Like a shiny diamond in the window of a jewelry store, the lure of having a Marketing agency on retainer to take your business to the next level can be intoxicating! We all want to make money and be successful. However, if your business is not ready to work with an agency, you could be wasting a lot of valuable resources on services that can work to hurt your business instead of help it.
1. Do you have a business plan? As the saying goes, “Fail to plan, plan to fail!” Have some idea of who your target markets are, what your projected sales will be, what your products/services are, what marketing strategies have not worked in the past and who your biggest competitors are. All this information will be very beneficial to any agency you hire.
2. Do you have a budget? As a general rule of thumb, companies should spend around 7 % of their total revenue on marketing to maintain their current position within the marketplace. Companies looking to grow or gain greater market share should budget a higher percentage—usually around 10 - 15%.
3. Is your product ready to be distributed to the masses? In business and in life, you only get one chance to make a first impression. Be certain that your product/service is ready to be distributed to the masses BEFORE you start executing a marketing plan. Nothing is worse than driving traffic to your business and failing your customers when it comes to fulfillment.
4. Do you have the time to manage a marketing agency? The “set it and forget it” mental does not work for agencies. While we know marketing, we don’t know every detail of your business. Make sure you have several hours per week to dedicate to brainstorming, reviewing strategies and creative materials and interacting with media if you want to maximize your investment.
5. Are your expectations defined & realistic? So you want to be on the front page of the Wall Street Journal? Or maybe you’re expecting to quadruple your sales within two months. Having lofty goals is great, but a good marketing program takes time and dedication to implement. Discuss your goals and expectations with your agency of record (AOR) and determine up front what metrics are important so that you can all be on the same page when measuring success.
6. Are you ready to listen? As a business owner, you’ve probably gotten where you are by doing things your way. But, when you hire an outside resource to help take your business to new heights, you have to be willing to take other’s advice into consideration.
7. Are you ready to be a bit uncomfortable? Any marketer worth their salt is going to think outside the box and present ideas to you that may seem unconventional. Granted, you don’t want to do anything that would jeopardize the reputation of your brand. But, then again, some of the greatest marketing campaigns ever created were a bit controversial. Don’t be afraid to try something different or implement a tactic that you may not have considered in the past.
8. Is your internal team on board? Hiring an outside agency can often be looked upon as a threat to internal employees. Especially if you have internal marketing resources. Be clear with both your agency and your staff on what the expectations and responsibilities are for all that are involved in your marketing efforts.
Want more information about finding the right agency fit for your organization? Contact us today at 480-305-2017 and let us help! If we're not the right fit for you, we'll help you find an agency that is.