Interview with Bob Tripathi, December 20, 2018
Bob Tripathi shares his opinions, insights and advice on all things digital marketing. In this video, Bob discusses why a smart marketing practice is to bring in an outside agency for innovative, out-of-the- box ideas to scale faster in a resource-constrained world.
Scroll down to read the transcript of the conversation
Debbie: Hi, this is Debbie Warner here with Bob Tripathi, the digital marketing guy who knows all the answers about digital marketing. He’s been a marketer for 18 years now and he knows his stuff.
Bob:Gosh, you’re making me sound like a dinosaur, aren’t you. Thank you for the introduction.
Debbie: What we want to talk about, Bob, is why would you hire an outside agency to do your digital marketing?
Bob: Why? Because what we can all learn is smart people have come to realize there’s only so much you know, but the smart thinking is in knowing what you don’t know. And that’s when you bring in outside agencies. Now, I’m a little bias because I run a small agency. I like to call myself a marketing services company, so I’m going to be bias, but back in the day I was that guy who used to hire the agencies.
What you learn is when you bring in more people and you share your business there are more innovative ideas that come with it. When there are more innovative ideas, what happens is your business progresses and the end user, who is your customer, is the ultimate beneficiary from innovative ideas. So basically your customer has a great experience and that’s because of the things you do at the back end. In this case, what you do on the marketing side and what do you do on the idea side.
Debbie: So, you’re talking about design, IT, content writing. What are all the things that you and agencies offer that are hard to get within a company sometimes?
Bob: Basically, when you look at the marketing function, especially digital marketing, the fact is, there are so many tactics out there. You have the whole paid side of tactics–you have your services, your display, your retained advertising, YouTube ads, your video, retargeting your ads on the program side or the classic side. Then you have the organic side of things–your whole owned tactics which is your social media, your communities, your content, analytics, all of those things. What we know is, with so much available and so few people, we cannot do it all. We live in a resource-constrained world, and if you are small, you don’t have the resources to hire people. If you’re big, the other problem is you have to grow faster because the market demands it or the shareholder demand it.
Debbie: So Bob, startups and enterprises have very different business goals in mind. Tell me a little bit about why a startup or why an enterprise would hire an agency for their digital marketing needs.
Bob: As opposed to hiring somebody in house? That’s a great question, because what you see is at the end of the day, as I mentioned, is we are all living in a constrained world. For example, as a startup you have to grow faster and you have to scale faster. When your company is not just an idea, but is something beyond that, you may have few customers and you’ve proven something. In that situation what happens is, because we have so many digital marketing tactics, one or two people cannot do it all, so you basically need a team of at least five people to work and scale faster. In that situation, companies should ideally hire one person in house to work with an external partner.
For example, when you work with an external marketing partner, they bring in industry insights from the outside, and they can get things done faster and quicker, and in some cases, better and cheaper. Creativity is the promise. The hope is that they should be creative and good at what they do. That is the goal. A small company benefits because they get the whole economies of scale, so that is what we prescribe for small businesses like startups.
Your other question was around enterprise. Now with the enterprise, again most people have an in-house team but it’s still not enough. The reason is there’s so much to do for businesses to scale. By the way, enterprise is any company with 10,000 employees or more so in a typical 10,000 employee company, depending on the type of company it is, you’re looking at a marketing team of 200 to 300 people including all marketing, creatives and everyone combined.
In a bigger company, the pressures are stock pressures, shareholders and board pressures. In that case, you can just do so much. And as I mentioned earlier, you need new ideas, people who will bring in ideas, people who are nimble and who can get things done faster for you. So those are the best partners we have seen in the enterprise world that work really well. For example, I was in a large company and we used to look for the smaller agencies because they could get things done faster. When you have a smaller agency, because they can get things done faster and are more nimble, they have more out-of-the-box ideas than when you are in your ivory tower and that’s what you need–you need smart ideas, out-of-the-box ideas and the ability to move faster to get more data faster.
Debbie: And a fresh new perspective …
Bob: Yes. Marketing, especially digital marketing, is the best option. You can actually know how your campaign is performing in less than a week. Once you know how your campaign is performing, you can reiterate on that and that’s called classic testing. That’s what marketing is about. Small agencies can usually help the bigger companies do that faster.
Debbie: Ok awesome! Thank you. That answers your questions about hiring outside services agency for your marketing. And this is Debbie Warner and Bob Tripathi. Happy New Year!