Choosing to partner with a media company is a BIG decision and any big decision should involve research…especially when it comes to your business. There are many different types of media companies out there, each with their own areas of expertise, their own unique processes and strengths. No media company can be all things to all people. So, when you’re ready to outsource your marketing, how do you know whether or not the firm you are considering is right for you? Here are 6 areas we suggest you examine when screening potential marketing partners.
1. Industry Knowledge
Some companies specialize in specific industries and others are more broad-reaching. Depending on what you’re looking for, a media company’s industry expertise may benefit you, but if they don’t have one...it’s never a deal-breaker. In fact, a highly specialized marketing agency can often result in a cookie-cutter approach where you end up looking and sounding like competition elsewhere. An agency with a wide-range of experience has demonstrated their proficiency at identifying the unique brand and strategy for each individual client. What’s more important is their track-record of success, regardless of the industry. Industry knowledge is good, but can be learned. The proof is in the ROI.
Tracking marketing ROI can be a challenge, but a good marketing firm will establish specific goals up front, before launching any campaigns...and then be consistent about checking in each month against those goals. Marketing is about moving the needle, and you should be ready to be transparent with your tracking just as much as your marketing firm should be up front about results. There’s no room for vague and ambiguous conversations when it comes to money and business growth.
Who are the knights around the marketing round-table? When your marketing partner assembles their team to strategize on your branding initiative, do they involve all areas of expertise within their firm? The best ideas come from collaboration, and it’s hard to collaborate with only one or two people. You want firms that hire the best - experts in their respective fields - and then put them to the test.
4. Lead by Example
Does your marketing partner lead by example? Check out their website and their social media. Are they doing their own digital advertising and how have they grown in the last 3-5 years. A company that would like to do all your advertising, but leaves their own to word-of-mouth may not be the best judge of what works and what doesn’t. Marketing firms should drink their own kool-aid.
Transparency in marketing is paramount. When selecting a marketing partner, find out what their client list is like and request to contact a few of them for references. Nobody is perfect, ask them what they are learning and how they’ve made changes to their processes. Note: digital advertising is ripe for misleading information. Click fraud is rampant, so if you are going to ask your marketing partner to handle digital advertising for you, make sure that the results tracking is fully transparent.
A campaign strategy and it’s creative messaging are intricately connected. Both work from the same goal and are directed toward reaching the same target audience. When a marketing company is unable to combine both services, they are working with one hand tied behind their back. We’ve seen great strategy fail because the creative campaign didn’t drive the runs home. By the same token, we’ve seen great creative fail because it fell on deaf ears. Additionally, when an agency outsources creative, it too often results in a branding misalignment - the website doesn’t match the digital, which doesn’t match the radio, which doesn’t match the print...you get the idea. The whole point of hiring a marketing partner is to create brand consistency. It makes sense, then, to have them all done under one roof.
At fuze32 we bring all of this to the table and more. We start by researching, there’s a lot of time and effort spent researching the market for your industry, calculating revenue potential, figuring out what growth you’re looking for and how to measure it. Then, we put a strategy in place… Armed with a vision, we design a customized plan for reaching those goals. Every business is different and so, while there are some aspects of marketing with proven formulas for success, your specific plan is unique to your business, your industry and your market. Finally, we execute by tracking and reporting to make sure you are hitting your goals consistently. We’re pretty proactive about making modifications if things aren’t working out, too. If you’re looking to achieve all of this and more - set up a consultation today.