Let’s say you have kidney pain. You call the Acme Kidney Removal Center and say, “I have a bum kidney. Can you take it out?”

The nurse on the phone says, “Come on in; we’ll have a look.”

So you go in and say, “If you could just get this kidney out of me, that’d be great. I have an Ultimate Frisbee tournament next week, and I’d hate to let the team down.”

After the doctor explains that the recovery time for a nephrectomy is at least two months, you say, “Doc, just take the dang thing out, will you?”

Since this is an imaginary scenario where the Hippocratic oath and medical malpractice lawsuits don’t exist, the doctor sighs, “Okay.”

Shortly after surgery, the pain returns. This time, you visit your general practitioner, who does some blood tests and orders a CT scan, and discovers that it’s your appendix, not your kidney, causing the pain. So you get an appendectomy on top of your nephrectomy—and some pretty serious scars and medical bills to boot.

* * *

Obviously, the real you would never be as foolish as the hypothetical “you” above. Faced with a similar situation, you wouldn’t diagnose your own condition, you wouldn’t prescribe your own treatment, and you wouldn’t go straight to a specialist to administer it.

And even if you would (which, of course, you wouldn’t), things would probably turn out OK since the healthcare industry is heavily regulated to protect consumers.

But the same isn’t true of the marketing industry.

Let’s imagine another scenario: You’re the marketing lead at a software company. Your “pain” is a low-performing website. You think you need a brand video on your homepage to solve the problem. You go straight to a video producer and ask for a video. They say, “No problem.”

Three months and $15,000 later, you’ve got your video, but your conversion rate hasn’t budged. Your diagnosis, it turns out, was wrong.

* * *

When you think you need a video—or a new website, or social media campaign—your best bet is to go to the marketing equivalent of a general practitioner: A full-service agency.

This is not to damn specialists. In almost every case, they are highly creative people and masters at their crafts. But it’s not their job to be strategists.

Also, a specialist’s business model is typically volume-driven. They need to practice their specialty as often as possible. So you can’t expect them to give you a wholly unbiased answer to the question: “What is the best solution to my marketing problem?”

Even with the best of intentions, an email marketer will want to solve your problem with email. A video producer will want to solve it with a video. An SEO expert will want to solve it with an SEO campaign. As Maslow famously said, “It is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as a nail.”

A full-service agency—a good one, anyway—will listen to your issues, ask you lots of questions, and then take a strategic approach to achieving your goals.

“But what if an agency doesn’t have a videographer on staff?” you ask.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Agencies that staff video departments take on a significant amount of overhead. They’ll need to pay for it—and then we’re back to Maslow’s hammer again.

Besides: Most full-service agencies have strong, long-standing relationships with production vendors. Once they determine that you do need a video, they’ll help find a producer that’s right for your particular project.

Well Done works with a number of video production vendors, and this allows us to find the one that best meets the needs of each client’s project (and your budget).

For example, here’s a video we recently produced for Hancock Regional Hospital:

And here’s a video we produced for Engledow Group to promote their interior landscaping services:

And here’s a video we produced for Cinema du Cellulaire, a smartphone video contest (that, sadly, didn’t happen):

We partnered with different vendors on each of these videos—vendors we chose based on the brand, the creative strategy, and (not least of all) the budget of each client.

And that may be the best reason to talk to a full-service agency when you think you might need a video. Not only will we determine whether video is actually the right solution to your marketing problem, but we will also find a production partner capable of meeting your unique needs.