Why Specialists Win
In business, defining what you don’t do is more important then defining what you do. Then why do so many companies claim to have expertise in a certain area and then brag about the laundry list of services they offer? Many companies cast the widest net possible because they’re afraid of losing money. Instead of getting really good at one thing, companies spend time chasing money in a lot of different areas and never develop the expertise required to offer the best service possible to their clients. In a space as complex as digital advertising it’s important to define what you don’t do — the web is constantly changing and the number of ways a business can advertise is always increasing.
How should your business decide how wide of a net to cast in your service offerings? The first step is to choose the service you’re most passionate about because, most likely, that’s the one you’ll be of the most benefit for your clients. The second step is to evaluate the market and determine if it’s large enough to sustain your business. If it is, then there’s no reason to offer a wider range of services. By focusing all your efforts into one service, your processes, customer service, and every aspect of your company will become more efficient for everyone involved. In addition, you’ll be able to keep up with the changes in your space. At Metric, we work only on pay-per-click because the space is complex enough that it requires everyone’s full attention to keep up with the changing complexity.
There have been many articles entitled “quit sucking” and when making a case for specializing, you could take that phrase for companies to mean: “quit sucking at everything.”
Sean periodically teaches as an adjunct professor on the topic of search engines and search marketing at MSU and is a member of their computer science advisory board. He completed coursework for his PhD in machine learning at MSU. He was the founder and publisher of SEMJ.org. Sean holds four engineering patents, has a B.S. in physics from the University of Washington in Seattle, and a master’s in electrical engineering from Washington State University. As president and director at metric ppc, Inc. he focuses on search marketing, internet research, and consults for large companies.