It’s that time of year when businesses start looking at their finances and deciding budgets for the year ahead. Those working with a marketing agency will be calculating what activity worked and whether it was value for money, all in preparation for setting next year’s marketing goals. Making the decision to leave a marketing agency you know for the unknown can be more than a little daunting. However, now could be the time for a change?
Your company isn’t just a business, a logo or a website; it’s the result of your hard work, determination and ambition. Be sure to choose a marketing agency that understands this and can skilfully build and integrate a brand across multiple marketing disciplines from inbound to outbound and offline to digital. This leads me to our first point in finding the perfect marketing agency:
1. A full service marketing agency – Effective marketing generally incorporates more than one discipline, a combination of PR, social media, advertising, traditional, digital marketing and graphic design. The only question is do you need your agency to do it all for you? Think carefully when answering this. You may be obsessed with social media or fancy yourself as a writer or creative ideas man, but do you have the experience and time to market your business? If your answer is no, then you need a full service agency to meet all your marketing needs.
2. Experience – An established full service marketing agency has a unique vantage point that you can only obtain through a team of talented individuals working together. Experience across a number of industries that only comes from putting in the time, and the creative inspired enthusiasm that the novice brings to the table. Working together agencies are able to draw from both fields to provide marketing plans full of proven experience and unique attention grabbing ideas. Of course, with an experienced full service marketing agency there will be an abundance of case studies to help persuade you in your decision. Talent is the key ingredient in all personnel and successful campaigns will be the proof of the pudding. And of course success is measured by return on investment.
3. Accountability – A PR and marketing agency worth its salt understands that despite how fantastic an advert may look, how informative or topical a feature article may be or how dynamic a website, the bottom line has to be are they making you money? It may be that you need to consider the marketing plan as a whole to determine just what is working, comparing traditional marketing against digital. Digital marketing, for instance, can be tracked to see exactly how successful a campaign is and importantly, how many leads it is generating. An agency can produce reports using the latest online analysis and emerging tracking solutions for most PR work carried out online including e-shots, social media campaigns and web marketing.
4. Value for money – This has been a long and difficult recession. If you are still standing you have been doing something right. I am willing to bet when it comes to managing the company budget you want to account for every penny and of course you should. If you have made the decision to use a marketing agency then you have made the decision to use experts and no expert is going to sell themselves short, certainly not marketing experts. Would you trust one who did? That doesn’t mean the sky is the limit either when it comes to spending your money. An experienced, talented full service marketing agency will be able to identify your key targets, your unique selling points and marketable messages in a marketing strategy to fit your budget. They will have to get creative but then that’s what they are good at.
5. Relationships – As is always the case, this is where it can get complicated. As the client looking for a full service marketing agency, with experienced and talented staff, offering transparency and accountability with value for money, you need to be completely honest about the type of people you want to work with. Do you want marketing consultants who will tell you what will work and, just as important, what won’t work? Do you need drivers or do you want to retain the impetus? How important is chemistry to you and do you instinctively feel you can trust these marketers with your business’ reputation? As in any relationship, if there is no trust the relationship is doomed.
PRG prides itself on meeting each criteria listed above. We treat our old friends (clients) the same way we treat new clients, with the same enthusiasm, drive and creativity while always ensuring a successful return on investment.