Top tips for choosing a long-lasting marketing partner
No one knows your business better than you do. You’re the one in the office everyday ensuring things run smoothly. You’re the one that has spent years dreaming about what it could become. And you’re the one that has spent countless nights awake wondering if there will still be a business in the morning.
Therefore, you’re the one that should quite rightly make the key decisions about your business. Except when it comes to producing a marketing communications plan that is.
The truth is, very rarely are the people that have grown the company from scratch the best people to make decisions on exactly what direction a marketing plan for their business should take. That’s not to say you have absolutely no place in the process - your knowledge about your business, your market and your customers will be integral in creating it. But without realising, because you’re so close to every aspect of your day-to-day business delivery, you can often put up unintended barriers to formulating a really effective marketing plan. Strong strategies can be dismissed because of past experiences, temporary market conditions or specific customer needs.
Without the luxury of this objectivity in-house, in the shape of a marketing manager, you should consider enlisting a proven marketing communications agency. They help businesses like yours create successful marketing campaigns for a broad range of clients, every day of the week. They have the resources to properly consider all aspects of a company’s marketing needs and work with them to develop strategies, implement tactics and monitor results to get the best out of a company’s’ marketing spend.
They won’t make assumptions about your business or your marketplace but bring a fresh pair of eyes and concrete processes and methodologies to access, research and develop your marketing plan. An honest agency will tell you exactly what you need to hear, not what you want to hear.
And they should, if they are worth their salt, have the necessary experience, ability and flair to develop a marketing plan that can be used as the catalyst to turn business objectives into engaging and effective creative strategies.
So what should you be looking for from a marketing communications partner?
Chemistry - A lot of businesses are put off using marketing agencies because they appear aloof or rather pretentious. While this is true of some there are marketing agencies that contain real people who will be a pleasure to work with and have your company’s best interests at heart. Only a meeting will tell.
Enthusiasm - Your chosen marketing partner will be eager to know as much about your business as possible. Apart from the obvious - what your products or services are, how you presently sell them, your existing customer profile and where your business sits alongside its competitors - they will want to know what makes it tick and draw out its real personality and character. They will want to get under your company’s skin to find out what makes it special.
Longevity - You need to make sure they are interested in your business for the long term - not just a quick financial fix on their part - and are prepared to offer constant review and re-focusing to achieve planed objectives. They should be proactive, bringing you new ideas and approaches along the way. A great test of this is to look at the length of time the agency has been working with its clients.
Accountability - Effective marketing is about measuring results and learning as much from what hasn’t worked as what has. The right marketing agency will be able to tell you what return you are receiving on your marketing investment as the campaign progresses. They should be pushing you for regular meetings to discuss campaign results, customer feedback, new tactics and strategies.
In summary, choosing the right marketing communications agency is a mixture of professional judgement and gut feel - but if you can find a friendly, local agency that have consistently delivered success to their existing clients, then you may well have found your perfect match.
MC+Co is an integrated marketing agency that delivers marketing strategy, traditional marketing and digital marketing to businesses of all sizes across Essex, London, Kent and the South East. If you would like to talk to us about marketing your business please call +44 (0) 1277 366898.