As one of the leading digital marketing agencies in Washington, we get called in by a variety of prospective clients to discuss their needs. These clients are corporations selling to business, selling to government, or selling to consumers, and even associations and other industry organizations with unique audiences. Invariably they hone in on their target audience and want to see recent examples of work we have done for similar clients with similar targets. In other words, if they are selling directly to consumers, they want to see consumer case studies.

The more work we do across different industries and types of clients the more I am convinced that the question people should be asking is not have you done something similar for another client, but what are examples where you combined your creativity and ability to drive a unique message into a specific market. Let’s face it… a business buyer has a lot of similarities to a typical consumer buyer and the lines have blurred. They do a lot of research on their own, they want to read the reviews and see what other like-minded people think of the product or service, and they expect to engage with your brand in a unique, differentiated manner in order to take action. While the channels to reach them may be different and therefore the message needs to be able to translate easily, they want to be wowed with your product or service and they want to make sure you are addressing their needs.

Business and consumer buyers react to a strong message, delivered with impact in a creative way. They require multiple interactions. They are smart. They expect you to speak to them.

Now don’t get me wrong – consumer buyers are traditionally more emotional than business buyers, and business buying cycles are generally longer. I could write a similar post about the differences between the two. But as the world of marketing evolves and buyers have the power in their hands, the lines are clearly blurring.

So the next time you ask your agency for similar examples of client projects, maybe the better question to ask is “what examples can you share to demonstrate your passion and creativity to address a unique challenge.” The way the agency responds to this question, no matter their previous expertise or client projects, should go a long way in helping you decide on an agency partner.

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