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Practicing What We Preach

practice-what-you-preach

As a digital agency, one of our primary jobs is to provide advice. Sure, we do all kinds of technical and creative work, like many other agencies out there, but this work is always done in the larger context of solving a problem or trying to reach a goal. It’s the ability to do this successfully that separates the successful agency with good, long term clients from the “one and done” shops providing the same solution for everybody.

But for companies looking for a new agency to start from scratch and guide them in building a comprehensive digital strategy, other than looking at previous work and listening to the agency’s pitch, there is always an uncertainty about the proposed solutions. There can be a lingering worry that the advice being provided may not be the right advice for them. Are they being oversold? Is the agency just pushing product? Do they really have your best interests in mind or even understand your business needs and goals, not just for the current year, but long term?

These are all important questions to ask and get answered. That’s why our approach is to practice what we preach and utilize the same products, methodologies, processes, and solutions for ourselves that we propose to our clients. We entrust the success or failure of our own digital strategy to the same strategies we help implement for a wide variety of clients.

Content Management System

Content-rich sites needs a reliable, easy-to-use platform to give content editors the best tools to maintain and expand their site. Additional issues such as the product roadmap, cost, security, upgrade paths, integration ability, operating system, hosting options and more all weigh into the decision making process about the most suitable platform. That’s why the primary CMS platform we suggest to our clients is Episerver, and it’s also why we use it for our own site. We’ve evaluated many CMSs over the years, and we continue to do so, but Episerver (and previously Ektron) continues to check the most boxes and provides the robust, enterprise content management solution we require, as it does for many of our clients.  As a secondary option, we also may recommend HubSpot.  While the core of HubSpot is it's marketing automation and CRM capabilities, we feel this is a viable option for organizations with a smaller budget for the CMS platform and see the value of a CMS solution that offers robust marketing and sales tools.

Inbound Marketing

As a service offering, we help clients implement HubSpot’s marketing automation software to build an Inbound Marketing engine for traffic and leads, driven by content creation, data analysis, and intelligent, personalized marketing communications. The team at WSOL that provides this for our clients also practices the exact same methodologies for our own lead generation and marketing efforts.

As a company, we have adopted and embraced Inbound as the most effective way to build our online presence and attract the most qualified and promising leads. We’ve even built our own tool, the HubSpot-Episerver Connector, which leverages the content personalization capabilities built into Episerver with the intelligence and insight provided by Hubspot to make our website a targeted marketing tool that provides the right message to the right user at the right time.

Our results since starting inbound marketing in 2013? An increase in organic traffic by 877%, nearly 900 new leads generated, and 60 new clients. We want our clients to enjoy the same marketing success that we have had and are confident in inbound marketing as the best approach driving significant growth in traffic, leads and new customers.

Discovery, Analysis, and Blueprints

Who is using your site? What do your users want and expect? How well are you delivering? These are the types of questions we try to answer before beginning any kind of engagement. Our discovery and analysis toolbox is equipped with methods for prioritizing user needs, overcoming interface challenges, sorting out navigation and content dilemmas, setting and surpassing measurable marketing goals, and invigorating how your brand is presented on the web.

And, as you can probably guess by now, this is the same approach we undertake internally when redesigning or iterating our own website. We don’t believe in solutions created in a vacuum, either for ourselves or our clients, and we take the time and resources to make sure we’re designing a system that will meet current needs with the ability to scale effectively over time. Workshops, collaborative planning, white board sessions, and strategy discussions are all part of the culture at WSOL when it comes to creating our own digital blueprint.

Other agencies may suggest other options than these, and our choices are by no means the only ones out there. But when evaluating a potential agency partner that is claiming “expertise” in a certain product or practice, shouldn't you expect that they employ the same expertise for themselves? And if they don’t, why not? The best part about the philosophy of practicing what we preach is that it always drives us to look at new approaches, try new products, and figure out what works and what doesn’t. Doing it in a controlled, internal environment first means we never try it out on you, our client, before we’re sure it’s the best approach. We stand behind the strategy and work we deliver. If we didn’t, we’d be the first to suffer.

About the Author

Bill Casey
Bill Casey
Bill is the Co-Founder and CEO at WSOL. He is responsible for day to day operations, strategic planning, and guiding the vision of WSOL. You can follow him on Twitter @bcasey630.
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