Whether you are looking to enhance your internal bandwidth by engaging a marketing firm or looking to transition to a new firm from your existing one, finding the firm that is best-suited to meet your current – and future – needs is important. Consider these three key criteria when searching for a new marketing firm.
Your competitive landscape will likely change during the tenure you engage a PR/marketing agency, as may the depth and breadth of your products/services. Further, the larger business landscape will evolve and there will be challenges/barriers that pop-up which you will need to adeptly address.
You want a marketing firm that is agile and can pivot direction in a timely manner. If a national news story breaks and your company is well-poised to provide expert commentary in the local market, you want to be sure the marketing partner you engage can swiftly respond to this opportunity. And, while speed is important when a timely opportunity breaks, accuracy is also critical. You need a partner who can meet both needs.
Businesses evolve. As do nonprofits. A new offering may emerge during the course of the year, or a need for a particular service may be amplified. Bottom line – your core area of focus at the start of the year may not be the chief priority 6-months later.
When searching for a new marketing firm, look for a partner who can shift resources to focus on the marketing channels that are proving most effective, as well as the products and services with the greatest upward potential for your organization.
Remember, flexibility also stems beyond the allocation of resources to given marketing channels or products/services. You also want a partner who can tailor their communication (meetings, conference calls, etc.) and reporting to meet the needs of your organization. These are all fodder for informing the questions you ask during the search and vetting process.
Perhaps you are seeking a marketing firm to fill a specific role at the onset of the engagement – for example, email marketing, B2B lead generation, social media marketing, public relations, etc. While one (or more) of the above may be the impetus for engaging – or changing – marketing firms, identifying a partner with whom you can grow your engagement to meet future needs is key.
Onboarding a marketing firm, or changing marketing firms, can be a time-intensive process. Your new partner needs to acquire IP, learn your processes and integrate as part of your extended internal marketing and sales teams. During this process, both parties make an investment in the ongoing relationship. When you identify a firm that is scalable, you have the opportunity to go through one onboarding process and allocate additional time to maximizing the effectiveness of the partnership you have established.
Finding the right partner to entrust with marketing your company or cause is vitally important. You want to engage a partner that is accessible, creative, and open to both amplifying the success of what is already working as well as strategically employing new strategies and tactics that can amplify your success.