Our methodology

We like to go D-E-E-P

Marketing has never been more complex. The audiences are more fragmented and they have a lot more control over the channels and the conversation. It’s easy to chase shiny objects, execute tactics in a vacuum and burn through a lot of dollars and time. It’s pretty tough to get to your destination (goals) without a roadmap.  Okay — a GPS.

Our DEEP process defines the map and allows us to not only define where we’re headed but to also allow for the inevitable detours and deviations from the original route.  Here are the steps we take to get you where you want to go.

D – Discovery. In this phase we ask a lot of questions. We listen not only for your answers but the language that you use to talk about your work, the audiences you serve and the outcomes you deliver. At this stage, it’s our job to not only intellectually understand what you do but more importantly – why you do it and why it matters.

Depending on the resources you already have, we’ll either delve into the historical data, member conversations, etc. or we may ask to be introduced to some key players to chat with them about their perspectives.

Our focus during this stage is to make sure we’ve metaphorically walked around the issues, opportunities and needs you’ve outlined to get a 360° perspective before we prescribe solutions.

E – Explore. This is the ideation phase. Given the goals we’ll define during the discovery phase, we’ll begin to think about how to hit those targets. We will have some strong recommendations but we’ll want your input as we flesh out our ideas.

This is a little like going to the eye doctor. We’ll work together to keep evolving our thinking and ideas until it’s the 20/20 solution. We’ll go through a bit of “this one or that one” during this time period. We’ll explore the obvious and not so obvious options and no doubt surprise you once or twice along the way. From there, we use both the time frame and budget to help us make the best choices and narrow down to the most viable options.

At the end of this stage, we will have a roadmap with designated stops and milestones, timelines of how long it will take us to get to each destination and a budget for getting there.

E – Execute.  In this phase, we’d actually execute the work to completion.  We’d finalize all the deliverables and get them out into the marketplace. There will be some things on the roadmap that happen every day/week/month and others that may be once a year. All of those delivery dates will live on a master calendar and you’ll always know what is going to happen next. This is a never ending phase.  We’ll get done with some marketing elements and get started on others.  And some of the tactics (like social channels) will require constant feeding.

P – Pizzico (Italian for pinch, dash or a bit). With a nod to Drew’s Italian heritage, no matter how good the spaghetti sauce is this time around, you always want try to make it a little better next time. So you add a pinch of this or you add a dash of that.

Marketing today can’t be set it and forget it. We have to define how long we’re going to let the tactics simmer (we’ve committed so we’re going to stick out the analogy) before we taste it and how long we’re going to leave it on the stove before we decide we’d better just skip it and go out for dinner.

We’re constantly evaluating, measuring and tweaking our marketing efforts to make them better.  

Together, before we launch anything, we will define the ROI or “how we define success” metrics.  We’ll constantly be evaluating how things are going and making adjustments.  Marketing used to be static. A print ad was done or not, for example.  But today, marketing is iterative and we can’t afford to stand still for too long.

To be fair, our approach is exactly what most agencies should do/actually do.  We all have cute names for the stages but in essence we should all be following the same basic roadmap building steps. If you bump into someone who doesn’t have a way of thinking through and getting smarter before spending a lot of your money — run.

What we believe we do better/different than other agencies is how we show up in each phase.  We will ask you questions you’ve never been asked before.  We will stick our nose into every aspect of the business because it is all marketing and we will challenge assumptions and the status quo. We also bring decades of experience to the table. Odds are, you’re not facing any challenges we haven’t seen before.  But we recognize that every organization is unique and we’ll want our strategies, messaging/visuals to reflect those nuances.

We don’t spend a lot of time in the theory part of our work.  You have a finite budget and we believe it’s our job to squeeze every actionable tactic we can out of that budget. Our recommendations will match your budget and will get us executing as quickly as possible.