We Know: In today's blistering-fast world of newly-evolving software, hardware, tools, trends, topics, concepts, and practices, we are now unable to know of, experience, and master many new tools. There are simply too many. These days, we seize upon resources that offer promise, knowing that, while we take the time to learn these new tools, other potentially powerful tools will get past us. It's a given.
We Know: Our collection of resources does not likely match that of our competitors. We live knowing, while we are preparing to launch our next awesome salvo, that our competition may be unleashing something more powerful, using a tool that got past us.
We Know: Getting beaten is unacceptable. We don't get paid to be average - and we certainly don't get paid to get beaten.
So, what do we do?
We also Know: Rarely does a Marcom team do EVERYthing themselves. Most of us rely on consultants, vendors, and other topical experts from time to time.
With the increasingly abundant new tools, and the existence of highly skilled specialists, we need to become very comfortable adding and removing specialized consultants to and from our teams. Enter "The LEGO® EFFECT". You know, snap a piece in and enjoy what it does for you, then snap it out and replace it with something better.
Traditionally we've relied on long-established relationships with a small number of vendors (eg: an agency) who "got" us and who knew the (relative to today) simpler ropes. I contend that, in some cases, we now must feel very comfortable snapping in a highly capable specialist for a temporary, contracted assignment, then, upon completion, thanking them and moving on.
Good agencies still play a valuable role. I believe that retaining an overall agency may still be valid for most Marcom programs - especially if the agency is truly a leader in adopting effective skills. Even then, it is now increasingly necessary to snap in certain topical experts from time to time.
Step 1: Admit it. There is simply too much good stuff out there for any one person or team to master.
Step 2: Determine how you want to dominate your space - then find experts to snap into place, giving you the immediate expertise that you need. Work together using an achievement-specific contract.
Step 3: Be good to these specialists. Respect them and compensate them properly.
Step 4: Feel good when it is time to end the relationship and move on. It's the new way.
Thanks, John, for the thought-provoking discussion, and for keeping me on my toes.
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