There’s a raft of marketing agencies out there, many of which offer a sumptuous array of marketing methods that could help your business to go stratospheric, allegedly…
However, there really isn’t a single silver marketing bullet out there that will make your brand an instant overnight success and anyone who tries to tell you otherwise is being a little disingenuous.
So, other than signing up to unrealistic promises, how do you choose the best marketing agency to work with to give your brand the impact and marketing reach you would like?
Look for marketing agency recommendations
Recommendations speak volumes in the business world – if colleagues or acquaintances have had good experiences with a particular marketing agency find out why – what was it they liked? How did the agency make a difference to their business? How did the agency communicate with them?
Do your shortlisted marketing agencies know your business?
Sounds obvious, but it’s fundamental that your new marketing agency gets under the skin of how your business works, who your target market is and what your goals are, rather than just trying to impose a standard one-size-fits-all marketing plan.
Have they spent time researching you, your market, your competitors? Have they clarified their findings with you or have they made up their own mind as to who you are and what marketing activities you need?
Where’s my marketing plan?
That brings us nicely on to planning. Does your potential new marketing agency plan ahead, identifying key times in the year for key activities? If they are going to run your social media platforms, will they be preparing social media schedules in advance or just random ad-hoc social media posts that perhaps don’t work as hard to promote your plans as they should?
Does your marketing agency listen?
A marketing agency may be an expert in marketing and communications (well you’d hope) but at the beginning of your working relationship they are unlikely to be an expert in your business.
It’s important that your marketing agency is committed to understand what you do, asking the right questions and listening to your answers. So, you need to be prepared to give them enough time to impart your knowledge, so they can clarify what they need to do to get real traction with your marketing activities. Tell them what you’ve done and why it did/ didn’t work. It’s also good for them to question your decisions; it shows a real desire to get involved and to ensure they provide the best marketing communications solutions for you.
Finally, do you get on? You’re going to be working closely with your new marketing agency, often sharing sensitive information with them about costs, profits, loss and practices so on an ongoing basis you’ll need to feel comfortable with them, that they’re on your wavelength and you can trust them because they have your best interests at heart. A sense of humour isn’t a bad thing either when things get hectic.
And lastly, do they share your passion for your business? Sounds crazy but a little bit of passion goes a long way – especially in the creative sector!
If you’re looking for a new marketing agency with a big heart, a sense of fun and a good dollop of communications know-how, you could contact Actuate Marketing. We love to listen, can’t wait to plan and market research is one of our favourite things ever. Drop us a line today to find out more.