A hybrid digital marketing model that blends in-house with agency capabilities
When it comes to their marketing strategies, companies have traditionally had two discrete choices: employ an agency, or put in place an in-house team. Both have their relative benefits and disadvantages, but are they the best options available?
For John Readman, CEO and Founder of Modo25 the answer is no. His business provides a middle ground between the agency and in-house model, with a hybrid approach designed to optimise a business’s marketing strategies, no matter where they are in their development.
Fixing the agency-client relationship
Readman’s belief is that when it comes to marketing, the agency-client relationship is broken. For clients, outsourcing to agencies is expensive, they don’t really understand what they’re getting in return, and – while the big bosses might put in initial efforts to secure the contract – project work will often be carried out by junior members of the team.
This typically ends in disappointment for the client and their eventual search for a different agency. It can be a vicious cycle.
However, whilst bringing a marketing team in-house is cheaper and gives companies more control, it isn’t always a viable option.
“In-housing is hard without a clear strategy,” Readman says. “Giving it to an agency is arguably easier but it is expensive, there’s a lack of trust, there’s a lack of visibility and you are not in control of your own data.”
The best of both worlds
Modo25’s business model aims to fix this by blending the best bits of in-house and agency operations.
“We go in to a business and set a marketing strategy,” says Readman, “then we help them execute it. What does this look like in practice? We recruit for them, we train their team, their team could work with us for a while and then move over…”
“For example, with one particular retailer, we are going to recruit two people who will be in our office for six months, but they will actually work and be paid for by the client. We will do all their training, then they will work part-time in our office and the client’s office, before finally going full time into the client’s office.”
“The key advantage with this is that they can call our team if they have a question. We want to recreate the benefit of having that network you’d get from an agency, with the bonus of having your marketing team sat in your office. So far the feedback on this model has been really good.”
Demystifying internet traffic
Another of Modo25’s aims is to tackle companies’ dependence on Facebook and Google, which dominate global advertising spends.
“Buying Google clicks is the done thing, but we need to ask whether or not it is the right thing,” Readman says. “So my question is, what is the right thing? If I’m a marketer, where should I be spending my money, and how do I know this with any confidence?”
The answer, as with so much of today’s digital economy, lies in the data.
“Companies arguably have too much data, so it becomes really difficult to interpret,” says Readman. “We want to educate the C-suite about the key metrics that are driving online performance. To inform them about what profiles of spending look like so they can make better decisions, and challenge the norm.”
“Our technology platform, Bosco, demystifies where a company’s internet traffic comes from. We will be able to run live simulations and forecasts with that data, to enable executives to make better decisions. It’s all about helping people understand which metrics are the important ones to drive their company forward based on their business objectives.”
What’s in a name?
Another notable characteristic about Modo25 is the company’s commitment to purposeful business. This takes the form of paying London wages in Leeds, a four day working week, and the donation of yearly profits to both a local charity and an orphanage in Uganda.
This is what gives the company its name, with the eponymous Modo a nine year old girl living in an orphanage in Jinja, Uganda.
“Long-term we want to build a development centre next to the orphanage so when the kids leave school we can also give them a job,” Readman says. “There’s a real opportunity there to make a difference to the world.”
“Our business is people first, purpose first. And so far that seems to be going down quite well, people get it.”
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