Helping a marketing agency deliver marketing might seem like selling ice to the Eskimos, but hear us out.
Marketing as a discipline has evolved dramatically over recent decades, in line, of course, with the evolution of the internet and digital technology. Marketing Week has characterised the shift as one from marketing to publishing – which might seem like a misnomer until you consider that publishing simply means content generation, and the internet has enabled this to take place on a faster and vaster scale than ever before.
As such, while marketing agencies still have a significant role in generating print and other physical collateral, most have also developed digital practices. In fact, a great number of marketing agencies have emerged since this shift and operate almost exclusively in this digital space, with print media as a relatively small part of their offering. These digital practices can range from straightforward online content creation – digital advertising, emails and website content, to full-scale, complex campaigns and digital projects, necessitating expertise in fields like online lead generation and search marketing.
Perhaps the most important piece of marketing collateral for any organisation is the company website. As such, most forward-thinking marketing agencies will offer at least some website-related services, from simple copywriting and blogging, through to wholescale design and build, and ongoing marketing campaigns that drive traffic to websites.
Even these, however, have digital content creation at their core.
Front end to back end
While you’d expect any marketing agency worth its salt to be able to design a compelling website, complete with striking design, engaging and optimised content, and even a clear and logical structure and flow, far fewer marketing agencies also have the in-house skills to deliver complete technical expertise in terms of developing, hosting, scaling and supporting such a site. Their focus, quite rightly, is on the look and feel, and the content generation. But digital content needs a platform to sit on, and be hosted and sorted by; it needs a Content Management System (CMS). And while a handful of marketing agencies have developed specialist in-house departments to handle this side of digital content production, many will not have the skills in house to carry out complex back end work, or the infrastructure in place to offer comprehensive hosting and ongoing support. There could be a variety of reasons for this, from staff retention issues, to a conscious decision to focus their workforce on their core proposition.
Furthermore, a website, once built, is not static, and will require additional development and security work. In terms of ongoing marketing activity, it’s not just the initial build of a website that requires dedicated, expert CMS support. Any subsequent digital campaigns that link back to that website, whether deployed via email, social media, online advertising or even telephone, can be complicated to implement and assess. They might require whole new areas of website content such as dedicated landing pages, and they might need to seamlessly integrate with other tools, such as CRM software.
Ixis: a trusted digital partner
This is where Ixis comes in. We specialise in working with Drupal, one of the most versatile, stable and secure CMS platforms available, as well as being free from any license fees. Because it is open source, it allows for a huge amount of flexibility in terms of how websites look and behave, the additional functionality they can support and the third-party tools they plug into and integrate with. This is great news for marketing agencies, who naturally want plenty of control and input into how the websites they sell look and are navigated, and plenty of scope to be able to deliver what their clients need. Drupal also offers good mobile optimisation, and plenty of options in terms of plugging in ecommerce capabilities and numerous 3rd party marketing systems such as HubSpot, Marketo, Salesforce Pardot, Mailchimp, numerous analytics systems and similar essential marketing tools.
As such, partnering with a digital agency like Ixis is an easy and cost-effective way to add a huge amount of power and potential to your digital marketing offering. Not only does it support your content generation with sophisticated technical structure; it also opens up possibilities for developing bespoke website functionality according to your customers’ precise briefs. That, again, is the beauty of working with an open source CMS. You can tell your clients that you have an established digital partner who can be trusted to deliver the site they need, and crucially, the ongoing development, hosting and support that will ensure their website and marketing strategy can really fly.
This ongoing support for the client also serves to strengthen the link with the marketing agency. As we provide ongoing technical support for the client when the requests coming through our support desk create a need for additional design and content creation we can feed that back to the marketing agency throughout the year.
We have experience in working with some of the country’s most innovative and creative design agencies – such as Bandstand in London, who designed the Haringey Local Authority Website, while we managed the development and ongoing support of the site in Drupal. We’re always on the lookout for great new marketing and design agencies to team up with, so if you’re looking for a powerful engine to sit under your digital content, get in touch with us today.