How to Choose an Effective Marketing Company
Staying focused is one of the best things you can do a business owner. Whether yours is a startup or a 10-year-old business, the secret is to stick to your strengths at and find someone to do the rest. Marketing is a great starting point for your outsourcing experiment as branding and outreach needs often change very rapidly.
Below are a few things to keep in mind before you hire your next marketing partner:
1. Business Savoire-Faire
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You may think this is obvious, but some agencies just don’t seem to get the importance of understanding the big picture. In short, what is a client’s business environment like? Before you join up with a marketing group, ask them on how they plan to evaluate your needs. Will they be talking to your customers? Do they have a good grasp of your key processes? Any marketing strategy they use must be connected to a bigger goal, like lead retention or revenue growth. Very importantly, all must be done within the context of business instead of technology. Tech features should never be at the center of a business strategy.
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2. Vertical Prowess
Search for a marketing firm that has good knowledge of your industry, but keep your mind open. For instance, if you are an accounting firm, it may be difficult to find a digital strategist who understands cost accounting, but you can definitely find an agency that is familiar with financial services. You will not only save time -no need to go over industry basics – but with enough luck, you can even see some real innovation unfold while your marketing staff digs down.
3. Technical Design Ability
Design is so closely connected to technology, and it’s almost impossible to separate them anyway. However, if your new-found marketers aren’t as good with coding as they are with strategizing, make sure they have access to developer resources at the very least. You may as well source each one separately if they have disparate technical and design practices.
4. Strategic Agreements
There’s no need for technology or service model expertise as you assess your agency’s partners. However, you should understand how their alliances can affect budget, technology options and even your go-to-market strategy. For instance, if email marketing is a fundamental need, it will help if the agency has a vendor there. Otherwise, you may be stuck with something one-off or custom-made. That often means longer development cycles, more demanding maintenance and higher costs.
5. After the Click
Marketers are gifted with the ability to excite about their next new invention. But usually, those products and services, the digital versions in particular, are passing at best. Your partner should be able to bridge traditional and mobile or online environments and marketing practices. Search for a marketing agency that can be as effective at trade shows as they are at building Facebook pages. Remember, it takes a wide range of skill sets to bind all the marketing pieces together.