Panoptic Online Marketing celebrates a very special anniversary this month: it’s been one year since we teamed up with Kathy Estadt of Fresh Focus Group, our sales and marketing partner agency based in Daphne, Alabama. With a background in strategic planning, new product development, brand management and advertising, Kathy rounded out Panoptic’s capabilities nicely, providing insights that give our technical SEO and PPC staff a richer, more informed foundation on which to build online marketing strategies and execute plans for Kathy’s local clients.
Over the last year, Panoptic and Fresh Focus Group have undertaken a number of website redesigns and SEO contracts that have resulted in larger and more frequent sales and better lead capturing for clients in a variety of industries. By teaming up early in the process, our combined resources give our clients the benefit of start-to-finish expertise: Kathy defines the strategy and sketches out the marketing plan; Panoptic’s team develops the plan from an SEO perspective, then executes and works with both Kathy and her clients month after month to keep everything moving in the right direction.
As Panoptic started outgrowing its capacity to take on new blogging and social media projects (research and writing are time consuming!) we enlisted the services of Rose de Fremery of Lowercase d to step in and help us produce and deliver great content for our own monthly retainer clients. Rose is a multi-talented writer with a background in educational technology, but it’s her ability to expand our clients’ target audiences over different social media channels that have most impressed us.
We’d previously tried to outsource blogging and social media to third-parties without much success. The difference between working with a freelance writer or social media manager and having a real strategic partner is vast, and the reason is not totally surprising. Where a freelance writer is primarily interested in delivering an assignment on deadline, a partner is an integral part of the planning and stays abreast of progress and/or obstacles we may be facing with respect to other aspects of the overall online marketing plan.
The upshot is – when you partner with people, you learn and grow from the natural exchange of knowledge and ideas that occurs over the course of any client engagement. You are exposed to different approaches to problem solving, learn about and gain access to new technology and tools, and start to refine your respective internal processes in a way that benefits everyone – especially the clients.
For Panoptic, this model for growth through partnering is one that has been working well for us. Our latest partnership exploration is happening with Peter Sikes of Shoreline Pixels, a certified Google Street View photographer, who has been working with small business clients up and down the Connecticut coastline to help them improve their web presence. We can’t know where this new venture will take us, but there doesn’t seem to be a downside to these sorts of arrangements. More and more clients are coming to accept that a single agency isn’t necessarily equipped to handle every sort of marketing challenge and welcome the additional value our partner agencies bring to every project.