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Inside P+S

Pairing: Why Two Heads Are Better Than One

Jim Babb
Jim Babb
Pairing in marketing - borrowed from xetreme programing
We don't do the work for you.
We do the work with you. Here's why.

When you’re faced with a challenge, the idea of handing it off to someone else is tempting—especially if that someone claims to be an expert in solving other people’s problems. And frankly, that’s how a lot of agencies operate. You tell them what the problem is, they go back to their office and come up with a solution, they put the solution into action, and then they tell you if it worked or not. If it didn’t, well, you’re back to square one.

The way we see it, this approach has critical shortcomings:

Pairing means we DO:

...and we DON’T:

Pairing upends a lot of what you think you know about hiring someone to help with marketing strategy.

We’re okay with that. It’s a proven solution for clients of all sizes, in all kinds of industries, at all stages of growth. It allows you to solve problems now while investing in your ability to solve problems later. And it brings together two powerful forces: Our team’s expertise in modern marketing, and your team’s expertise in your brand and your customers.

Let’s face it, (almost) anyone can make a glossy strategy deck. The question is, what does that really accomplish? There’s a huge difference between looking at a PDF mockup of a marketing email and designing, running, and learning from a real-world email test. Pairing may not be the simplest way to work, but it is the best way to achieve sustainable growth.

And remember—we’re in this together.

Need a new skill ASAP? We got you.

At growing companies, people may find themselves suddenly responsible for a new task or process that’s outside their usual skillset. That’s when we hear something like this: “We’ve decided to ramp up Facebook advertising, and we don’t have a senior marketer on the team. So now I’m in charge of Facebook advertising. Can you show me how that works?”

Our answer: Sure, we could show you. But we’re going to do something better.

We call this process watching and doing. It’s a modified form of pairing, designed to develop a new skill quickly. It works one-on-one, but it also works for a team or group of people who will need to collaborate on whatever the new remit is. Best of all, we can do it in person or remotely via screen share and teleconference—so no matter where you’re located, we can help.

Using Facebook Ads as an example, here’s what we do. First, a Part and Sum strategist will set up a Facebook Ads campaign from scratch while you watch. We’ll explain the process as we go and answer all your questions. Then, we’ll set up another Ads campaign, this time working together. We’ll also work together to resolve any problems that arise.

After that, you’ll set up an Ads campaign by yourself. In the final step, we check your work, offering comprehensive feedback about what looks good and what could be improved.


The evidence is clear that hands-on learning is more effective than simply listening to someone tell you how something works. (A 2014 study found that college students in lecture classes were 1.5 times more likely to fail than students in classes that use active learning strategies.) By working side-by-side with one of our expert strategists, you won’t just learn what to do—you’ll develop real expertise of your own.