Today as I popped off on Twitter about the number of calls I get from vendors trying to sell me the latest and greatest in social media monitoring tools, my friend and YouTube superstar Tay Zonday put forward an interesting tidbit. He responded by saying:
Tay makes a great point and I agree – mostly. Having worked with vendors and agencies on both the public relations and social media side, some of them provide great guidance, strategic counsel and enable great execution.
On the other hand, it’s like the Wild West right now with this stuff. For someone like me in the corporate environment, it’s hard to filter through the Johnny-Come-Lately and the actually valuable providers. Whether it’s measurement or design, everyone has a solution. It’s gotten so bad that I get about 15-20 solicitations per day plus another two dozen that comes through our administrative assistants in the office. It’s overwhelming and I can’t help but think I am missing good stuff in with all of the garbage.
Zonday’s point about not needing the “chauffeur” agency also got me to think more about it. The reality is buying ads on Facebook, Google, or Twitter really doesn’t require agency help. They’re making it easy to do business directly with them which saves companies and clients money. At the same time, those agencies still provide value in other ways – particular with TV advertising and other opportunities. They’re still very relevant and I believe in continuing to foster those relationships.
When it comes to digital and social media, the landscape has changed. Why pay someone else to do what I can for less and more effectively?
Agencies are still incredibly valuable for strategic vision and to help execute large and impactful programs. I believe in continuing to work with them as my agency continues to help make my programs better. Still, the relationship is changing and they must too.
As for all of these vendors with the latest and greatest in the social world, you need to do something to differentiate yourself. If not, I’ll continue to decline and screen my calls. Remember, I have a job to do.