All Under One Roof: Reassuringly Expensive

Solspace developers are specialists in reliability. We make sure your Craft CMS website continues to make you money reliably over a long period of time. We have specific areas of expertise that support this outcome for our clients.

We're not a hosting company, though we consistently work well with trusted web hosting providers. We're not a web design company, though we consistently work well with trusted web design partners. We're not a digital marketing company, though we work well with those folks too. And if you’re looking for Marketing Strategy, we can help by providing what we call Web Reliability Strategy, planning web initiatives that drive consistent revenue growth on your site. But that does not mean we are a market positioning strategy company, or marketing strategists.

Though we sometimes still encounter prospective clients looking for a single source solution, as we did yesterday, we see fewer and fewer customers insisting on keeping all of their digital marketing under one roof. It may be partly due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, but it seems the one-stop-shopping concept has turned into vaporware.

What you really want in digital marketing are colleagues, partners with specialized expertise who can come together to get something done at a high level with deep expertise and then disband when their work is done. You don't need them under one roof. You don't need a dedicated team perpetually obsessing about your brand. You need expert craftspeople to align for a few months to establish a clear plan to achieve your goals. Execute it successfully. Then get out of the way.

So why does the 'all under one roof' idea still persist? Uncertainty is the answer.

We sometimes talk with prospective clients who are comparing their existing Craft CMS site with a shiny new global business application being pitched to them by a professional sales team. These all-in-one business suites promise to address all of your problems at once and fold all solutions into a single turn-key offering. They assure you that digital marketing, e-commerce, fulfillment, CRM, CMS, taxation, and accounting can be successfully and reliably managed with one behemoth application. And the prospective clients seem to believe in it because it is very expensive, certain and promises to fix everything. It’s reassuringly expensive. This is just as nonsensical as the 'all under one roof' idea. Both of these suffer from the same essential flaw in logic. They are not actually solutions for getting all of the work done as well as possible. But they do address a more fundamental problem that’s on the customer’s mind - uncertainty.

The client I was speaking with yesterday was a digital marketing lead at a healthcare start-up. When I was preparing for our phone call I read the “About” section of their website. It was as vague as anything I've ever read. I truly had no clue what the company did. Neither did the marketing director I spoke with.

He sure was a nice person. But he was laboring under the weight of the kind of uncertainty that always seems to plague startups, with such a long list of issues to address that he just desperately craved a single solution to put an end to his pain. This type of problem is especially bad among funded startups as opposed to boot-strapped endeavors. My prospective client needed a single agency to own his entire digital marketing problem because he needed to pass all of the uncertainty of his startup universe off to someone else.

I've been at this for more than 20 years. I know one thing for sure. At some point someone has to take a stand and declare what the marketing position of a business is and where it's headed. There's no substitute for that clarity. And in fact, it's such a central thing to a business that it must be owned in-house, from the top, all the way down. You can't outsource the fundamental activity of knowing your customer and positioning an offering that attracts them.

My company’s chosen approach is to embrace uncertainty. We openly acknowledge that it cannot be avoided and must be confronted with systems and processes that chip away at it, breaking the uncertainty into smaller pieces that can be defined and worked on in a reliable manner. This approach means we embrace utilizing an engaged network of experts. This approach means we work without one roof over everyone’s heads. Embracing uncertainty and assembling the right team to address it has kept all of us working to our strengths, and resulted in success for us and our clients.