Post Digital, Agencies Still Working In Silos

Who's doing what?

Who's doing what?

I’m sure it happened to Most General Market Agencies.  Their client asked them to build a website, which they did, and spend considerable amounts of money and billable man-hours doing so. But once it was built, did the traffic come? Of course not! They did not have a strategy to drive traffic to them.

In their eagerness to get into the digital space, while they built the website they forgot (or didn’t know) that without a strategy to drive traffic to it nobody was going to show up.  Even a hefty digital media buy can hardly be called a strategy to drive traffic to the website.  At best, it’s a strategy to buy visitors- or likes- but alone it is hardly worth the cost per acquisition. This created a lot of problems for the agency, for the client and for the industry as a whole.  Especially for Hispanic Marketing Agencies, since, running a few years behind General Marketing agencies, when we propose building a website for our clients, the inevitable response comes in the form of a question: “If we build it, will they come?”

Unfortunately, too many Hispanic Agencies are not prepared to say “Not without a strategy (to drive traffic) which is as follows:  We’ll build the website around your conversion goals, then will optimize each page for SEO, leveraging one or two keywords that we’ve research for each page. Then, we’ll develop a content plan and calendar plus a Blogging schedule, all of which will help us drive traffic to the site organically.  We’ll definitely leverage any traffic we can get from slapping our URL on traditional media tactics and combine it with a digital media buy along with an AdWords campaign with carefully crafted ads around our most valuable keywords, starting with the ones with the lowest competition and the highest search volume.  As our search rankings start to improve, we’ll start aiming for the more competitive and higher search volume keywords until we are well into the top of the first or second page results, at which point, we’ll keep defending that ranking with fabulous and engaging content marketing on twitter, facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and our blog.

“Whoa!”  The client will say. “What does all this has to do with driving traffic to my site and who is to pay for all of it?” And therein lies the problem. Without a doubt, sometimes the problem is the budget for Hispanic Digital Marketing.  The client only has the money to pay for the creation of the website (the car) but not for generating traffic (the gas).  The Hispanic Agency then falls for the trap, lured by the opportunity to get into the digital space (and the additional SOW, and builds the website anyway, either by sourcing it out, or by hiring people to do it internally with the hopes that other clients will ask them to build a website for them as well). But, regardless of how cool and pretty the site looks, without a strategy to drive traffic, it really is all a waist of the client’s money and, while the agency got to build the website, charge a fair amount of money for it, and added it to their reel, their reputation as a Digital-capable marketing agency will suffer.

How did this happen?  Clients have websites for their General Market audiences and, surely they have a strategy for driving traffic to them.  So, why would the Hispanic Brand Manager not know that without a strategy to drive traffic to the site,- other than a digital media buy- hardly anyone will show up? My guess is because the Hispanic Brand Manager is working in a silo from his counterpart on the General Market, one who is more experienced and familiar (since he learned the ropes a few years back) on the process of digital marketing and what it takes to drive traffic to a site in cyberspace, where millions of sites are competing for the same online traffic. 

It never seizes to amaze me that exists inside a client’s marketing department just because one group works on multi-cultural while the other works on the General Market, missing great opportunities for synergy and the lessons learned by the General Market team.

I’m Lalo Wakfield, a Freelance Hispanic Creative Director and Hispanic Marketing Consultant, digital or traditional, ready to help your agency get into the Hispanic space or the digital arena

Lalo Wakefield