The How

When you’re a business developer working with a team of digital experts, your daily conversations are centered by two kinds of questions: why and what.

I spent a good portion of my first few months at Papercut learning and developing my understanding of what we do and why we do it. Questions involving “why” and “what” are the crux of the conversations I have with prospective clients

In conversations with a Marketing Manager, she wants to know—or, more likely, a Marketing Manager’s boss’s boss—wants to know why she needs a team of digital marketing experts. And I’ve got answers.

In 2019, it’s not enough to have a website (although we’ll make that for you too). It’s not even enough to have a great website (because we’ll also do that). You need full service digital marketing. We’ll act as a plugin for your existing marketing practices, focusing on increasing your visibility online and ability to capture leads, so your business can experience measurable growth.

If she wants to know why she should work with us specifically, I can answer that too.

With over 18 years of experience, Papercut understands digital. More than that, we understand what it means to thrive and stay agile in the ever-changing digital landscape. Working with our team of experts will ensure that your web presence stays more than current, but on the cusp of new digital developments.

During these conversations, I have my own questions. I want to know what her goals are. What results would she like to see in 3 months? 6 months? A year? 5 years?

I want to know what her specific pain points are. What keeps her up at night? What does she need to be digitally competitive but doesn’t have time to implement herself? 

This back and forth conversation of why and what inform the work Papercut will do for her. It gives me the foundation necessary to come back with a solid understanding of exactly what we’re going to do and what the projected results will be.

While this process has the same framework, the results of the conversation are, of course, unique to each client. These unique results—what they need and why they need it—are a direct reflection of the curated solutions can be expected from us. We’ll talk about what she needs and why she needs it. We’ll talk about what we’re going to do and why we’re going to do it.

But here’s my big confession: we don’t talk about how it happens. And, if I’m being honest, it’s because I don’t quite understand how it works. When it comes to digital marketing, the how is shrouded in mystery.

This isn’t so uncommon. We don’t know how a lot of very necessary things we use every day work.

I have a smartphone; and I’m betting you do too. In fact, I’m betting you’re reading this on a smartphone right now. I know what my phone is. I know what I need it for. I know why I need one. I know why it works. But I couldn’t tell you how it works. I know—or rather, I think I know—it has to do with space and satellites and cell phone towers and triangulation, but if I had to explain the machinations of the machine that I use (way too much) every day, I couldn’t tell you. Apply this same logic to the car I drive, the TV I watch, and the ibuprofen I take when I get a headache. It’s easy to use something without knowing how it works.

The same is true for most people and digital marketing. Of course, the nuances and intricacies of designing and maintaining a website are mysterious. And even with all the user-friendly web building platforms made specifically for the ease of the user, we don’t know how it works, just that it does.

Additionally, a client may know that she needs a digital marketing expert for content editing, PPC (pay-per-click advertising), SEO (Search Engine Optimization), email marketing campaigns, not to mention more complex implementations like Account Based Marketing and automated marketing and CRM integration. She may use us for all of those things. And we send her reports explaining what we did and what the results were, but how it happens is an unanswered question.

In 2019, assistance from digital experts is necessary. Businesses need it to work and, for the most part, they know they need it to work. I know what works. I know why it works. And, like I said, I’ve gotten pretty good at answering those questions. But now I want to understand more.

I’m motivated by curiosity. I am inspired by and find worth in following the questions. I want to make the unknown knowable. Things that seem mysterious can be demystified. I just need to ask a different question.

And here’s the thing: I’m surrounded by “how people.” My whole team answers the how question every day. They get it. I am constantly blown away by the quality of work they produce, not to mention the tangible results they deliver to their clients.

Literally, right this second, I’m watching them at their desks, on their computers, answering all my “how” question. (We have an open office; it’s not as creepy as it sounds).

And it’s occurring to me that I could just ask the experts that are 3 feet away from me. It’s also occurring to me that I’m most likely not alone in my digital marketing curiosity.

There’s some fear associated with asking how questions. For me, the asker, presenting myself as someone who doesn’t know something is inherently risky. This is especially true if you’re like me and want to be seen as a genius at all times. We’re told there are no dumb questions, but also, we don’t want to ask any dumb questions.

Let’s kill that idea. When it comes to wanting to understand digital marketing practices, there are no dumb questions. At Papercut, we pride ourselves on being superfriendly. One of my favorite things about the team I work with is how open they are. The stereotypical behavior of those who work in the digital arena is that they are insular and unapproachable. That doesn’t fly here. I actually can ask them anything. I want you to have this same opportunity as well.

Let’s demystify the work. I’ve got questions and I’m assuming you, reader, do too. I’ll get  answers to my own questions in the upcoming weeks, but I want to hear from you too.

So, let’s start there: What do you want to know about how we work?

If you have a question you want answered, email me: katy.richardson@papercutinteractive.com