Tips for Hiring a Marketing Company

Updated Sep 22, 2022

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Hiring outside marketing and advertising expertise can take your business to the next level – just be sure you’re choosing the right partner.

  • Marketing companies take over a labor-intensive process while bringing a consultative approach to devising your marketing strategies.
  • Determine whether or not a marketing company can handle the services you need before deciding if they’re a good fit for your small business. 
  • Identify your goals, secure references, and request a detailed written proposal before moving forward with any marketing company.
  • This article is for small business owners considering outsourcing their marketing efforts to a marketing agency.

by Adam Uzialko, Editor, Business News Daily Staff. Find the entire article HERE on Business News Daily’s website.

Many entrepreneurs and small business owners struggle to manage marketing and advertising duties while running their business’s day-to-day operations, even if they have some knowledge of small business marketing. Additionally, digital marketing requires a nuanced understanding of various channels and platforms that many business owners don’t have the time or experience to manage optimally.

In these cases, a marketing company could help improve your company’s marketing return on investment (ROI) and free up internal resources. But how can you be sure you’re hiring the right firm?

How to choose a marketing company

Choosing a marketing company should come down to more than dollars and cents. Handing off your marketing efforts to a third party requires trust; after all, they’ll manage your brand and how you communicate with your audience. A marketing company could make or break your brand-building strategy

Consider the following eight best practices when selecting a marketing company to provide high-quality services and reliable communication and reporting. 

1. Identify your goals before hiring a marketing company.

Identifying your goals is the first step in hiring a marketing company. Be specific. Instead of saying, “I want to increase sales,” identify actionable items like, “I want to increase visits to my e-commerce store,” or “I want to reduce cart abandonment rates.” 

Understanding your goals and setting key performance indicators (KPIs) will help you choose the right marketing company and measure its success throughout your relationship.

“It really depends on what a business owner’s end goals are,” said Travis McKnight, content strategy architect at Portent. “If they’re just trying to get a website that is functional … they don’t need the fanciest team. If they’re trying to get more conversions … they need a team with more expertise and agility.”

Key TakeawayKey takeaway: If your marketing goals are straightforward, save money by hiring a team to carry out basic tasks. But if you want a more in-depth or dynamic marketing strategy, consider allocating more resources to your small business marketing budget.

2. Seek references for marketing firms and consider industry expertise.

Check out any potential marketing partner’s references, and see what similar businesses say about them. Pay close attention to marketing companies whose services seem relevant to your needs.

David Wyatt, head of communications and business strategy at Mighty Coconut, said you should always talk to recent references. “Marketing can be a very volatile industry, and clients need to know how agency teams are [performing] in recent months,” Wyatt said.

Additionally, if a marketing company caters specifically to your industry (or, better yet, small businesses in your industry), it might be worth a closer look.

“Industry-specific marketing is best for small businesses,” said Kathryn Carter Heck, search engine marketing analyst for Coalmarch. “For example, Coalmarch is a marketing company specific to the pest control industry. Because we serve a specific client, we provide an incomparable understanding of seasonality and how people shop for what our clients sell.”

3. Make a shortlist of marketing company candidates.

Once you’ve identified several marketing companies that fit your goals and have experience serving similar businesses in your industry, make a shortlist of candidates to review. From here, establish direct contact with the agencies, and tell them you’re considering hiring them. 

4. Ask for work samples from marketing companies on your shortlist.

Ask each candidate on your shortlist for samples of work relevant to your needs. For example, if you want to build an effective business website, ask to see previous clients’ websites. If you want them to manage social media for your business, ask to view other clients’ accounts.

“Not all marketing companies are created equally. If you are a hammer, every problem looks like a nail, so clients should know what sort of capabilities and capacity they need before they begin their search,” Wyatt said.

Samples of previous campaigns and other work help demonstrate the range of skills a marketing company brings to the table.

5. Review the marketing company’s marketing.

Another excellent way to glean how well a marketing company could work for your small business is to examine its marketing efforts.

Review their website and social media channels to get a sense of their content, graphics and branding. If their digital properties look professional and effective, chances are they can do the same for your business. If not, question whether they really have the expertise or skills you need.

“Generally, you should avoid hiring a marketing company that doesn’t have strong marketing for their own agency,”…

Read on…article continues HERE on Business News Daily’s website.

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