Think you need a PR professional? Think again says Highland Marketing founder, Mark Venables. Smart clients are looking for “full-stack” marketers.
PR is only part of the puzzle.
Agencies that define themselves as PR specialists see everything as a PR problem. Want to accelerate sales? Do some PR. Want to build your brand? Do some PR. Want to define your next product? Do some PR. It’s like the old story about the worker with a hammer solving every problem by banging in a nail. And like in that old story, it’s an approach that’s inefficient at best and more likely misses the point altogether.
When Susan and I founded Highland Marketing we knew that PR was only part of the puzzle, and that clients needed access to a wider range of marketing services. We strongly felt that simply writing a press release and having a Rolodex of contacts wouldn’t cut it. We wanted to build a team that could think round the angles and provide a bespoke solution to a business problem.
Offering the “full stack”.
From the very beginning, Highland Marketing was designed to break out of the PR silo and operate as an integrated marketing agency. If, that sounds a bit fancy, it’s not really. What it means is looking at a client’s challenge and choosing from the full range of marketing tactics to address it.
Using an analogy from the modern software world, we were looking to offer the “full stack”. From strategic market analysis and product definition, through messaging, telling stories, and creating content, to accelerating sales, we wanted to be able to support our clients across the business cycle. We also wanted to be fast, flexible, and able to provide an agile service.
The integrated approach seemed obvious to us. It still does. If the people working on your account aren’t “full-stack”, you’re getting a less than optimal solution.
Master of none?
So maybe you’re thinking that the health tech agency that offers everything turns out to be the agency that’s average at everything.
Well, that’s not the case if they’ve got a multi-disciplinary team, if they’ve been focused on the market for over two decades, and if they’re well-connected with access to an advisory board comprising leading figures from the health tech community. That’s a combination that results in deep organisational memory – an uncanny ability to know, from experience, what does and doesn’t work.
Getting it right?
When business gets tough, it’s time for better marketing. So, when you’re selecting your next agency, look to find one that can offer a real solution, not one that will look at a business challenge through the lens of their own speciality.
Or, perhaps, just get in touch with Highland Marketing – “full-stack” marketing is our USP.