Web2Expo was last week. There were a large number of startups kicking around the conference including FreshBooks, Octopz, GetSatisfaction, Aviary, ThoughtFarmer, ZeroFootprint, BrainPark and others. One very interesting story is the business development relations that Brookly-based startup Drop.io has built with Organic. AdAge has writing a great article, How Start-ups and Ad Agencies Can Collaborate, looking at the shared opportunities for Drop.io and Organic to meet the needs of customers.
This kind of collaboration between technology start-ups and ad agencies is arguably rare, but considering many media and tech start-ups are counting on advertising to be the bread and butter, they’d do well to make them more common.
I spend a lot of time at Microsoft working with both start-ups and agencies (sometimes even together). The trade rags tend to focus on the size of media buys and revenue per agency. What we forget is that agencies work for clients and brands. They are looking for cost effective tools to build unique engaging brand experiences. While the budgets roll up to very big numbers, it is the individual projects and designs that matter. Looking for opportunities to define new experiences where the agency doesn’t have to build everything from scratch. It is particularly valuable when there is a new technology or skill that doesn’t exist i house at the agency. In the case of Drop.io this technology and expertise was the iPhone. There are other technologies and expertise that are extremely important like Radian6 or Kontagent’s monitoring and conversation tracking software.
Drop.io is focusing on how it works and the functionality, and what Organic brings to it is a customer perspective. … We often brings thing to brands we think they should be doing and here there’s an opportunity for us to bring this to them and show them how they benefit.
For certain startups, agencies may be a great indirect sales channel to reach potential customers. The goal needs to be understanding how agencies can use your product and service to design, augment their offerings for clients. It’s really easy to see how GetSatisfaction could be used by an agency to help deliver better customer engagements for their brands. These relationships are just a business development tool for startups. The goal is to look for relationships where two organizations (in this case startups and agencies) that can leverage each others products a, services and expertise to help grow their business. The question for every startup is: what partnerships with service providers would provide value to the service provider like an ad agency and allow you to grow your business?