If you could hire the perfect marketing team, what characteristics would they possess? Would you put the emphasis on their track record? Compatibility? Cost? What would the ideal marketing firm and team look like?
When it comes to marketing, most of us know the results we want, but we’re not quite sure how to get them. One thing’s for sure, though, very few of us understand what goes into an effective marketing strategy. We try traditional methods like email, brochures, and TV ads. If we’re feeling really ambitious, we’ll put up a website or online storefront and hope for the best. When we don’t get results – or don’t get them as fast as we’d hoped – we either keep trying what isn’t working or just give up entirely.
It doesn’t need to be that way.
Why You Need a Professional Marketing Team
Hiring a marketing firm is out of reach, or so we think. However, the cost of not using a professional might be much higher in the long run.
Despite what you think, marketing firms are not just for big brands. Hiring the right marketing firm can take you from small fish to major player with an effective, multi-pronged approach.
With a professional marketer, you’ll:
- Keep up with current marketing trends and best practices
- Establish industry authority
- Access and draw on creative resources
- Navigate the social media sphere with finesse
- Create a unified brand image
- Cut time and cost
- Gain insight by analyzing past marketing failures and success stories
You’ll also learn who your competitors really are and gain a deeper understanding of your audience as well as where and how to reach them. With this knowledge, your marketing team can work with you to determine your most profitable products or product lines and develop an effective strategy toward sustainable long-term growth and prosperity.
Now that you can see more clearly how your company will benefit from working with marketing professionals, here’s how to find the right team to develop your brand strategy.
7 Key Things to Look for When Hiring a Marketing Firm
1. High-Level Skills and Experience
Marketing in the age of digital platforms and social media requires marketers who can stay ahead of the game. You want a firm that’s tech savvy and comfortable in the digital sphere, has a proven track record of success in your field, and strives to remain current on all marketing platforms, technologies, and trends.
Red flag alert: Unwillingness to provide customer recommendations. They’ll possess an overall lack of transparency.
2. Committed to Learning
While some marketing practices are classics that will stand the test of time, consumer behaviors, trends, and marketing technologies are in a constant state of flux. You want to hire a marketing firm that’s as passionate about branding as you are about your company.
The team will eat, sleep, and breathe marketing, can’t absorb enough information, and are able to draw from a broad network of industry peers. If there’s a new platform or technology merging, they’re among to the first in line to learn everything about how to leverage it for their clients.
Red flag alert: Outdated or generic business website, lackluster ideas, and an unwillingness to think outside the box or incorporate new approaches. If all of their ideas seem to come from the 1990s or they can’t market themselves, how can they market your company, or position you as a progressive industry leader?
3. Communication Skills
Good communication skills extend beyond timely correspondence or the ability to reach someone on the phone when you need them. You want a marketing firm with a team that listens rather than just waiting for their turn to speak, and who demonstrates their ability to truly understand and reach your target market because they stay engaged. The team should also ask the kind of questions that lead to deeper insight and understanding of you, your company, and your future goals, and to translate that insight into a customer-centric strategy.
Red flag alert: Run from a marketer who doesn’t doesn’t ask questions or whom you can never seem to reach.
4. Balance of Creativity and Business Savvy
The best marketing campaigns are memorable and unique, and that takes creativity. However, you also need hire a marketing firm that balances creativity with critical thinking skills, tech savvy, and business acumen. They should also have the ability to understand consumer behavior and strategically apply that insight to your marketing efforts. An analytical mind doesn’t hurt, either.
Red flag alert: Avoid marketers who are all flash and no substance. Creativity alone doesn’t cut it.
Your business goals are growth and profitability. Look for a marketing firm that is well-versed in marketing techniques like target market segmentation and is able to apply them in a way that’s focused on sustainable growth and profitability.
Red flag alert: Take a pass on marketers who rely on riding trends or quick results, but who lacks a strategy for long-term sustainability.
6. Leadership Skills
As the client, the marketing team works for you. However, you also want someone with leadership skills who doesn’t wait around for others to point them in the right direction. What you’re really looking for is leadership without ego. Someone who is capable and confident, but able to work well with others, take in fresh ideas, and then run with them.
Red flag alert: Stay away from marketers who don’t provide ideas, guidance, or feedback as well as one that seems to lack direction or accountability.
All marketing campaigns involve taking in information and leveraging it into a unified strategy. They’ll learn all they can about your company, products, and goals, help you identify your ideal buyer persona, and then devise an action plan that ties all of this information together and infuses it with intention.
Red flag alert: Marketers who spend an inordinate amount of time spit balling and brainstorming. Throwing everything at the wall and asking you to pick something is not a strategy.
As a business owner, you already have enough on your plate. Hiring the right marketing firm offers industry experience, freedom, objectivity, a fresh set of eyes, and an action plan for success.
Talk to a marketing specialist at Level343 today about ways to improve your brand strategy. We’ve worked with companies of all sizes from a broad range of industries, and we can’t wait to show you what we can do for you.