How Rogue Thinks: Strategy Trumps Tactics

Agencies are all the same. Or so you may believe.

It’s easy to see why. The language is often consistent. Websites promote seemingly identical services and approaches. Information sources and tools may seem similar.

But in the end, it’s not a common language and toolset that will determine outcome… it’s application. It’s perspective… and attentiveness… and grit… and hustle… and finding a whitespace… and…

To say that all agencies are the same is to sell the “Rogue Way” short.

Sometimes it’s hard to tell just what you do that’s different. It’s easier for the Rogue team to see it in the clients we consult… but harder to see in ourselves. It’s just what we do… and how we do it. And doesn’t everyone do it that way?

In short, no.

agency typesRogue has seen that there are two kinds of agencies: tactical and strategic. The agencies you come in contact with follow somewhere on that spectrum leaning more heavily one way than the other. Both can be very valuable.

A tactical agency is built on – and great at – the thing they were founded on. And that skillset is the thought process they come at problems from. If you meet a creative agency that appreciates experience and design and aesthetics, even when they branch out, the answer in most situations will return to creative design. It’s how they’re wired. With a paid media agency, the answer is paid media. SEO agency? Optimizing key words and building backlinks.

All those things have a place. And Rogue believes in all those things to be sure. But a short conversation with a client really revealed an interesting perspective of what separates our strategy agency from the others.

She said, “Rogue is more than our digital agency, they’re our business strategy partner.” 

Here’s what happened. Our calendars said 2017 Health System Planning Session:

calendar 

That’s what was expected.

But a few weeks prior and unbeknownst to the client, Rogue was interested in the market and how it was performing. What market factors were shifting and impacting the industry overall? What happened this current year with respect to acquisition and consolidation? Where were media allocations being spent with respect to brand building vs lead generation?

You might expect that those would be typical activities of a digital marketing agency. That’s true. But where we believe the conversation shifted is in applying business principles of finance and operations to a forecasting and utilization story. Here’s what we did:

  • Analyzed the most recent annual report of the largest competing system in the D/FW metroplex
  • Compared data provided by the local and state government
  • Determined total universe and available universe available to determine possible patient population
  • In addition, we also analyzed growth patterns and market conditions to determine our channel mix optimization for the coming year

To be a tactical agency has become plug and play. Collect a budget and spread that across Facebook, Google, and display… the end results simply determined by being in front of as many people as possible that meet your target audience.  Sounds good until you realize what the other approach can be…

The Rogue Way, on the other hand, is to reverse engineer out attention and intent to determine the proper sequence of channel, platform, and message.

There’s a time and a place for both strategic and tactical agencies. If you just need the absolute best SEO shop, you might be looking for a tactical agency. If you just need a team that can pump out piece after piece of content to fit inside your existing approach, you’ll do well to find a tactical agency that does THAT and does that well.

BUT if you have a more integrated outcome you need to achieve… If you’re not interested in a “set it and forget it” team… If you want to be learning and getting stronger with each agency meeting you have… then you’ll be delighted at the difference a Rogue strategy team will make. This client was.