How can marketing companies help me?
We live in a culture in North America where we are fiercely independent. The rise of the internet has given every person the power to control what they do, not just in their own lives, but in their working lives, leisure life and to help those that come in to it. It doesn’t seem to matter what the problem is – you can ‘Google it’ and get an answer. The thing is… can you get the right answer? That’s the rub, a lot of the time that answer is, ‘No, not really’.
If you run a SMB (Small to Medium business) it’s easy to let the bottom line dictate what you do in any given situation and that decision can mean that you lean on Google too much for your marketing direction. It may save you money, but it has the potential to lose you more money than you gain. You have to stop and ask yourself:
How important is your marketing to you?
Whether you like it or not, your marketing is vital to the success of your business. What’s the point of having a great product and not telling anyone? You need to propel your company brand into the digital arena and make online marketing work for you if you want people to buy you product, it’s a simple as that. Even if it’s a part of your business you really have to psyche yourself up for, you need to do it – and joining an online forum is unlikely to give you the help you need to stay solvent.
The internet is a great resource for learning, but one limit it has is that it’s not ‘individual specific’ and that is a great drawback. If you read several articles about content marketing for instance, all of them may contradict each other so you may be no more enlightened than when you started. You may sift through them and find articles and case studies about companies that you feel are similar to yours, but how similar can you get? You may be the same size and location, but the marketing strategy for Nuts and Bolts is very different from the strategy deployed to market children’s underwear. You may even find a company that is an extremely close match, but your company image may differ and your brands are incompatible. Simply put, what works for one business may not work for another.
What compounds that problem is that for you to find out these strategies do not work, you have to have already deployed them and invested precious time and resources that did nothing for your sales. If you don’t have the time to get it right in the first place – when are you going to have the time to go back and correct it?
You also have to look at the source of the article. To make a thriving and popular brand, companies need engaging content… and lots of it! For many companies they chose to outsource the writing of their articles to ‘content farms’, vast rooms of people that write about anything they are asked to. They are not experts, just writers, so much of the content has been written by ‘battery hen’ style writers that have researched using – yep! You guessed it – Google. Can the credibility and accuracy of the article be vouched for? As much as any photocopy of a photocopy, of a photocopy of a photocopy, of a photocopy of a photocopy can. With each new incarnation the facts become more irrelevant and give way to sensationalism. It may be a brand new article, but the information researched may be extremely out of date inapplicable.
What do marketing companies do?
Marketing companies are professionals that dedicate their lives to honing their craft. You have to be a pretty switched on character to be able to:
Good marketing professionals are worth their weight in gold as they instinctively know the market, know how to work the market and produce a low risk return on investment as there is unlikely to be a project that they have not previously experienced. If you can’t competently handle the pressures listed above and provide substantial value to your businesses bottom line, it’s time to look at the marketing companies in your area.
Marketing companies and SMB’s (small to medium businesses)
If you run a small to medium business your best option is to finance as much media from a marketing company as possible. Don’t make it a burden, but do work out what your financial priorities are.
First, work out what kind of a budget you want to spend, then work out how much you can afford. You need to be serious about your marketing budget as it is the one element of your company that will produce an income, and, as with most things, you pay for what you get.
Secondly, settle down and work out what media will be multiuse. A new sales brochure may be your first thought, but what about making it a downloadable file or putting it on a branded USB? Paper copies of brochures are not cheap and can only be given out in a face to face setting. Having one available as a download saves you plenty of time and money, but also provides you with an opportunity to garner database information that you can use for other promotions. Be open to new ideas.
Thirdly, find a marketing company you can work with, and see what they suggest. Look at their past portfolios and ask for recommendations. Don’t be shy about telling the company all about your company, your company image and brand or about what you are looking to achieve. All this helps build up a picture of what is needed and will the marketing company you chose an idea of what you want produced. It all helps in speeding up the campaign so it can go live as soon as possible.
Trusting your marketing to a marketing company can sometimes be a leap of faith, but it’s worth doing. Marketing companies make it their business to successfully promote your business and can help you in many different ways, not just in selling your product. You just have to let them.