Turning to Gold
I was watching ‘Art & Copy’ last night, an interesting documentary by PBS. There’s a section about how Bill Birnbach revolutionized the advertising industry at the end of the 1950's, dominating the market. Here are a few quotes from former employees.
Mary Wells: You would tell people you worked at Birnbach and people looked at you as if you’d suddenly turned to gold.
How did he do it?
Jim Durfee: Bill Birnbach added an entirely new creative force to advertising by putting the art-director in the same room as the copywriter… Birnbach said ‘Hey, art director, meet copywriter; copywriter, meet art director. You guys work it out together.’
The moral of the Birnbach story is that close-collaboration, and the seamless interpenetration of different parts of the marketing process leads to exponentially accelerated efficiencies.
In other words: teamwork works.
Listening to the story of Birnbach made me think about how my two favorite companies in Indianapolis work together. They’re my favorite companies because they both write my paychecks. That is to say, I work for them. They are successful, in part, because they work for each other.
Slingshot SEO & SmallBox Web Designs
Slingshot and SmallBox kicked off another joint-effort to deliver digital relevance for one of the deserving brands on SmallBox’s client-roster yesterday. Having the special distinction of being the only person so far who is simultaneously employed by both companies, I thought I’d write a post about their long and fruitful relationship today.
SmallBox and Slingshot showed up on the Indianapolis scene at about the same time, and we’ve been collaborating since the beginning. We almost think of ourselves as being sister-companies. Or blood-brothers. Blood sisters? At any rate…
Specializing in different areas, Slingshot and SmallBox realized early on that collaborating would be more helpful to both of us—and to our clinets—than competing. Nothing wrong with competition, but in this case collaboration has catalyzed growth for both of us. Working full-time at Slingshot while contracting at SmallBox, I am sort of a special beneficiary of this happy complementarity.
‘Wax Onsite, Wax Offsite’: The Yin & Yang of Search Engine Optimization
We all remember this classic scene from Karate Kid:
The same principles apply to Search Engine Optimization, with some modification: wax onsite, wax offsite, repeat…
So: there’s offsite Search Engine Optimization and onsite Search Engine Optimization—two different pieces of the marketing puzzle. A robust internet marketing plan will usually include both, usually with some Pay Per Click, Social Media Marketing, and ongoing Conversion Rate Optimization thrown in. Your marketing strategy is like your stock portfolio: pretty much everyone will agree that you should diversify your portfolio.
Each prong of your marketing strategy will feed into, and enhance all the others. SmallBox is a company that’s specialized in—among other things—managing and leveraging the interplay between all aspects of your marketing portfolio, and executing most parts of it, including the all-important foundation: building a great website.
Slingshot SEO is a company that’s specialized in one aspect of the marketing process: offsite SEO. This is the part of your portfolio is, to some extent, the wiliest. But it’s also one of the most important components, and the most difficult to execute effectively while multi-tasking. While the proportions always sway back and forth, offsite indicators of relevance remain one of the key ranking factors for search engines, especially for your most competitive keywords.
Offsite SEO eats up time and effort and consumes the attention. That’s why Slingshot SEO specializes in this area: so that company’s like SmallBox can devote their human resources to where they'll be most effective. Slingshot fills a whitespace in the internet marketing industry by focusing on the trickiest aspect of the puzzle. That’s why SmallBox is always glad to partner with Slingshot. Slingshot’s definitely distinguished themselves as the best-in-breed in the offsite arena, so when SmallBox enters into a joint effort with Slingshot they can breathe a sigh of relief, knowing that everything is in good hands, and is under control.
And Slingshot is always glad to return the favor, by sending SmallBox clients who need to invest in a robust, and diversified marketing portfolio before and/or during the time that they’re rolling out their offsite campaign.
But our partnership goes deeper than referrals. It’s kind of like vertically integrated manufacturing. Or like producing an opera. Jacques Ibert, the 19th century French composer, once said that he dreamed of “a collaboration that would finally be total, where the librettist would think like a composer and the composer would know how to think like a librettist.” Strip out the terms composer and librettist, and replace them with onsite and offsite SEO and—you get the point.
Slingshot SEO and SmallBox look forward to many more years of partnership and collaboration. And I look forward to many more years feeding at both troughs.