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October 2014
Issue: February 1, 2010

SWOT: VALUE-ADDED SOLUTIONS

By: Harvey Wolfe
STRENGTHS: We ostensibly pitch production services to clients based on our track records, but added value in the way of strategic insight often closes the deal. The ability to add value in what might be considered non-traditional forms often brings a fresh voice to the mix. This perspective is greatly appreciated and represents an opportunity to add an additional benefit to the table. The term “exceeding expectations” has become a cliché, but this is one of those situations where it is truly possible.

WEAKNESSES: Organizations are often enthralled by new technology that enables neophytes to produce what appears on the surface to be very sexy, very sophisticated production elements. More often than not, these productions ultimately communicate objectives poorly and can even threaten the value of hard-earned brand equity.

OPPORTUNITIES: Many organizations have to operate with thinned-out teams and often don’t have the depth of experience or even the capacity to tackle lofty objectives. We go in and have gotten adept at recognizing weaknesses and unseen opportunity. This gives us the ability to come back, share our observations and present solutions that deal with the weaknesses, showcase the opportunities, and can often be built into our packages as added value. This has lead to long-term relationships with numerous clients.

THREATS: The current struggling economy has clients looking for solutions to cut corners and may cause them to gravitate towards in-house, no-cost solutions that they believe will fulfill marcom objectives. In sales-driven organizations these inexpensive solutions will take hold even more if the phantom economic recovery continues to affect their ability to generate sufficient revenue. It is hoped (and with some encouragement) they will note the gains being made by competitors who do not look at the creation of compelling marketing tools as a cash drain but as a direct link to greater profits.

Harvey Wolfe is the President of Cause and Effect Communications, Inc., in Toronto (www.causeandeffect.ca). Cause and Effect focuses on providing production services to a range of international for-profit and not-for-profit organizations.