How to choose the right marketing company?
Let’s firstly look at the questions you should ask.
1. Should I trust a marketing company at all?
To answer this question, let’s take a little look at why people start off in business? There are clearly many reasons, but the overriding ones are:
The mistake many business owners make is that they believe that because they are good at doing the work ‘of the business’ that means they can run a business that does that work and it simply is not true!
So the business owner hires an accountant, because they know that they cannot do their own accounts and they start off in business, undertaking the operational and marketing side of the company themselves. Anything from six months down the road onwards they realise that their marketing is NOT WORKING!
Then one of two things happens;
1. They either go bust/cease trading (76% of all companies started 5 years ago are no longer trading), or they have built a venture that relies solely upon referral for their business and that earns them just enough profit to keep the wolves from the door.
The question is, are you happy with your current profit? The second question is, are you happy leaving your marketing to someone who is not an expert in this field and/or someone who does not have the time to do it anyway?
So having identified that you are not happy with the current success of your business and you want to do better and you are not the best person to do this work, let’s look at the options:
The problem with (a) is that you still don’t have a marketing system and unless you pay ‘top dollar’ you are going to get someone with lots of ideas regarding how that can spend your heard earned cash!!!
I remember Sir John Harvey Jones saying that when he took over as CEO of ICI one of the first things he did was to recognise that ICI where wasting about 50% of their marketing budget. The problem is that they did not know which 50% this was!
One thing for certain is that a vast amount of money is wasted on marketing. So the first tip would be to find a company who is not going to waste your money and if they do waste any money at all, it will be wasted on a small conservative test, before any significant money is invested!
So if you do decide to hire a marketing company here are some thoughts. Get it right and you can look forward to huge success. Get it wrong and you could be seeing the end of your business.
So what’s the problem, aren’t all marketing companies great?
Well to be honest no, and we are not wishing to decry our industry, but anyone can set up a marketing company tomorrow and start trading the day after.
There are two essential things you want from a marketing consultant:
Having established what you want – let’s see how to achieve it. First of all, let’s look at some questions for us to ask a potential marketing company, as well as how much do you charge!
A planned approach that can be broken down into a modular programme is essential. Beware the ‘creative’ consultant; creativity should have been employed long before they offered you their services.
They should and preferably by spending time with you and also through questionnaires and other means.
Do not expect a good consultant to work in isolation; the best results will come from a joint effort. But you shouldn’t be expected to do it all!
Look for a happy medium between the ‘jack of all trades’ and the consultant who only works in one niche area, such as Internet marketing.
Watch for vague clichés like, quality, value, commitment and service. You want to hear something beginning with, “Only we can ...”
Case studies, testimonials and direct access to past and current clients would be good!
So there you have it! Twenty nine questions you might find useful in selecting the best marketing company for you to work with.
Oh, and don’t forget to ask them how much they charge and if they can help you to understand what your potential return on investment might be.
If you wish to ask The Prudent Marketing Company any of the above questions, simply call us on 01256 242 272. We would be happy to undertake a FREE Marketing review of your business and answer any questions you may have.
Telephone: 01256 242 272
The Prudent Marketer - Steve is an acknowledged leading marketing advisor, trainer and professional sales and marketing speaker with over 25 years of experience helping small business owners to grow.
Steve is a former international sportsman and he understands the value of having a good coach. When Steve went into business for himself he applied many of the principles he learned as a sportsman, including a continual and never-ending growth to be the best he could be. He now inspires his clients with the same ethos.
Steve is known as ‘The Prudent Marketer’. He is the author of four books on marketing. Steve doesn’t just deliver ideas; he really helps his clients make those ideas work for their business in a practical way. He really cares about people and wants to make a difference by sharing with others what he does best. Steve is committed to consistent and never-ending improvement, both personally and for those he works with.
Steve is the founder of ‘The LinkedIn Academy which is privately run and is not owned, or endorsed by LinkedIn plc.