Serendipity is a funny thing.
For nearly eight years, I’ve worked on the consulting side of the advertising agency business. As Digital Director for Ignition Consulting Group, I performed agency assessments, produced live webinars on behalf of agency networks, helped develop a digital magazine for agencies, was responsible for digital marketing programs, and developed an information resource center to help agencies with positioning, agency “next-practices,” and value-based compensation.
Most recently, I launched Thought Legion, which is a webinar platform dedicated to help with agency professional development.
While at Ignition, I developed several websites and soon discovered a passion for web development and design. Maybe it was all the art classes I took growing up, or perhaps it was because I’ve always been fascinated by new technology. Whatever the case, web development marries two of my passions. Combine that with another interest of mine, psychology — which is the basis for user experience design — and you’ve got a winner.
I first heard of Newfangled about three years ago. I learned that they create conversion-driven websites for advertising and marketing agencies. Several consultants I knew were talking about them, and it seemed like both our worlds were colliding.
Increasingly I became to know the folks at Newfangled as real experts in lead development, strategic design, and the digital ecosystem — expertise that truly makes them more than just web developers.
Back to serendipity.
After completing the latest iteration of the Ignition website, I ventured into WordPress development. A few months into it, I had a phone call with a good friend who suggested that Mark O’Brien and I talk. A few months later, here I am.
How this relates to agency websites
One of the most obvious and prominent challenges I’ve seen agencies face is “digital” and how to integrate it as a core competency, rather than an area delegated to a few individuals with a technical aptitude.
We all know what “digital” is — that’s something we moved past years ago. What we could get better at, however, is how to actually use “digital” as an effective tool to generate business for ourselves (agencies). Specifically, we need to understand how to better utilize our websites.
In order to put yourself in the best possible position to market effectively in the digital space, you need the right tools, as well as the the motivation — and the discipline — to use them. A Content Management System, or CMS, is a key tool for any digital marketing initiative, and it can be utilized by anyone in the agency. If you can create a Word document, you can use a CMS.
What’s great about a CMS is that it can be made to work actively for you. It can be as simple as a frequently updated blog and portfolio, or it can be as complex as something that dynamically filters content based on each user’s interaction and past behavior. It really depends on your needs and goals, but at both ends of the spectrum a CMS is a must to create and deliver helpful content to your target audience.
Choosing a CMS
Over the course of many years, Newfangled has constructed the premier CMS for conversion-focused marketing sites, and it keeps getting better as it is continually updated and refined. It’s an incredibly sophisticated tool that packs a powerful punch, but that doesn’t mean it’s right for everyone. For example, many smaller agencies may not need all the integrated features NewfangledCMS offers.
Enter WordPress. Newfangled has developed WordPress sites in the past, but, as Mark wrote in his blog post today, we’re now making it a core offering specifically targeted to smaller agencies. In doing this, we’re allowing for a lower barrier of entry so that smaller agencies can take advantage of Newfangled’s expertise and truly transform their web presence.
The benefits are obvious. WordPress sites can be developed more quickly (because they are less specialized), can be ported over to new developers if needed, are flexible enough to fulfill most needs of smaller agencies, can include marketing automation, and of course, can be the centerpiece of a firm’s content marketing strategy.
WordPress vs. NewfangledCMS
Sites built with NewfangledCMS and WordPress are appropriate for two very different clients. If you are a larger agency and need a highly customized, tightly integrated, and seamless content creation and marketing automation platform, then NewfangledCMS is absolutely the way to go. The same goes for clients with highly specialized e-commerce needs.
However, if you are a smaller agency looking for a fairly straightforward website that isn’t as tightly integrated, or as customized in terms of marketing automation, WordPress is a great solution.
You Win Either Way
With either NewfangledCMS or WordPress, the winner is the client. That’s because, in both cases, you can feel confident that Newfangled’s expertise will drive the creation of a website that works for you.
Our full attention is directed at making sure your website helps drive leads, allows you to reach your target audience, and ultimately wins new business. This is done through the very deliberate and strategic choices we make in terms of information architecture, content marketing strategies, and marketing automation tools.
I’m excited to be working at Newfangled and offering WordPress to our clients. If you would like to chat about what WordPress can do for you, or if you’d like to get started developing a site of your own, just contact us — we’d be happy to talk.