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Why the Best Marketing Tool Isn’t One-Size-Fits-All

Why the Best Marketing Tool Isn’t One-Size-Fits-All

Clients often come to us with a specific idea in mind: a print or digital piece of content they want to create to solve a problem or fulfill a specific need. We encourage them to pause and first see what criteria they need the content to meet. Those criteria often lend themselves to a specific type of content.

We wanted to see if we could create a tool that would be helpful to our clients—a shortcut for our diverse client base to get sound content creation advice. A way to fasttrack that matching-criteria-to-content process.

At first, our idea was to create a checklist, which then evolved into a flowchart, or a “choose your own marketing adventure” of sorts.

We first sought advice from everyone in our office. We asked questions like:

We then distilled their advice and expertise in different areas (web, business development, design) into a series of questions aimed at leading our clients to specific content types. Using sticky notes, we began to color code the questions.

marketing questions on post it notes

We grappled with questions like:

Then we tried to lay out the questions in a path for clients to follow that would neatly tick off certain boxes and lead them to answers they sought. Every yellow question was met with a red “yes” or “no” answer, which led to another question or a final content solution (purple for print, teal for digital).

Then, we moved from print (sticky notes) to a digital format.

Finally, we took it back to the team for review. And that’s where things started to break down. Most questions didn’t lead to a simple “yes” or “no” switch that we could flip. And if they did, the answer didn’t lead to a specific content type. Or, the questions didn’t flow chronologically. Sometimes the same questions needed to be considered at multiple stages of the decision-making process.

When we tried to distill our advice—to follow the questions through to a specific content recommendation—we found there were just too many variables. Too many factors. Too many “but what if?” scenarios to fit into a nice, neat box.

We pondered: what was the breakdown? Clients come to us every day with content creation questions, and leave with a solution that meets or exceeds their needs and wants.

That’s when we realized—the best advice isn’t found in a can, a box, or at the end of a well-designed flowchart. In trying to create a flowchart, we almost deviated from one of our key principles: that we partner with every client to design highly-personalized integrated marketing experiences.

We believe the best marketing tool is the advice that comes from the collective knowledge of a team.

So maybe it’s not witty, it’s not shareable, and it will never become a social media sensation—but we’ll stick by it: flowcharts are fun and sometimes useful, but they can never rival the value that a face-to-face conversation can provide for your business.