Is your marketing agency selling you what they do or recommending what you need? The 5 questions to ask yourself.
A marketing agency is supposed to market, and that means being able to tackle more than just one medium – right? But scratch beneath the surface and you often find a marketing agency only really designs, or manages a client’s local PR or does web development. And here’s the classic bind of smaller businesses. They don’t have the budget to afford a full service agency and often fall into working with the first name recommended to them, whether that company answers their requirements or not.
So here, to help you decide whether your marketing agency is right for you, are 5 questions to ask yourself – with some answers.
- Has your agency discussed a marketing strategy?
We wrote in a previous blog about the importance of a coherent marketing strategy, even for the smallest startup. The strategy needs to take into account at the very least your aims and budget, your target market, the nature of what you are selling, the buying process and schedule. It could be you don’t know all these things, in which case it is the job of the agency to help you work them out.
- Does your agency really understand your sector and your business?
Some businesses are easier to understand than others – hence the number of ‘widgets’ on show in the Dragon’s Den. Services, trade products, regulated markets are all more complex and require experience and understanding if the marketing is going to be successful.
- Has your agency discussed what exactly you want your target market to do and how they will do it?
An agency worth its salt will get onto this subject fairly early in the conversation especially if you are selling direct, where payment facilities, contracts and terms of business have a crucial role. Alternatively if you are selling, say, a service to other businesses, you need to be talking about sales cycles, decisionmaking processes lead times and conversion rates.
- Can your agency show you case studies of work that go beyond one or two services?
A surprising number of agencies only offer a single core service (press advertising, say, or web development plus a bit of print. If they can’t show you case studies calling on several marketing disciplines, the chances are they don’t have them. Leaving you to assemble and manage all the other media you are likely to need.
But there’s one question which is perhaps the most crucial of all, namely
- Does your agency understand what it means to be an SME?
If you are a smaller business or growing from small to medium sized, you need an agency that understands the SME environment – the reality of multi-tasking, the worry about when is the best time to expand, your lack of time and the constant pressure to persuade customers that you are ‘big enough to cope, small enough to care.’ That way your agency will be sensitive to what you can manage and what you can’t and be realistic in what can be achieved together.
At Two Lizards we take the time to discuss not only the nature of your business and its specific challenges, but your aspirations for the short and longer term.
We then create a strategy that helps you to start achieving your goals, always building on the firm foundation of a high quality website capable of generating sales or sales leads as effectively as possible.
If more specialist PR, social media or other marketing skills are needed, we have our own team of highly respected associates and work with them to deliver on our agreed strategy, leaving you free to do what you do best – running your business.
Our clients range from product developers to service businesses, companies that sell to consumers (B2C), others that focus on trade clients (B2B) and some that do both. From the glamorous to the technical, every business gets our full attention and a commitment to an effective strategy, skilfully delivered.
If that sounds good, why not get in touch and let’s talk? Starting not with what we do, but what you want and need.
Contact us now or call us on 01403 731028.