There have been a lot of changes over the past few years at Newfangled. In 2010, just about the only thing you could hire us to do was build a website. Since then, we’ve seen the set of components that constitute a “website” become considerably more complex.
One of the things I quite enjoy about the industry we’re in is that the pace of change in marketing technology creates its own momentum, and both Newfangled and our clients benefit from that.
For example, responsive design went from not really existing in a practical sense in 2011 to being an obligatory part of any new site build in 2013. As developers, we like this. It obviously means more work for us, but it also means that we’re building a better product that has a greater opportunity to create success for our client.
CRM — and specifically the integration of Salesforce — is another example. Chris Butler and I co-wrote a newsletter a few months ago on the present and future of the web. In it, we make the claim that the marketing website as it has existed since 1995 is no longer relevant and, as a result, we don’t build websites anymore — we build Lead Development Ecosystems.
We didn’t make this move to be semantically annoying, we did it because it’s the truth. The Ecosystem, which is the integration of a website, CRM, and marketing automation tool (MAT), can do all sorts of critical marketing activities that a standalone website has never done and will never do. If we want to create sites for our clients that have a significant and measurable impact on their business, we have to build them in this way.
CRM is one of the 3 components of the Ecosystem, and Salesforce is the most widely adopted CRM by a longshot. The trouble is, most of the agencies and agency clients we work with haven’t used Salesforce before, and those who have used it have typically underutilized it.
We have the other two parts of the Ecosystem covered — we’re of course building sites for our clients, and at the beginning of this year we started offering a Marketing Automation installation, integration, training, and consulting package as part of our standard site build. Much like responsive, our Marketing Automation services have gone from being nonexistent to becoming an almost essential aspect of each site we build.
When we were conceiving of our MAT offering this time last year, we assumed that our clients would be able to get Salesforce setup and running on their own, and we could then make sure their Salesforce instance was integrated with the site and MAT properly.
It turns out we were quite wrong, and I should have known better.
The reason is that I wasn’t able to set up our own Salesforce instance on my own. We had Salesforce installed for many months, probably even quarters, before I started to use it properly, and Salesforce is one of those things that needs to be used properly or not at all. You can’t use it halfway.
The thing that got me on track with Salesforce had nothing to do with me at all; I had proven a few times over that I wasn’t able to make sense of Salesforce on my own. What got me, and Newfangled, over the Salesforce hump was our Resourcer, Lindsey Barlow.
Lindsey was interested in Salesforce and we decided to invest in having her go through the rather rigorous and expensive training necessary to become a certified Salesforce administrator. Once she completed that training, we were able to sit down and go through a series of meetings during which she trained me on Salesforce and learned about how I sell and manage my leads, contacts, opportunities, and pipeline. After those meetings, Lindsey set up our Salesforce instance and created a dashboard based on how I process Newfangled’s sales activity. As soon as I saw and started using the dashboard Lindsey created for me, I was completely hooked — and, much to my surprise, actually fell in love with Salesforce. Everything made sense as of that moment. Lindsey and I continued to have a couple of follow-up meetings to get things dialed in just right, but for the most part I was off and running after those first few meetings.
Once I saw that our clients were having the exact same struggles I’d had getting started with Salesforce, it was an easy decision to start offering Salesforce consulting services. The program we’ve put together is run by Lindsey, our in-house Salesforce admin, and it almost exactly mirrors the steps she walked me through in setting up our Salesforce instance.
If you’re interested in learning more about the offering, we’ve put together a simple overview that you can download.
I’m excited that Newfangled has been able to grow in the ways it has to meet the needs of our clients as the digital marketing landscape has become more complex, and I’m looking forward to finding new ways to help our clients get the most out of their web ecosystem.