Hiring a marketing firm is the most sensible option for many companies. Even small businesses and startups seek help from marketing specialists. Since you’re investing money in a team or company, you have to make sure you’re putting money where it works.
Hiring marketing companies can be daunting. These people will take care of selling your brand to people. Depending on your budget and needs, their job may include several marketing strategies, either or both traditional and digital.
Think about all the social media, content, or influencer marketing you have to do if you’re doing it all alone. Most business people, especially the new ones, need help. But let’s talk about what you should keep in mind when looking for marketers.
1. What do you want?
Goals can be generic. You want to win people’s attention and trust. You want to sell to them. In many cases, this vague ploy becomes your end as your predecessors have perfected the craft, effectively leaving you in the dust.
Define your goals from the get go. You want to sell to people. Sure, but identify these people, and come up with talking points and slogans that fit this group of consumers. You can’t mimic your competitors.
No two brands are identical. If yours is identical to something else, look into that. Your business is unique even in its niche. You have specific selling points and thus you cater to a specific group of people in your industry. It doesn’t matter whether all of you are selling ice cream. Your brand has qualities that sets it apart from other brands, and those are your selling points.
Eventually, your goal determines the course of your marketing plan, which in turn determines who you should be employing to implement your vision. Hence, we start here. But it’s hard to create goals when you don’t understand your relevance on your niche.
2. How long have they been in the business?
We know it’s hard to put your trust in newbies. How can you even be convinced that a marketing specialist or consultant can carry your campaign effectively if you are their first or second client? It’s understandable.
While you probably want to give new marketers a chance, you know you’re better off putting your faith in teams that have known the ups and downs of business and have tracked the trends for years. They know the good practices as well as the outdated ones. They can pin point potential influencers in your niche in case influencer marketing is on your menu. They know how to build your social media presence.
In other words, you’re safer. Your investment is in better hands. However, take note of the next question.
3. What’s their track record?
Well, a 3-year-old company with good reputation is obviously more trustworthy than a 7-year-old marketing firm with quite a handful of bad feedback. This is why you have to ask their old clients. When shopping for services, it’s a common practice to ask for client feedback just as we look for reviews before buying a gadget. We need to make sure we’re spending money on a team that delivers.
4. How much can you spend on marketing?
In reality, only a small slice of your business expenditure goes to marketing. Much of your budget goes to product development, expansion, operational costs, and wages of your staff. If your into keeping your current position, you’ll have to spend 5% of your business budget on marketing. But if you want to grow, you’ll have to stretch your legs and put in 10% for marketing. That’s the most you can spend without possibly hurting other areas of your business.
That tiny slice of money is further divided into different aspects of marketing — SEO, copywriting, social media, email marketing, influencer marketing, and so on. Then again, your marketing budget dictates how much work can be done. You can’t demand for what you refuse to pay for.
Low-cost marketing doesn’t have to hurt. Smart marketers can work with any budget, maximizing the funds they can exhaust to carry your message across.
5. Do they understand your business?
While many marketers are seasoned enough to hop from one industry to another, others get to settle in certain niches and become specialists in these fields. For instance, a marketer who have worked with photographers and camera manufacturers may grow to enrich his experience in the photography niche. Another marketer, however, may learn the ins and outs of businesses across a range of niches.
This isn’t a question of who’s the better the marketer. The question is, who do you prefer? Frankly, the answer depends on you. Ideally, you want someone who understands your business, so logically you’ll have to hire someone who has worked with businesses similar to yours. However, in some cases, this is not practicable. If that happens you will have to work with people who are willing to invest time to familiarize your business. How will they sell your brand to consumers if they don’t understand it?
Some people worry about marketing staff size, but that’s largely dependent on your needs and budget. Communication and relationship with your marketer are much more important.