The Adversity of Diversity: The Difficulty of Serving Clients’ Varying Needs

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Local businesses have diverse needs, and sometimes those needs shift at the drop of a dime. Over time, business owners will try a variety of strategies and tactics to expand their profits. In some cases, digital media has been on their road map for years, but other times, they’ve suddenly realized they need to maintain their social media, clean up their listings and respond to customer reviews.

But it isn’t always as simple as that. What do you do when a client needs something you don’t offer? And how do you identify these needs before they become a lost sale?

You first have to identify three factors:

  1. Time: How much extra time are they willing to dedicate to their digital presence?
  2. Expertise: How much do they know about the digital space?
  3. Budget: How much of their budget have they allocated to digital?

The answers to these questions will help you determine a local business’ preferred level of service—Do It Yourself (DIY), Do It For Me (DIFM) or Do It With Me™  (DIWM™).

DIY: Lots of time, lots of expertise, small budget

On top of working 50+ hours a week, 43% of local business owners spend 6+ hours promoting themselves on social media—that’s over 300 hours a year. These go-getters are willing to work longer hours because they want to increase revenue without setting aside a huge budget for digital.

Just like DIY home renos, DIYers know what they’re doing (or they’ll figure it out one way or another), and they’ll work hard to achieve it so they can keep costs down.

DIFM: Inadequate time, inadequate expertise, large budget

While DIY tools are great for some local businesses, many want someone to take care of their digital marketing for them. They might not have the time or knowledge to sustain their online presence. That’s where Do It For Me and Do It With Me services come in handy.

Would you take several weeks off to build a house? Do you even know how to build a house? Maybe you should just pay an expert to do it for you, because it fits your budget (and you’d rather avoid the opportunity costs). The downside is that DIFM services can sometimes lack true authenticity if the messaging isn’t bang on. For example, a post to social media might noticeably be from a different company. It’s like making the same sandwich for your kids’ lunch every day, and then one day you buy one from the store—they might throw it out in disgust because no one makes sandwiches like you. That brings us to DIWM.

DIWM: Moderate time, moderate expertise, medium budget

The Do It With Me model is about collaborating with local businesses on a level everyone is comfortable with. This is where digital agents do the digital heavy-lifting that businesses don’t want to worry about, like correcting listings, monitoring reviews and posting to social media. This helps local businesses piggyback off of your agency’s time and expertise, meanwhile staying involved and keeping costs down. It’s like working with a contractor to build your house—the expertise is there when you need it.

DIY, DIFM and DIWM businesses have unique needs. Identify each business’ time, expertise and budget so you can get them the level of service they need. And if you have the capacity, try creating vertical-specific teams to better serve your DIFM and DIWM™ clients.


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Blair Nordstrom

Blair is a Product Marketing Specialist at Vendasta and a connoisseur of all things digital marketing.