How to Buy Marketing Services
Making the decision to buy services from a marketing agency can be a confounding process. So many buzz phrases and acronyms: digital, traditional, inbound, outbound, content, SEO, social, automation… the options seem endless.
1. Never buy a thing. Buy a process.
Most marketers are tactic driven. Client consultation is time consuming and it takes effort to do it right. Therefore, it’s easier for most agencies to sell a product, such as an SEO package for $1500, a website for $5000, a Facebook ad package for $2500, or (gulp!) Yellow Page ads for 10 grand. But how do you know if any of these packages support a strategy that is right for your business? Look for a marketing partner that has a defined marketing services process to lead you through discovery to strategy and plan, and then, finally, tactics. The work will be better. And the results will be on-strategy.
2. All marketing should be measurable.
Are you sure that every dollar you spend on marketing delivers many times its value in measurable return? Having a feeling that half your marketing works and half doesn’t – and not knowing which half is which – is no longer acceptable. It’s time to retire broken and inefficient initiatives and replace them with strategically appropriate programs that can be measured, evaluated, and optimized in-market in real time for best results. It’s fine to layer in print or radio over a digital campaign but precise calls-to-action must be created to ensure a measurable outcome.
3. Beware design-centric marketing.
While branding and design are very important elements of marketing, “pretty” alone doesn’t make sales. It’s easy to make an emotional decision and chose an agency based solely on a beautiful creative portfolio. However, marketing creative should be strategy driven – not the other way around. Companies will oftentimes circle back to marketing strategy after spending far too much time and resources on a brand-centric agency before realizing they’ve missed a crucial step – the strategy.
4. Share your budget and insist on a scope of work.
Just as all clients are unique, no two marketing plans are alike. Marketing consulting is not a commodity. Therefore, you cannot shop on price alone. Help your agency define your needs by sharing your budget. You’ll gain confidence immediately when your agency provides you with a process to meet your needs based on budget. A truly great agency will respect your budget and create a highly detailed scope of work that will include deliverables, timelines, and terms and conditions. When there is a proper scope of work, there a much less risk of miscommunication, and vastly superior outcomes.
5. Relationship is Everything.
Your prospective agency should be able to demonstrate their ability to nurture and grow long-term relationships with clients across different industries (not just your own). A truly great agency will have enshrined processes to onboard a client and manage the workflow. They will be functionally set-up to communicate with you in a horizontal not hierarchical fashion, acting as an extension of your team rather than a fly-by-night journeyperson or a highly aloof multinational company. When you meet your ideal agency partner, you will feel it because they will champion your success in order to achieve their own.
Let the work begin.
At Momentum, we put your financial and organizational success at the center of everything we do. We can help evolve your marketing, right now. We begin every client engagement with a Marketing Assessment. And that process begins with a simple conversation.
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