Whether you’re just getting big enough to need some outside marketing help or looking to make a change, trying to nail down the perfect marketing and communication partner for your business isn’t always easy. Before making any big commitments, make sure they check all of these boxes.
1. Attention to detail
From start to finish, the marketing partner you select should let no detail go unnoticed. From double and triple checking the spelling on print pieces to going through extensive pre-launch tests for websites. Attention to small details can make or break a marketing campaign, especially in the already oversaturated digital market. Look at existing client work to see if their level of execution matches your expectations.
2. Has a skill set and price that’s just right
Just like Goldilocks, a large ad agency might be too expensive while a single freelance designer may not have the bandwidth for your needs. It’s important to select a marketing partner that is just right for your needs and your budget. Think about what you really need. Your partner should compliment your existing strengths. Do you already have an in-house social media team? Maybe s firm with a specialty in content creation can help generate work to put out on social. Do you already have a great website? A firm with a specialty in print design can help extend that digital brand to your print marketing. No matter what your needs, make sure your selected partner can fill any gaps that you might need help with.
3. Thoughtful and ORIGINAL creative
Sure, you could go to an online source and purchase a logo or stock art for your visual needs, but a true creative marketing agency or firm is doing more than just coming up with a design that looks good. They are listening to your specific needs, thinking about your brand as a whole and only then are they applying their creative talents. Some of those online sources aren’t even producing 100 percent original work. So, buyer beware, you might end up selecting artwork or photography that looks just like someone else’s. Forgo the added hassle and get it right the first time by choosing a marketing agency that produces creative content that can’t be matched.
4. Has access to the resources needed
You might be considering skipping a marketing agency or firm altogether and handling your needs in-house. While that’s an option for some, don’t underestimate this undertaking. Often, it is less expensive to outsource work than to hire a team of social media experts, designers and web developers. Also, some marketing agencies have access to specific resources that are too expensive to bring in-house like web developers, writers, illustrators and animators. Having a partner with these skill sets to turn to when thee need arises is crucial.
5. Open lines of communication
With some online and budget resources and sometimes even with a larger agency, reaching a live person to talk to can be difficult. And when consistent and reliable communication isn’t available, important things fall through the cracks. Look for a marketing partner that is available to talk to and can take the reigns on a project while still making you feel in-the-loop.
6. Mutual vision
Equally important as an open line of communication is sharing the same goal and vision. If you and your partner aren’t on the same page, it’s going to be extremely difficult to achieve your end-goal. Along with a mutual vision, it’s also important to choose a partner you get along with and actually like. If you don’t enjoy talking to or meeting with your marketing partner and their team, you’re going to find it more challenging to get things done. Find a marketing partner that you’re comfortable with and is mutually invested in your specific communication goals.