Mistakes Businesses Make When Hiring a Marketing Firm
I’ve been honored to work with some amazing brands, and whenever I am given the opportunity to help a company grow I am humbled.
However, I have found significant problems that small businesses face when hiring a marketing firm. While CEOs know they need to “do marketing,” their lack of detailed knowledge on the marketing process, realistic goal setting and the importance of follow through, leads them to not give their marketing agencies enough information to be successful.
So, as a cautionary tale I want to help small businesses seeking the assistance of a marketing agency to understand what not to do.
Not Trusting Your Marketing Specialists
You’ve hired a marketing firm to assist in your company’s growth, after research a customized marketing strategy is created for you and work begins on reaching your brand’s goals. As implementation begins on building the pieces of the pie, many times companies loose sight of the goal. The minutia of creating collateral and messaging of a campaign can sometimes overwhelm when the goal of creating business is looming over the process.
Problem: Without the pieces of a campaign in place, your marketing strategy will never be successful. Allowing your consultant to fully realize the agreed upon strategy is the only way you will receive the business goals that you originally discussed.
Using History To Guide Your Future
Traditional marketing tactics your previous counsel utilized to get you results was great for that time. However, customers constantly change their attitudes and preferences. Something what worked last year may not be the right way to approach your customers today.
Problem: Including older tactics in your new marketing strategy can divert effort away from the strategy that your marketing firm is recommending for your goals. Wasting effort equals a wasted budget.
Small Budget and High Expectations
Unfortunately, there is no magic pill for a successful marketing campaign. Receiving hundreds of leads, downloads or purchases is impossible without getting your message in front of thousands of people. And, that takes money. Whether your budget is spent on message development or advertising, your marketing strategist makes a spend recommendation based on the results you are seeking. If you cut your budget then our goals will need to be reduced as well.
Problem: Reducing budget after an agreement is reached, or increasing your goals after a campaign is created will greatly reduce the likelihood of success for your brand.
Results Needed Tomorrow
Once you hire a marketing firm, you become a team working towards the same goal. Your marketing partner does not want to take your money without giving you results, they want your campaign together to be successful. If it is not successful then they can’t continue your relationship, ask you for referrals or market your success to garner new clients. In the same vein, as a small business you must allow your marketing team to create and implement your campaign for a reasonable time. This ‘right amount of time’ is typically one year. Some campaigns can be shorter, but many factors will weigh into their effectiveness.
Problem: Hiring a marketing firm for a test run or giving your new team only three months to prove themselves is setting you and them up for failure. Six to nine months is little better for the opportunity, however as I mentioned an annual campaign is ideal.
Also, there is no possibility of going viral, ever. Sorry.
I hope this will help you hire and work better with your next marketing firm.