You need help with your marketing, so where should you start? In this blog we provide our top tips on how to choose a marketing agency or marketing consultant to get the support you need.
- First of all, before you pick up the phone to anyone, consider these questions.
- Do you have the time to bring an agency up to speed on your situation and help them to get to know your business?
- Are you ready to look under the bonnet of your business and be open to new ideas on how to achieve your objectives?
- Next up to help you choose a marketing agency, ask anyone you know who may have worked with an agency for their recommendations. As with all business relationships, you need to work with people who you like and can get along with. Recommendations are great, but don’t be afraid to do your own research. It may be that an agency that works well for your friend is not quite right for you. Look at a few websites – if you can find them on Google that is a good sign that they can market their own business after all…
- Whittle down a shortlist of three or four marketing agencies that you like the look of and go to their offices to get a feel for their set up. We work from home and we welcome people in for a decent cup of coffee in a relaxed environment. If that’s not what they’re looking for, better to know up front so nobody’s time is wasted.
- Approach them and test out their enthusiasm and customer service. Do they respond quickly? Are they helpful? Do you feel confident in their abilities to market your business? Take a good look at their website and don’t be afraid to ask for more information on past projects? Be aware of the sales process, which should be a two-way dialogue.
- Prepare for the meeting – In order to help you with your marketing, a good agency will want to understand your business, what you want to achieve, what you’ve tried, all about your clients and your competitors. So be prepared to talk… You don’t need to know all the answers but give it some thought ahead of time so you can get a real feel for how the relationship will work going forward. For example,
- Who are your clients – where do they come from, why do they come to you, how much do they spend, do they come back?
- Which of your products or services are attracting the most customers and which are making you the most money?
- What marketing activity are you doing at the moment, how much are you spending on it, what’s working and what isn’t?
- What resources do you have to support your marketing activity? How will it work practically? Who will sign things off and liaise with the marketing agency on a day to day basis. Who will sign off the plan? Who will deliver the plan?
- You should also draw up a list of questions for them. You will want to know the cost of the service, but that’s not the end of the story. You need to know what value you get for the money, will they seek out opportunities for you proactively and suggest ideas and innovations along the way?
- You need to be clear on how they will achieve your objectives, how they will measure their progress and success, what success will look like, how long it might take and what additional support they will provide.
The more information you can share with your marketing agency, the more value you will get out them. It boils down to trust and collaboration. So you need to choose a marketing agency that you like and respect and feel that they like and respect you too.
You can read all about our approach here.