Selecting A Strategic Partner Is Like “The Mash”

By Bob Earley

I often drive around our cities and neighborhoods as I go from client meetings, shopping, eating, and just getting away from some of the daily chaos.  Like many of you, work can be very trying and intense. Hopefully, you have a way to have a release from the stresses of work. At our place, we get to enjoy what we call “Wine Down Fridays” where we gather as a group enjoying our favorite “beverages” and destress; mine is whiskey (note the spelling; know why??)

Recently as I was enjoying my “spirit”, I started thinking about how something so good is made. Then I remembered my trip on the “bourbon trail” in Kentucky; it’s about the mash.

Mash is the process of combining grains and mixing it with water, then applying heat to distill it. Now, I admit this explanation is my very basic interpretation of the process. There’s great skill, patience, and craftsmanship that goes in to the “mashing” and distilling process.  When complete, the master distiller has created something that is unique to him and is enjoyed by many. Selecting a strategic partner could be a similar process; kind of.

Like the spirits, there are so many agencies that “specialize” in some aspect of marketing and advertising. Choosing one takes time and should be selected based on your needs. And, over the years, your needs may change which require you to select another agency, or even a second one that complements the primary one.

What’s important is to keep in mind of the ever-changing landscape in marketing. There are so many more marketing solutions available and so many “shiny new toys” than ever before that it’s easy to become distracted and taken off point from your company’s strategic plan. Don’t choose because someone says to “you gotta try this.” Continue shaping your company from a good one to a great one by selecting a strategic partner who is as knowledgeable about the many facets of marketing as the great distillers are in their trade and one who aligns with your needs and then, “wine down.”