WHEN YOU OWN OR RUN a business, you are always looking forward to growth potential as this is one of the proven ways to create success. Today, outsourcing for basic services such as marketing has become an accepted norm. It saves the company costs of setting up a marketing department and, in the end, produces better marketing anyway. In the old days, advertising was viewed as a niche for the selected few. This made it a very costly affair.
The reason is because marketing is a very analytical process. It’s part creative writing, part psychology, part anthropology, part music-development, part graphic design, part information-technology specialization, part architecture, part art and film direction, and so on. In short, you have to know more about what a specific type of people are attracted to, and then manipulate your product so the same type of people are more attracted to yours than everyone else’s—all this, without them realizing it because, let’s face it, nobody likes to know that they’re being manipulated. Today, with the advancement of technology and research becoming an almost-instant task, there are marketing agencies that can help you achieve what you want, at a very affordable price, and with multiple options.
Teaming up with the best advertising agency for you is not a simple task. There are many of them out there and it becomes hard for a business leader to pick the one that can meet the needs of the firm the most effectively. Here are some tips to finding a marketing agency for your business.
1. It has to be the right one. It sounds like an obvious tip but you have to know that there are some agencies that specialize in given fields. If you find one that specializes in construction-related marketing activities and you own a grocery store, it might be worth going with somebody else. The specialty-oriented agencies are a good idea as they have a good knowledge of that particular market. It also depends on the size of your company. A large company should go for an agency that has the capacity to handle the marketing activities required. And conversely, if you run a small business, don’t bother knocking on any doors on Madison Avenue—they charge big business money because they work with big businesses on big business projects. There are plenty of smaller outfits out there—at more affordable prices—that will deliver a great product to you.
2. You should come up with working terms that will support you effectively. You have to create a budget and expected receivables plan that will fit your needs and protect you from exploitation. You should lay out what you want the agency to achieve for you; it has to be well written and have expectations articulated clearly. This is where research on your part, before going into meetings with potentials, will help you out. Get to know what things cost in the real world before going in and demanding an unrealistic deliverable or accepting terms that even Donald Trump would call exorbitant.
3. Search broadly. You can use the Internet or even referrals. The latter, however, should only be taken from reliable sources. If someone whose business just went under due to lack of public interest drops you a few names, don’t schedule any meetings with their recommended ad people. Not to mention that some people will recommend their friends without even seeing their work. Be aware that agencies are as dynamic as the market itself.
4. An agency that advises you on the small things to do, such as detailed suggestions of how to operate your company to best accompany and accentuate your marketing, can be an ideal choice. It doesn’t mean that an agency should take over management—it simply means that they should be at least listened to because they probably have enough experience to make informed suggestions. They can advise you on how to build a customer base, how to support your customers, and other basic things.