A flipped perspective on growing business over borders

In April of this year, we relaunched Duffy Agency with our flipped agency concept. This new approach to international marketing redefines many pre-internet marketing conventions. More importantly, it provides a new agency option for companies seeking international growth. The relaunch was our first step. But, like most first steps, there was long, unsung journey leading up to our new direction. Four months on, I want to share the insights we gained during that expedition and share some initial feedback received from the market.

journey, discovery, flipped agency, relaunch, Business growth strategies

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How digitally evolved is your company?

In my post on Growth Strategy, I mentioned the various stages of digital evolution businesses have been going through. A decade ago, the link between growth and a company’s digital competence was tenuous. Because of that companies could rely on outsourced digital competence and get along fine. That’s changed.

Over the past ten years, the role and prevalence of digital in marketing has made it an integral part of growth. Today, lack of digital skills alone can grind growth to a halt and render an otherwise healthy company vulnerable to more digital savvy competitors. We’ve seen this with large companies like SearsBorders and Blockbuster. But for each one of these high profile digital disaster stories there are 10,000 companies you’ve never heard of struggling to grow with their own digital blind spot.

A recent Harris Poll underscored this problem in the US where only one in ten U.S. workers consider themselves proficient with the digital tools, no less digital strategy. In the UK, a recent survey by Lloyds Bank found that in 2015 around a quarter of all UK small to mid-sized enterprises still lacks basic digital skills like running a website, using e-commerce or maintaining a social media presence. The same report showed that companies with strong digital skills were one third more likely to see growth than their digitally-deficient counterparts. Despite that, 25% of the CEOs surveyed feel digital is irrelevant for their business. A Cap Gemini report cites 77% of companies considered missing digital skills as the key hurdle to their goals. It also reports that companies with strong digital competence are, on average, 26% more profitable than their industry competitors…

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Is It Time to Flip the Agency Model?

“I hope I have to pay you a fortune.”

A client texted me this message recently in reaction to a campaign proposal. This client is participating in a pilot project my agency started last year. We wanted to see what would happen if we flipped the traditional agency business model. In recent months, that question has been answered several times over with reactions similar to his.

The advertising agency business model is not something I’d ever given a lot of thought to until my friend Lee, one of Europe’s top corporate lawyers, asked me to explain it to him. I described how agencies pitched for business, ran projects, set prices, billed for their services, and how they were staffed. I saw a furrow cross his brow that only grew deeper the more I explained. When I finished, Lee looked at me quizzically and said, “So, let me get this straight…” What followed was an accurate paraphrasing of everything I’d just described. But, hearing it spoken back had a profound effect on me. I’d never realized how ludicrous the whole thing sounded.

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Duffy Agency Offers Companies a New Option for International Growth

March 31, 2015
BOSTON & MALMÖ, Sweden – What happens when you take the marketing industry’s business conventions and do exactly the opposite? Unconventional growth is the result, according to veteran marketer Sean Duffy. Duffy is CEO of Duffy Agency, a digital marketing firm specializing in helping companies grow internationally.

The agency is launching a service that Duffy believes can redefine the way companies buy marketing services from ad agencies, web development firms, and other marketing service providers.

The new service, called Moso Growth Program, is a marketing program that helps mid-sized businesses define and achieve ambitious three-year growth objectives. During that period Duffy Agency serves as a fully integrated extension of the client’s marketing department, providing expertise and support in strategic planning, creation of communication materials, and online management of websites, social platforms, search and social advertising and e-commerce stores.

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Getting your brand found online

There are only three ways new prospects can find your brand online, be sure to use all of them.

So you have set up a brand website with helpful content for your prospects, perhaps you have an online store, your CEO posts weekly to your thought leader blog, your brand is active on several social media sites, and you’re running a contest. Now what? You need traffic for all these different web activities to make a difference

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