According to data sources, there are over 250,000 marketing, media and advertising agencies in the UK. Take your pick, right? Or, perhaps that too much choice?
Let’s face it, a marketing agency will be good at promoting themselves so how do you know if they are they just inflating their capabilities and expertise? That dilemma may mean you go round and round in circles, then give up and do nothing.
But that ‘do nothing’ strategy doesn’t allow you to move forward towards your future goal of selling your business.
No business owner wants marketing, but they will need it if they want to succeed (and exit with the high financial reward that will allow them to enjoy a financially secure retirement).
So, how do you choose a marketing agency that’s right for you?
Here are 5 considerations when choosing an agency for your business:
At Brevity, we’ve noticed that over the last three years a very high percentage of our work comes from a recommendation. 85% of our current customers are with us because of a referral. Every new client we won in 2021 was via recommendation from either another customer, supplier, friend or acquaintance.
What this shows is that one of the best ways to find a marketing agency is to look within your network. Who do you know that may be using a fantastic marketing agency? Do you trust their recommendation?
In 2021, I wrote a blog about meaningful relationships and Dunbar’s theory, in which I explained how important it is to define and build a strong network. So if you’re struggling to know who to trust, refer to my past blog post.
Chemistry and personality
I’m a firm believer in chemistry because it’s essential you get on with the people you do business with – both from a customer and agency perspective. Think of your marketing agency as an extension of your team. Their personality matters.
Look at a marketing agency’s ‘About Us’ page on their website. Get a feeling for whether you might get on with these people. Decide if the stuff on this page resonates with you or sounds a bit cringy – and there you have your answer.
My personality type is an INFJ. It means I can come across as quiet, but using my ears more than my voice makes me insightful as well as intuitive. Although I’m patient and creative, many company directors appreciate my no-nonsense and to-the-point approach.
They recognise that, with an assertive and proactive team of people like me on board (as 50% of us at Brevity are INFJs), they can relinquish control of their marketing and trust us to get on with the task in hand.
Our company values are Collaborative, Balanced and Real. These words weren’t picked out of a hat and they aren’t simply what we think our customers want us to be. It’s who we really are and it shows in our style of working.
Ask about your potential marketing agency’s values. Do these resonate with you? Can they demonstrate their values through the work they so for other clients in their portfolio? If they have more than three values, or they sound extreme, too good to be true, or too generic – question their authenticity.
Agency staff loyalty
During initial meetings with agencies, you may meet the Director or an Account Manager, but who else works there? At Brevity, when we take on retained customers, we arrange a discovery morning with our team. You come to our countryside office and get to meet everyone, have some lunch and learn about their knowledge and capabilities so you can see how well they will support you.
The experience and longevity of the staff within the agency is indicative of the service you’ll get. We have 8 team members, including me, the Director. I’m very loyal – 11+ years of service! Kelly our copywriter has been with us for over 5 years, Lilly our marketing executive is coming up for her 5th anniversary in 2022.
PR Manager Jenny has worked with us for four years. Sam and Ruth are coming up for their 2nd anniversaries, and Laura joined us in July. Janine previously worked with us on a freelance basis for a number of years and came on board as an employee just over a year ago.
Furlough will have seen many agencies have a shake-up of staff and some may be still learning the ropes. Does that give you confidence in the quality of the marketing and PR activity you’ll receive? Brevity’s customers enjoy team consistency and deep client knowledge.
Also, if an agency has a high turnaround of staff, who is going to be paying for the new team members to get up to speed on your account? You are.
Don’t let past experiences of agencies cloud your judgement?
Marketing agencies can have a reputation for being all style and no substance. If you’ve been let down, it’s understandable that you feel reticence about investing in outsourced marketing again.
Not all marketing agencies are the same. There are honest and genuine agencies out there. By asking pertinent questions, you can enjoy the many benefits of marketing and get a significant return on the cost – and trust – you invest.
If you are looking to hire a growth marketing agency to help you with your marketing strategy, email marketing, content creation and other marketing activities, then give me a call on 01256 536000 to talk about the right marketing solutions for your business.