Your company’s reputation hinges on your creation of a winning marketing strategy. But with over 120,000 marketing agencies in the United States, the prospect of selecting the best agency to handle your marketing needs can seem intimidating. However, you can simplify the process by narrowing your search to agencies that possess a few essential qualities. Below are five key things to look for in a marketing agency.
1) A comprehensive marketing strategy that incorporates multi-channel campaigns
“A true multi-channel strategy covers purchases from a store, purchases from a website, telephone ordering, mail orders, interactive television, catalog ordering and comparison shopping sites. The aim of a multi-channel retailing strategy is to maximize revenue and loyalty by offering your customers choice and convenience.”
– Ian Linton, HEARST
Offering prospects choices and convenience is essential to earning their loyalty. Five-star marketing agencies offer the expertise you need to help your business develop a cross-platform approach to selling. Research conducted by Stich Labs found that multichannel businesses enjoyed impressive revenue increases when they offer a combination of a branded website and multiple marketplaces. Specific findings included the following:
- Medium-sized retailers who added a single marketplace made 38% more revenue than those without a marketplace
- Retailers with two marketplaces added 120% more revenue than those without a marketplace
- Those who added a third marketplace added 190% more revenue than those selling on a single marketplace
In addition to incorporating multi-channel campaigns, the best marketing firms are proactive. They continually review your websites to ensure that your website is responsive, easy to navigate, and effective. Additionally, they make sure that your website is mobile-friendly to enable your customers to easily access your company from their favorite smartphone or tablet.
2) A physical office that you can visit and meet personally with staff
“Recent data suggests that face-to-face communication is often more successful than other forms (due to a variety of factors, such as body language and interactivity), especially in a business environment. An office naturally gives you this advantage.”
– Larry Alton, Forbes
There are over 1.8 billion websites in the world and many of these were created by individuals advertising marketing services. While virtually anyone can create a colorful, impressive website that advertises marketing services, only the most professional marketing agencies can back up an eye-catching website with stellar live support and an impressive physical location.
Marketing agencies with an actual physical location offer you the opportunity to meet face to face with the individuals who will develop your marketing strategy. You will have a place to sit down and review proposals, while also assessing whether or not the agency would be a good fit for your company culture.
3) Full transparency and access to all execution of tactics
“Procter & Gamble recently made an unsettling discovery. Among other things, some of its agencies were receiving kickbacks from media companies…So the world’s biggest advertiser did what any smart company should do — it revisited all of its media agency contracts to ensure full transparency.”
– Robert Glazer, Founder & CEO, Acceleration Partners
Top-notch marketing agencies offer transparency from the moment you walk through the door of their office. They complete projects on their own as opposed to outsourcing critical tasks to overseas providers who may engage in suspect tactics. Most importantly, they refrain from offering kickbacks to media companies and do not engage in fraudulent advertising. Here are a few ways that leading marketing agencies foster transparency:
- They will sit down with you and ask you about your goals and expectations
- They provide you with a clear, concise contract that clarifies terms and agreements
- They show you exactly how your money is being spent and which strategies are offering the greatest ROI
- They focus on long-term benefits for your company as opposed to short-term fixes
4) Use of cutting-edge technology to help set you apart from your competitors
The most accomplished marketing agencies make a point of becoming experts in the latest cutting-edge tools and technology. They are constantly reviewing their own performance and conducting research to determine which marketing strategies are most effective within specific industries. Below are some of the many technological benefits that the top marketing agencies offer customers:
- The latest reporting tools to ensure that you have real-time information at your fingertips
- Techniques such as gamification and video marketing that build client engagement
- Marketing automation strategies that will help you maximize efficiency and retain customers
- Tactics that enable you to target social media to develop secondary markets
5) The ability to see your challenges from your point of view as a business owner
There is no substitution for industry experience in the marketing arena. Successful marketing agencies are experts at putting themselves in your place to understand how vital your marketing campaign is to your company’s success. Selecting the wrong marketing agency can cause ripple effects that can impact multiple departments within your organization. Gary Vaynerchuk summarizes these points in a series of questions that the most accomplished marketing professionals ask themselves before they take on your marketing activities:
“Do you really know their business? Do you really have any idea what this campaign means to them? Do you really know that if this ad doesn’t convert, the CMO is going to get fired? Or that the company will lose millions of dollars or that the five other companies the CEO is friends with will never do business with you? You have to be massively empathetic.”
– Gary Vaynerchuck, Investor and Entrepreneur
As you narrow the list of prospective marketing agencies, look for those professionals who display a strong working knowledge of your industry and who actively listen during your initial discussions. They will be more apt to approach marketing challenges from your point of view.
Finalizing Your Decision
By enlisting the support of a marketing agency that embodies the five qualities above, you will position your company to grow and thrive. We invite you to contact us to find out why we are a leader in the marketing industry. We are ready to help you develop a results-driven, customized approach to marketing that will elevate your company to the next level of success in your industry. We look forward to becoming your trusted solution for all of your marketing needs!