Businesses looking for someone to help them achieve their marketing goals must often size up a substantial assortment of suitors. There’s no real shortcut to researching a potential marketing firm’s capabilities, professionalism, body of work, roster of contented clients, and price structure. That’s where hard work and diligent digging are indispensable.
Once you’ve narrowed the field to the most promising candidates, however, there are a few key factors you should take into account before making a final choice. If they lack any one of these move on to the others, and don’t stop until you have a winner.
1) Chemistry. Do you feel a strong connection and comfort level with the agency’s staff? Effective marketing campaigns come from working closely with smart, talented people who believe in your vision, are passionate about your success, and become a partner in building your business. There’s no getting around it — chemistry is key to making great things happen as a shared commitment creates a mutually rewarding relationship.
2) Integrity. Honesty and integrity are vital building blocks for any successful relationship. It’s no different with you and the company you entrust to handle your marketing. Get a feel for their character and reputation by asking them for a list of references and speaking to some current or past clients. Also, consider any professional designations and memberships, and check to ensure they’re in good standing.
3) Strategic Thinking. A lot of people produce materials – logos, brochures, web content. But the value of the work is dubious if it isn’t based on sound strategy. A strategy-driven marketing firm thoroughly researches your industry, listens to your concerns, pinpoints your strengths and competitive challenges, and singles out the methods best suited to accomplish your objectives. With every execution, they help you focus your efforts where they have the most impact: Advertising the benefits of your products and services to the people who care.
4) Results. Eye-catching creative work can be a joy to behold . . . but a waste of money if it’s blind to the goals you want to achieve. Whether your priority is on increasing sales, generating leads, expanding customer interaction, or building brand awareness, never hesitate to measure a prospective marketing firm’s abilities by the results they obtain for their clients. Ask them for case histories of past successes and follow up with questions if you need more data.
When a proven history of results combines with chemistry, integrity and an emphasis on strategic thinking, you can be confident that you’ve found the right marketing firm. Seal the deal and let the win-win partnership begin.