Marketing Service Providers : How Can We Help You?
“We can be unbiased in our approach to the distribution of it,” Kraft says of data.
In 2011, First Edge acquired a full-service marketing and design agency, the TAKA Group, in Scottsdale, AZ, and renamed it FE Agency. The tuck-in was an easy decision for Kraft; sometimes clients need branding or strategic counseling, and nonretainer-based help is preferable to, say, engaging a large agency.
“Companies may be challenged with their budgets, but they still need to communicate the same way as larger clients...they still need to get their message out,” Kraft notes. “One of our strategies was to bring in the agency to really round out our design and internal agency capabilities, and we certainly find it to be of value when we’re working with other agencies that are clients of ours. It brings them a greater confidence that we understand their pains better, that we can walk in their shoes.”
First Edge Solutions boasts a rather impressive dossier, with a laundry list of printing, creative, marketing, photography and Web-based customer solutions. In addition to rich multi-channel communications services, First Edge also promotes offerings such as eGencee (e-agency), an on-demand marketing solution for personalized, template-based marketing materials. Another creative offering is its Meet-Meme social media trading cards, which marry online and offline worlds and enable users to expand their networking efforts.
Though Kraft isn’t sure that the move to MSP makes sense for everyone, he cautions others to be mindful of the boundaries—real and imagined—that can be created when your company offers services that are competitive with your agency customers. Kraft saw a potential agency client slip away despite his reassurances that they were complementary for each other and not competitive. Despite Kraft's offer of a non-disclosure agreement and the fact they served two different niches, the competitive aspect couldn't be overcome. Most of First Edge's clients play in the Fortune 1000 world.