One of the best things we can do to improve our corporations is to invest in our marketing strategies. It’s no secret that how we market products or services can either make or break a company – if we succeed, our company has the potential to become a household name, like Ford, Google, ADT, or Verizon Wireless. If we fail, however, it becomes difficult for potential customers to pick us out of the crowd of competitors. Professional marketing firms are aware of this and have refined methods of luring in corporate leaders because we are often either excited at the prospect of further boosting our business or desperate to save a floundering one. However, there are several crucial things to think about when hiring the pros in order to avoid making costly mistakes.
Is it possible to source marketing skills from within your organization? While it may not be in their job description, reach out to employees and see if any of them have any marketing or design skills. Some of them may have taken classes in college or completed an internship. Describe your visions and consider having one of them put together a mock marketing strategy or advertisement – they might surprise you! In the long run, being able to create a marketing team from people who are already familiar with the company’s values and goals can save a lot of stress and money. Only after ensuring that this is not a pursuable option should you then begin to search for a professional marketing agency.
Do you have a solid grasp of the goal or endpoint that you are trying to reach? Before hiring an expert marketing team, make sure you have a well-thought-out idea of what you are trying to accomplish by doing so. Think of a marketing firm as a car dealership. You wouldn’t go to a dealership with no idea of what specific make, model, or style you’re looking for, because the salesman would undoubtedly try to talk you into buying the most expensive car on the lot. Just like when purchasing a vehicle, you should do plenty of research, compare all of your options, and know what your overall goal is beforehand so you can make a well-informed decision that will benefit both you and your corporation.
Do they provide all of the resources you will need? Is the marketing firm you are looking at a one-stop-shop for all of your needs, or will certain services need to be outsourced? For instance, if it is agreed that the best marketing strategy will be a combination of television ads and face-to-face fundraising events, does the firm have the means to record these ads and rent out large spaces for these occasions, or will you have hire a third party? Typically, if an agency can’t offer everything you need, they will have trusted partners that they can point you to, but this could be an additional cost.
Do they have a good track record of working with companies like yours? In other words, any marketing team you think of hiring should have successful experience working with other companies of your size and industry. For example, if you own a plumbing business that employs 300,000 people, it won’t likely benefit you to hire a team that specializes in helping locally owned restaurants. Visit their website beforehand and see if they have a portfolio or any testimonies from clients like yourself – this will give you a good insight into how well they will be able to help you.
Is everyone on the same page in terms of involvement? Some executives choose to outsource marketing so that they have one less thing to worry about. Others want to have step-by-step updates so they can ensure quality and correctness. Either way, make sure everyone is on the same page in terms of who is doing what, when the due dates are, and what resources are needed from each side.
Does everyone get along? The marketing agencies that you collaborate with might not be technical employees, but there still needs to be a positive relationship between leaders, their employees, and the marketing specialists. You will be working with these people on a regular basis depending on the terms of your contract, so make sure you can collaborate and share ideas easily and without tension.
Now, read the contract very carefully, and then read it a second time. A professional marketing firm will provide you with a clear contract that lays out what is expected from both parties in terms of services and payment. Make sure you agree with everything, and don’t hesitate to have a lawyer look over it if you start getting overwhelmed by legal jargon.
In short, bringing on a team of people who specialize in marketing can potentially be a great step forward for a corporation when done wisely and at the right time. It should be a well-educated and thought-out decision, because not only is it legally binding, it can also have a lasting positive or negative effect on your team and how they operate together. Keep the above considerations in mind and go with your instincts, and you will be able to find a trustworthy marketing firm that can turn your goals into reality and bring your corporation to the next level.