What to Consider Before Hiring a Marketing Firm

What to Consider Before Hiring a Marketing Firm

Marketing your small business is critical to raising awareness of your company—and raising revenue in the long-run. You’d be surprised at how many businesses out there aren’t focused on marketing at all, though. According to the Small Business Administration, “As a general rule, small businesses with revenues less than $5 million should allocate 7-8 percent of their revenues to marketing.” Perhaps you already have a marketing plan in place or maybe you’re starting from scratch. But if you’re considering hiring a marketing firm to help with this initiative, it’s important to make sure you’re both the right fit for each other. This article will cover some of the questions you should ask yourself before starting down the road to a marketing firm partnership.

 What are your expectations?

Think about what you expect your marketing firm to provide for your business. It’s important to understand your needs vs. the services the agency actually can commit to. Based on your business wishlist and the firm’s capabilities, you may need to bring in additional marketing resources to pitch in. If you’ve already got folks on staff who are exceptional at one area of marketing, why not have them handle that aspect and have your marketing firm do the rest? Sometimes patching together marketing professionals with your current employees can help make your marketing dollars go further. In line with outlining your expectations, also consider…

How much do you want to do yourself?

Agencies these days can be as hands-on or hands-off as you want them to be. If you feel confident they can run your email program better than you or your staff, have them manage that. But if you feel like you’re technologically minded enough to do it yourself, make sure to bake some educational hand-off sessions with your marketing firm. Training typically costs extra money.

What are your timelines like?

Everyone needs a deadline to work off; otherwise, the job can slip due to other priorities. Think about what you need your marketing agency to help with and when you want it done. Marketing firms may or may not be agreeable to a fast-tracked project with an immediate due date, and they could charge extra for expedited work. You’ll want to be as realistic as possible. You’ll also want to outline your delivery expectations with any firm you engage.

Do you have an open mind?

Marketing firms are looking at your business with a fresh, objective view. They could have ideas that may seem too risky, too off-brand, or too lofty. While you don’t need to listen to everything this marketing firm is going to say, the important part is that you keep an open mind. If you’re willing to hear them out, your time and theirs will be much better spent.

How do you like to communicate?

We all work with people that have different communication styles. Some like to email, some like to call, some like to talk to you once a month for 2 hours and then not again for another 4 weeks. Perhaps you’re the type of business owner who wants to hear back from their marketing partner immediately. if that’s your ideal type of communication, you’ll need to make certain the agency you hire is on board.

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