08 Nov Choosing the Right Marketing Partner for 2020
As the end of the year approaches it is a great time to take stock of your achievements this year and plan the direction of the business for the forthcoming year. Looking at your marketing performance across the year and reviewing your failures and successes will be key to making sure your marketing road map for 2020 includes the right marketing channels and tools to reach your preferred buyers.
But what do you do if you’re just not sure what to analyse how you’ve done or how to implement a robust marketing plan?
The easiest, and most likely way to help you achieve your desired results is to bring in a professional marketing partner. But, with so many to choose from how do you know which one is right for your business?
A lot of marketing agencies wax lyrical about how innovative and creative they are or how they can make your logo really ‘pop’. Marketing is so much more than making your brand or your campaigns ‘just look nice’. Don’t get me wrong, these are seriously important (take a look at our design services) but they are the icing on the cake. Everything your marketing agency creates should be underpinned by strategic marketing planning to ensure you are using the right channels, tools and messages at the right time to reach your target audience.
Here are our tips on how to choose the right marketing partner for your business…
What do you want to achieve?
Be clear on what you want to achieve. Starting a conversation where you’re unsure of what you want to achieve will only result in you not getting what you were hoping for. Provide clear objectives and KPIs to ensure you both understand what the outcome needs to be.
Set aside three agencies that you think best meet your criteria. You can then ask these agencies to pitch against a specific brief and score them accordingly. Create a crib sheet so that you are assessing at the same critera across all of your shortlisted marketing agencies.
Research, Research, Research?
Find out how much research the agency has undertaken about your business and industry. This will give you an idea of their commitment to winning your business and how they will work with you should they win. What does the agency know about your business and sector? What do they see as the challenges? What is your opportunity growth?
Do they stack up?
Check your preferred marketing agency’s credentials. Check their portfolio and other projects they have worked on (some may not be able to be shared openly so may not be on their website). Ask if they have any examples relative to your industry. Check their testimonials – do they look genuine and do they support what you are looking for? Ask if you can speak to previous clients to find out more about how they work and what it’s like to work with them.
Who will this affect in your business?
Where possible it is good to include people within your business that will be directly involved with your new marketing agency. This could include the Managing Director, Marketing Director, Marketing Executive or PR Manager. Ascertain what their objectives are from the potential partnership and make sure that they are capable of achieving these.
Is there any chemistry?
Quite often overlooked, but just as important as an agencies credentials is, do you think you could work with them? Nothing beats a face-to-face meeting to assess this. This is especially important for the team or person that will be working with them on a daily basis. Did they ‘get’ your business? Did they listen and understand? Were they enthusiastic and inspiring?
Test and Measure!
Once you have decided which marketing partner you would like to work with, make sure they are clear on your project objectives and the marketing metrics that you will measure. This will allow you to assess the results and highlight any areas that need tweaking or reviewing completely.
It can be pretty overwhelming when choosing a reliable marketing partner but I hope these points give you a bit of guidance in what you need to look out for.
Michelle Roberts (MCIM), is the managing director and founder of The Creative Marketing Agency. She is trained in both digital and traditional marketing through the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM). She is also a member of the CIM and a Certified Practitioner in the Watertight Marketing Expert Community, both of which provide access to an additional wealth of knowledge and experience.