At some point, every business needs help with their marketing. Even if you’re a bit of a marketing guru yourself, you have the logistics of a business to run and you may be overloaded.
Perhaps your own marketing department is busy with internal communications, or they don’t have the resources to create, manage and monitor multiple campaigns.
No matter what size or type of business, marketing is a cornerstone of your business plan and strategy. So if you’ve decided to approach a marketing agency, what information do you need to give them and what services can you expect them to provide?
What information do you need to provide a marketing agency?
The first thing a marketing agency is going to do is to create a strategy for your marketing needs. If you’ve already been marketing your products or services for a while, they will need to review what you’ve done and benchmark your results so that any further work can be measured against this point.
- Gather any existing marketing material
Gather any marketing material that your customers have already been exposed to any promotional pieces of communication, flyers, advertisements or brand elements that have already been created, including your website. The agency will review these as a whole in order to make recommendations. Even if you’re approaching an agency with a specific project in mind, the agency will need to develop it in context.
- General business information
In order to create the marketing strategy, the agency will ask you to provide as much information as you can. Certainly, any research you have already conducted will be useful, as would any supporting documentation you can offer such as a company profile and any statistics you have. The agency will ask for background and context of your business, and who your primary competitors are.
- Explain your objectives
The marketing agency will seek to understand the purpose of a specific project or to compile a comprehensive strategy based on your business objectives. The kind of questions an agency will ask include what type of problems you are trying to solve, what your goals are, the timeframe you have allocated and your budget for achieving them.
- Specific project information
If you have a specific project in mind, describe what deliverables you are looking for i.e a website, a social media campaign, or are you looking for a comprehensive marketing strategy that will reach specific potential clients in the best way possible? You’ll need to describe your customers as best you can. Who are they, what are their likes and dislikes, what geographic location do you serve, what kind of tone do you or your salespeople adopt when communicating with them?
Remember that the more background information you can provide, the more focused and insightful the resulting strategy and work will be.
Based on all of this information, the marketing agency will enhance it with further market research and write an appropriate strategy. Once you’ve approved this, they will create the resulting briefs for their teams.
What can you expect from a marketing agency?
The purpose of a marketing agency is to help your business increase sales, build relationships with your customers and increase awareness and exposure of your brand.
Customers want to know more than what product you offer, but also how you do business and what unique position your brand can hold in their perceptions. A marketing agency should be able to communicate any messages with a unified and clear voice.
There are different types of marketing agencies and choosing one will depend on the scope of work you expect.
- Digital marketing agencies specialize in creating your website, developing your online business profile and digital marketing, which is often an affordable starting point for small or growing business.
- Full service advertising agencies will be able to provide everything you need for brand advertising, from TV commercials to print communication as well as brand activation events and all the supporting digital elements.
- Marketing consultancies or PR agencies might focus on specific elements such as brand reputation management, product guides, annual reports and stakeholder communication.
Once you’ve selected the type of marketing agency best suited to your size and type of project, find out about their fees or billing structure, who will be your primary communication contact, how frequently the work will be reviewed and how the success of the work will be measured.
Some measurement reports will only be able to measure the reach while others can measure sales conversions. Consumer perceptions also need to be taken into account. How will increased favorable perceptions be measured? This is a qualitative exercise.
No marketing exercise is a once-off solution. It is a part of a broader strategy and although projects may have a definitive start and end date, they will need to be measured in context of your business activity. A marketing agency will partner with your business for long term success as well as short term boosts.
- StratDigi is a digital marketing agency based in Four ways, Johannesburg. The agency is dedicated to building and marketing your business in the digital environment. We offer smart digital marketing strategies to enhance your success, no matter what stage of development you may be in.