the specific issues and needs businesses have are extremely varied. It becomes quite apparent that you can’t shoehorn a service – even something like social media management -- into a formulaic equation. You REALLY have to think about what you want to accomplish and then work backwards to get there.
Our clients are often surprised at the depth at which we walk through the desired outcome to really understand how we can help them. To many, the digital aspects of creative, messaging, channel and frequency seem like they should be easier than navigating “big” media, like TV and print ads. In truth, web and social media campaigns should actually be more carefully thought out for two very important reasons:
- The ability to interact and engage with your clients and customers – You will be surprised at the “interaction” you’ll get with a poor message.
- The ability to get extremely specific and targeted with your message – giving the wrong message to the right audiences is VERY expensive in this space.
Again, these are fun conversations to have because people want to figure this stuff out. Our job at Fusionfarm is to keep getting better at doing just that.
Chris Edwards - Partner
*By the way, I know our creative guru, Michael Zydzik, will hate this post and hate that I refer to Fusionfarm as a “digital services group.” My intent is not to downplay the greatness of our creative team -- because they are, indeed, great. My intent is to change the conversation with advertisers and clients. (But candidly, if it irritates Michael, too -- I consider that a bonus!)