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People, Technology, and the Hybrid Agency

In this blog post, we’ll be talking about different kinds of marketing agencies, and where 5 Fold stands. Read on to learn more about our vision for a Hybrid Agency and what it means for our clients—and the future.

Automation versus personalization

Generally speaking, there are two different approaches to running a marketing company. The first is to rely on automation and standardization, building a system that can provide services to many different companies at once. This type of marketing company values technology as a resource over people. In contrast, some marketing companies focus on providing highly personalized services to a small number of companies, handling everything as a custom project. As you might expect, people are more important to these companies than technology.

Both of these camps have advantages and disadvantages. An automated system can be efficient, but it can also be cold and impersonal—not to mention ineffective at growing campaigns, versus maintaining a status quo. In the same vein, a personalized approach is great for clients in some ways, but it often means the product is inconsistent and underwhelming, not to mention inefficient and, yes, very expensive for the client. In terms of cost, this kind of marketing isn’t affordable for all but the largest businesses.

Can there be a middle ground?

This brings us to 5 Fold Marketing. After years studying the marketing landscape and what other companies were doing, we’ve decided to chart a middle route between these two extremes. On one hand, our team values technology and believes that automation can create better marketing results for our clients. After all, that’s the end goal of what we do.

However, we don’t want to lose the personalized touch that a vibrant and responsive team might have. That’s why we’re also empowering the people who work here—each an expert in an individual area of your campaign—to lead the charge in implementing automated systems.

The Hybrid Agency

This intersection of people and technology will be a major theme for our company moving forward, and will drive the way we continue to grow 5 Fold and client’s campaigns alike. It’s something that we like to call the Hybrid Agency, and we’ll be focusing on this term—and the ideas behind it—in our future meetings with clients.

We’re not soothsayers or fortune tellers, and we can’t predict the future. However, we, and others in our industry, believe marketing (as we know it) is going to undergo major changes in the next decade thanks to the infusion of improving automated systems that display “artificial intelligence.” Not in the scientific definition of that term, but in that marketers are going to have access to advanced tools that can study past performance and current resources and make highly informed recommendations for output. Who knows? Perhaps a program will be capable of writing this very blog post at some point. Either way, we have to prepare for these changes.

How will this work?

Yet, to use the blog post example, there’s value to having a human (in this case, me!) working with content, reading content, editing content, and—perhaps at the point that lays beyond what automated systems will be capable of ever doing—asking the question, “Will other humans be interested in this content and find ways to engage with it?”

Here’s an example of how the Hybrid Agency might work with today’s technology. Our PPC specialist, Drew Martinez, uses a variety of automated systems—including programs such as Google AdWords—to guide our client’s campaigns to successful outcomes. In a 100 percent automated marketing company, Drew might set the system up, give it operating parameters, and let it autopilot the campaign—all before moving on to the next client. He might only pay attention to it again if the campaign fails enough to trigger an alert. In 5 Fold’s system, however, Drew will still set up that automation, but he’ll also return to it regularly to make adjustments based on how it’s performing. He’ll catch problems before they cause failures, such as the one that would trigger an alert in the purely automated system.

What does this mean for our clients?

We believe our Hybrid Agency model will deliver better results for our clients. After all, our focus has always been on combining powerful technology with great people, and, as a result, our clients have seen their campaigns grow by leaps-and-bounds. 5 Fold, too, has grown, and we’ll continue to maintain this focus even as we add new specialists, more clients, and even more effective services.

We’re excited about our direction, and we hope you are, too. Let us know what you think on social media. We’d love to hear from you and get your feedback.