Success Is An International Language - But Be Careful What You Wish For

We're a new agency/consultancy, and so are incredibly hungry for new business and keen to prove successes.

We're not afraid to say that we deliver success and that success has afforded us the opportunity to wedge our proverbial foot into the doors of some national and international businesses (i.e. potential clients).

Initially pitches to this kind of business were traditionally attended by marketing team members who - while incredibly personable and skilled in their area of expertise - were not decision makers.

Our approach to all projects has always been driven not by financial gain, but by the quest for credence; the kind of credence that case studies involving multinationals invariably brings and (fairly or not) accelerates. The highly analytical, statistical and results driven approach we take to all of our projects has thankfully delivered buy in from said decision makers, and we now find c-level executives frequently attend status updates and sit in on conference calls - which is great.

On occasion however we now find it necessary to manage the expectations of decision makers who have 'over bought' into the power of social media.

This time last year a client of ours spent five figures on an advert in The Times newspaper (print edition). We squirmed, but we not in a position to object - but we did advise to the contrary. Predictably kudos far outweighed returns and no more was said.

A year on and that client has commendably wholly embraced our social media recommendations, and we have seen (in a matter of weeks) a 300% upturn in web inquiries. It should be mentioned at this point that the decision makes at this particular business are smart as hell, and have built and sold businesses successfully for 20 years or more; they could run rings around us in terms of start up and exit strategies.

Problem is, they were caught out - victims of their own success, unaware of just how quickly the seismic shift in marketing was happening. True to form though, they soon caught up, and we now find ourselves bang in the middle of a very successful social media strategy that is delivering beyond exceptions.

Those expectations have now risen beyond recognition, and we are really being pushed to deliver again and again via social media initiatives. That's great, and widgets and apps are definitely on the horizon. It's refreshing to see such a shift in thinking - but it definitely keeps us on our toes. That's something we never thought would happen a year ago but it just goes to show... be careful what you wish for!

Paul Shepherd

I've worked in digital communications for around 15 years, and specialised in social media for the past three. Passionate about new technologies, media, and the impact it has on businesses bottom line, I try to bring that passion to every campaign for every brand we work with.