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Marketing Agency vs. Marketing Consultant: Which is Better for Project Managers?

marketing agency vs marketing consultant

Jaron Soh is Co-founder and COO at Traktion, the platform that makes hiring for growth simpler, agile, and more profitable for businesses.

According to a recent survey by The Digital Project Manager, the two biggest project management challenges of 2020 can be neatly summarised as people problems and project problems.

If that sounds a little vague, let’s get specific. 27% of those surveyed experienced challenges with their project stakeholders (i.e. people), while 24% encountered challenges with budgets and deadlines (you guessed it, project).

Thinking about this within the context of a marketing project, it’s easy to get distracted by those project-related concerns, wondering: “How do I deliver this on time and on budget?”

Well, here’s the thing… In my experience, you’re asking yourself the wrong question.

When it comes to marketing, don’t focus solely on the “how”; make sure you look at the “who”, too.

There’s a people problem to overcome. Ask who you should use to help deliver your marketing project on time and on budget; a solo marketing consultant, or a full-blown marketing agency? To answer that, you need to understand how they differ from one another, and the scenarios in which to use them.

In this Process Street post, we help you do just that. Here we explore:

Ready? Let’s dive in.
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Human Capital Theory: Still Relevant or Woefully Outdated for Our Knowledge Economy?

Human Capital Theory Still Relevant or Woefully Outdated for Our Knowledge Economy

“Our human capital stock is ready to go back to work.” – Kevin Hassett

In May 2020, White House advisor Kevin Hassett drew public ire by referring to the American workforce as “human capital stock.” US Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez asserted the term was not only outdated but inherently racist.

This raised a very important question for employers: How do you measure the output of your employees without treating them like cattle?

In addition to questions about the potential for dehumanizing employees, contemporary theorists question whether or not human capital theory – a product of the mid-20th century manufacturing economy – still has a place in our 21st-century knowledge economy.

In a knowledge economy, an employee’s output is intellectual rather than physical. Human capital theory originated during what is considered a manufacturing economy. As a result, it’s optimized for measuring physical output.

At a clothespin factory, a worker’s productivity is judged by how many pins they produce a day. There’s an established length of time it should take to make a faultless pin. That pin is an example of physical output. At the end of the day, you can count that worker’s pins and have a fairly good idea of their productivity.

A knowledge worker, however, doesn’t produce physical output; a knowledge worker produces intellectual output. I’ll go into this in more detail further on, but – in terms of human capital theory – the question is: how do you know how many “pins” a knowledge worker makes per day?

Obviously, knowledge workers are still given a wage, generally factored according to their value to the company (experience, education, etc.); in other words, using the principles of human capital theory.

But is this an accurate reflection of that employee’s worth? Are knowledge workers being undervalued because their productivity isn’t linked to the number of hours they work? Should intellectual and physical output still be measured on the same scale? Can they be weighed by the same scale?

More to the point, if human capital theory has outlived its usefulness, what language should we be using to describe an employee’s value? Is it fair to consider employees part of a company’s assets?

In this Process Street post, I aim to investigate these questions and explore ways in which the 21st-century employer can assess employees in terms of company value without objectifying the individual contributions.

Let’s delve deeper.
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How Content Allies Saves $5000 a Month Using Process Street To Manage Their Core Operations

How Content Allies Saves $5000 a Month Using Process Street-01 (1)Content Allies is a B2B podcast networking service which seeks to empower clients by helping them build meaningful relationships and grow their customer base. Podcasts are used as a key marketing channel.

We spoke to CEO Jake Jorgovan to find out how Content Allies uses Process Street to slash business costs, improve efficiency, and drive business growth.
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How to Combat Zoom Fatigue: Synchronous vs. Asynchronous Communication

How to Combat Zoom Fatigue Synchronous vs Asynchronous CommunicationIt’s 4 p.m. and you’ve got a welcome call with your newest team member. Ideally, you’d feel full of life, ready to welcome her with enthusiasm and get her excited about the weeks to come.

Problem is, this is your 6th video call of the day and you’re overrun with Zoom fatigue.

You’ve been turned “on” (not in a good way) for the last 7 hours and are severely lacking in enthusiasm, let alone excitement.

The worst thing is, the majority of those meetings were unnecessary, everything covered in them could’ve been communicated asynchronously.

Simply put, asynchronous communication involves communicating remotely without expecting an immediate response. This can be done via iMessage, pre-recorded video/audio, making suggestions to an existing project (think: Google Docs/Sheets, Github, Jira).

The challenge is knowing, when and how to use synchronous vs. asynchronous communication methods. Fortunately, this post is here to teach you just that so you can avoid Zoom fatigue and stop being real-time, all the time. Feel free to skip to a specific section of the post using the links below.

Let’s get started! 🚀
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What Is CX? Increase Revenue by 8% With Optimized CX Flows (+ Free Checklists)

What is CX Increase Revenue by 8% With Optimized CX Flows Free Checklist_1Do you have a brand that you go back to, time and time again?

If you do, what is it about this brand that’s captured your loyalty?

I do not doubt that an exceptional customer experience plays its part. That is, think about how that brand makes you feel. Good huh?

According to Bain & Company, businesses that invest time and effort to optimize their customer experience (CX) flows, experience above-market revenue growth between 4-8%. With the vast choice of products, services and brands available, exceptional customer experience comes as the ultimate seduction and differentiation for businesses to stand out above competitors.

In this Process Street article, you’ll learn how to engage your customers at every point in their journey with you. You’ll learn how to consistently create a service with a smile, a product to praise, and a beloved brand.

Learn from the best as we take a glimpse into the CX operations used by the likes of Netflix, Microsoft, and of course Process Street. You’ll then be given 5 tips on how you can optimize your CX flows, taking into account the changing business landscape, and the impacts of digitalization on customer behavior and experience.

Click on the relevant subheader to jump to your section of choice. Alternatively, scroll down to read all for an in-depth understanding of CX.

Let’s jump to it!
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How to Use Slack to be 31% More Productive With These 5 Expert Tips (18 in Total!)

slack tips

I hate email.

Who really likes answering emails? You get into work, switch everything on, and right off the bat there’s an inbox full of company memos, check-ins from your line manager, updates from colleagues, reminders for meeting after meeting after meeting…

It’s not a great way to start the day, amiright?

Well – and I am totally going to gloat about this – that’s just not how we roll at Process Street. If you’ve hung around us for five minutes, you’re probably aware that we are Slack superfans here on the Street. All of our company communication happens through Slack, and it’s been life-changing.

I’m not just saying this to stir up envy, though. Being such Slack aficionados, we’ve figured out how to use Slack features to increase productivity, improve collaboration, and just plain make our day-to-day easier.

I’ve broken them down into three easy sections, so no matter your level, you can jump straight to the tips you need – and hey, no one’s gonna judge if you want a little refresher!

Ready to dive in?
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The Importance of Core Values: How to Captivate Customers & Compel Teams

importance of core values

“Well-defined values don’t sound like the safe platitudes of a Hallmark card”Patrick M. Lencioni, Management guru

Lencioni also wrote that “Most values statements are bland, toothless, or just plain dishonest. [They] create cynical and dispirited employees, alienate customers, and undermine managerial credibility.”

For early stage startups, formal value statements are multi-functional; they should help your team understand and act on your internal best practices and empower them to make decisions that will benefit the company as a whole.

These values are the boundaries within which your business will operate in pursuit of its goals, and set the tone for day-to-day operations.

Think of core values as one of the three pillars of principle holding up your business operations; the other two being mission and vision.

In this Process Street article, we’ll explore why core values are important, how they align with mission and vision, and some examples of core values from other companies.

We’ve also got some statements from our own team about how they live and act on our own internal values in their day-to-day work.

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Ditch Scrum! 3 Shape Up Processes & Checklists to 5x Your Dev Cycle

Shape-Up-processes
We’ve cut our development cycle by 70% since making the move to Shape Up.

This alternative development method is a breath of fresh air from all things Scrum, Agile, Kanban, Scrumban, Fake Agile, Bad Agile… you get my drift.

What started off as Basecamp‘s internal approach to developing and shipping software at lightning speed, has become a clearly written (and illustrated), freely contributed, and easily accessible e-book: Shape Up: Stop Running in Circles and Ship Work that Matters.

Although I sincerely recommend you read the book, this post is here to save you from studying the 143 pages of text by providing you with three nifty checklist templates. The checklists take you through the Shape Up process and its 3 key phases: Shaping, betting, and building.

In this post, I’ll briefly touch on the fundamental concepts of Shape Up’s approach. I’ll also introduce each of the phases and their corresponding checklist.

Let’s get shaping!
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Starting at a Remote Start-Up: My First Month at Process Street

Starting at a Remote Start-Up My First Month at Process Street

Process Street is growing like crazy. Every day I open up Slack, there’s someone new to welcome to the team. It’s like a mini virtual party every day with less cake. 🍰

Starting at a remote start-up can be tough – especially if it’s your first time working remotely, or at a start-up, or at a remote start-up. All those first-day jitters are magnified by the fact that you don’t even have a friendly work-buddy in the next office to walk you through it.

Well, you do have the friendly work-buddy; they’re just not in the next office. Or even the same country.

With this in mind, I thought it’d be fun to interrogate our newest teammates. There’s nothing that’ll make you feel like part of the team like getting interrogated by someone you just met so they can publish your innermost thoughts for all of the internet to see. Right? 😉

In this post, I talk to Process Street’s newbies about their first month with us. Please give a round of applause for my lovely volunteers:

Let’s meet the team!
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Should You Be More Product Oriented? Practical Advice From Wes Bush

Should You Be More Product Oriented? Practical Advice From Wes Bush

When I was still teaching, the three main points of advice I found myself repeating were:

  1. Take your time.
  2. Keep it simple.
  3. Don’t bite off more than you can chew.

As it turns out, those three statements apply to most things in life – including business. Especially business.

I know. We’ve been in an era of calculated risk, mainlining entrepreneurial spirit, and the pervasive (-ly annoying) go-big-or-go-home philosophy for so long that “going above and beyond” isn’t even status quo; it’s bare minimum requirements.

Hear me out.

No matter what else you’re doing with your company, you have to take care of your customers. You have to understand them: what they want, what they need, and what they will need down the road.

That understanding of your customer and their relationship with your product is a crucial aspect of becoming a successful product-oriented business.

So you’ve read our previous post on product-led growth (PLG) and now know all the nuts and bolts of a PLG go-to-market strategy. It’s a super-exciting concept and exactly the direction you’ve wanted to take your company in.

But. (There’s always a “but.”)

Your business – the entire customer lifecycle every user of your product goes through – revolves around the traditional sales-led approach of painstakingly coaxing every customer through each step of the sales cycle from demo to trial to paying user.

You can’t go in tomorrow morning, clear out all your established processes, and tell your sales team: Right, we’re totally changing everything right this second. Even if your sales team doesn’t laugh you out of the office, it’s not going to work.

So how do you navigate that transition and maintain your success?

I didn’t know the answer to that, so for this Process Street post, I went straight to the horse’s mouth (🐴) and asked PLG champ, author, and founder Wes Bush about how to make PLG work and become a successful, product-oriented company.

Let’s get started!
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