The other day, my boss handed me a recent AdAge article by B.L. Ochman titled Two Questions Every Marketer Should Ask Its Social-Media Agency. He didn’t say anything but he had a smile on his face as he laid the article on my desk. The reason for the smile? B.L.’s two questions 1) Do they [the agency] walk the walk? and 2) do they have case studies were squarely in Powered’s wheelhouse when it came to prospecting for new customers.
Addressing B.L.’s first question, one of my top three priorities as the CMO of Powered is “walking the walk” or getting the company to eat its own dogfood. We blog (as evidenced here and on Powered’s blog), we podcast, we engage in Twitter, etc. and not just infomercial style. We also speak at quite a few different events (social and marketing focused) and webcast. For this reason, we can feel comfortable preaching to our clients that “content is king” and that “giving before you get” has a huge impact on a client’s return on investment.
As for B.L.’s second point, we are also big believers in case studies. To that end, we’ve worked hard with our customers like Sony and HP to come up with relevant write ups spelling out methodology and results. In the cases of Sony and HP, we were fortunate enough to have our numbers validated by MarketingProfs — in the first instance via a third party interview with our client at Sony, in the second, our client at HP actually co-presesented their results (key slide below).
In addition to liking B.L.’s Ochman’s two questions for the reasons I spelled out above, her article also got me thinking about how these questions are in some ways the equivalent of Fred Reichheld’s now famous and widely used Net Promoter Score (NPS). If you’re not familiar with NPS, it suggests that a barometer for any company’s customer satisfaction should come down to one question i.e. “How likely is it that [your customer] would recommend [your] company to a friend or colleague?” If marketers start thinking this way when chosing a partner to help them with “social”, knowing if the social media agency has in depth knowledge through practical application AND past success stories with clients seems pretty straightforward.
What do you think? Is this a good measure of a company’s social media chops? If not, what else is missing? Or do you agree with Chris Brogan who feels like companies may be missing the boat by focusing too much on case studies?