Five Stages of Choosing a Marketing Firm
Choosing a Marketing Firm is like dating in the modern world. From the first impression, learning their values and lifestyle (company culture), to basic chemistry, it’s a commitment to a partnership. And it’s a partnership that requires frequent and clear communication, as in any good relationship.
Be picky, because a pretty façade doesn’t always equal a quality experience!
Stage 1: First Impressions
What’s their website like? A marketing company’s website is the equivalent of a profile page, or a first date. It says a lot about them. It’s the quickest way to filter out the weaker competition. This is a digital world, and if a marketing firm can’t find the time to build, design, and frequently update a beautiful website to present themselves properly, consider it a red flag.
Does the voice of the website resonate? Do you like the look and feel? Is it easy to find information? And most importantly, do they spend more time talking about themselves, or what they can do for you? Ultimately they need to align with your company culture, values, and mission.
Stage 2: Basic Compatibility
Marketing firms (and individuals) usually have specific skill-sets that make them unique. The question is not whether they are good at what they do, but whether they are good at what you need them to do. This is important in ALL types of relationships. Compatibility. Find an expert team with diverse competencies that can work as an extension of your internal team. They need to be able to bring something new to the table.
Stage 3: The Friend Test
Marketing and sales are more aligned than ever. They should be working in unison. Would you date somebody who didn’t have friends who spoke highly of them? A marketing firm that truly believes in the power of sales are also willing to invest in selling themselves. Additionally, the initial sales process can tell you a lot about the kind of team you may be hiring.
Stage 4: Future Goals and Vision
If they’re stagnant, they’re probably not doing well. A marketing firm’s job is to help your business grow. They should have vision and goals for your future, and should be equipped internally, and willing to do the same for themselves.
Stage 5: Will it Work?
Do you really like them? This seems obvious, but there are intricacies in interpersonal business relationships that are often overlooked. If you choose a marketing firm that doesn’t flow organically with your team, it can cause frustrations, delays, and roadblocks.
Are they responsive? Are they asking the right questions? Do they get along with one another internally? Do they get along with your team? It’s important to know your business well, including your own weaknesses, in order to determine the kind of agency you want. If you want an agency that will offer new perspectives, expertise, and will brainstorm with you, be more particular with whom you choose.