• http://www.losasso.com/ Maggie@losasso

    Great post! I definitely agree that a fast & nimble SEO team is vital to a company’s online success. The internet is always evolving and the agencies that can evolve with it will provide better service than those that cannot adapt quickly.

  • Stupidscript

    From the article: “…and learn that area more deeply than departments within large agencies created for a similar purpose. Why? Primarily because large agencies seek to be a single stop for their clients, by offering services across multiple categories, rather than focusing deeply in a few select areas.”

    Your example notes a department that is dedicated to a specialty within the big company, and you claim that the department is incapable of achieving “deep focus” on that specialty simply because the company around it is too large?

    The fact that such a specialty department exists at all in the large firm is an indicator that they have the resources to encourage “deep focus” for specialties. To assume as you have that those people who are providing the “deep focus” for the large firms are less capable than those who do it for small firms is not supported.

    Most of your article makes the claim that small shops cannot do the whole job, but rather act as specialized talent pools for nimble large companies to bring on as projects warrant. You actually say that small shops should not try to act as a one-stop … as that is a “bad thing” that those wimpy large companies do.

    You claim that large companies hire small ones for their expertise, but seem to be unable to manage their own departments successfully. That’s really not an argument, or even close to my own, lengthy experience, at all. Either the large companies have their own, in-house experts in departments that provide “deep focus” to specialties with the accompanying resources only a large firm can provide, or they use those resources to bring in small companies to fill in the gaps as needed.

    In the first case, you have not provided anything resembling a compelling argument against large firms’ ability to manage their expert resources, and in the second, the large firms aren’t even trying to do the SEO … they are hiring the small firms to do it! What’s the issue, again?

    The client doesn’t care if small-shop specialists are brought in, as long as the work gets done well.

    Any company that cannot be as nimble as its market demands is doomed, regardless of the size of the company. Any company can be nimble, if it makes the effort to do so.

    I would say that with the same or greater resources drawing from the same or greater pool of talent, a large shop actually has a greater chance of providing a more in-depth, higher quality service to its clients than a small shop, as long as the large company remains dedicated to service in the interests of furthering its own fortunes.

    Can a small shop hire someone JUST for Google? And someone JUST for mobile? And someone JUST for social media? And someone JUST for Bing? And someone JUST for building marketing campaigns? That’s 5 employees in a small shop, just for a few specialties. For most small shops I have worked with, that’s more employees than the rest of the operation, combined!

    I guess if it’s a “bad thing” to be a one-stop, then that’s fine, because according to this article, all a small shop really needs are one or two specialists … and connections to some large companies to contract them.

    “Small & nimble” may trump “big & slow” in terms of escaping the onrushing flow of tar gushing from the primordial swamps, but you couldn’t prove it using this article. You might as well argue that independent authors write better articles than writers who are under contract to a large publishing house … just because they don’t work for a large publishing house full time. Sorry. The article didn’t convince me.

  • http://www.audettemedia.com Adam Audette

    @Stupidscript Lengthy response – I guess I hit a nerve. Sounds like we’d be better off debating over a beer sometime.

    If the article didn’t convince you, I doubt any comment I can provide here will. All I’ll say is – this is the truth as I see it, from my experience.

  • http://www.hiddenequity.com LightningLew

    Hi Adam,
    As soon as I saw the ‘small & nimble’ in your headline I knew it was a great post – and here’s a different angle on it. Nate and myself started Hidden Equity with a premise of remaining small, nimble AND being particularly helpful to the small(er) business world that doesn’t have the resources that the big guys do. Both Nate & I have been involved in entrepreneurial efforts for our entire careers, so it was a key vision that we look to help the people & businesses who are ‘Main Street USA’ versus the corporate giants who generally are faceless and have no true desire to help anyone but themselves (ie their stockholders). Small Business has been the backbone of America, fueling jobs & innovation. My experience with ‘Big Business’ has been the opposite; lots of BS like, “how high can you jump?” and “guess what we are really doing” (because we’ll never share that). Here’s to independent, entrepreneurial business people working hard and sharing with their communities.
    Thanks Adam.

  • http://johnsantangelo.me johnsantangelo

    There’s also such a thing as too small as well… when an entire operation shuts down for a big conference or string of conferences. Working with established shops with more than a handful of folks can avoid those downtimes.