For business owners, choosing a creative marketing partner may be a difficult and sometimes a daunting task. Whether it is branding, advertising or marketing campaign you are looking to run, it is always challenging to make that first step. Questions arise; How do I choose?
Fist and foremost, it is essential to understand your own needs, one way to do this is to let an agency to point out what can be improved, and this can be done by merely accepting their business pitch. Think of a pitch as a free consultation for your business.
There are three parts to this process:
1. Pre Proposal Phase
Before accepting a pitch make sure that you understand your own goals and outcomes. It would help both the agency and yourself to understand what are the results that you are looking for.
Create a list of requirements and chart out the investment that you are willing to make per objective. This will give you a good idea when it comes to ranking priorities. Don’t worry about making a detailed plan; your agency will help you with creating a marketing plan suitable for your business.
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*Check with your network and look for referrals.
Chances are that you may find a few people in your network that have used a marketing service. It is an excellent place to start as you can directly evaluate the success that the agency had and get an immediate quote.
*Don’t shy away from small agencies
Understanding your objectives would give you a good idea of the scale of your project. However, a large scale does not mean that a small creative agency would be inferior to a large one.
One of the advantages of small agencies is individualized service. Due to a small size, smaller creative marketing agencies tend to focus on a single project at a time and provide a more customized service.
2. Communication and Relationship Development
Before allowing a company to send you a proposal or pitch to you, it is vital to understand whether you can be a good match. One of the best ways to accomplish this is by holding a chemistry meeting with your perspective.
This would be an excellent opportunity to learn more about the agency and the services that they provide. Besides, you could have your brief answered comprehensively and heard tips on how to approach your dilemma.
3. The Pitch Stage
The creative process of most agencies is included in an audit that would likely be provided for a fee however some agencies may agree to give the audit for free. The audit would provide information on areas where your business can improve, suggestions on positioning, PPC advertising, and brand equity.
The pitch stage would give insight into how the project is to be approached and cost.
Creative agencies do tend to have various standards that they abide by. When searching for a creative partner focus on finding an agency that you could build a trustworthy relationship with and focus less on its size and overall fame.
It’s easy for any business to fall into the trap of using sector jargon. Here are some phrases you may hear from a creative agency, and what they mean:
Terms and Definitions
Brand – brand describes what people think about your business and what your name and logo mean to your clients.
Positioning – where your brand sits within its sector.
Brand equity – the value, financially and strategically, of your brand. Customer loyalty and market share will also be a factor in a brand’s value.
PPC advertising – Short for Pay Per Click, and a cost-effective way of advertising if done correctly. The cost of your adverts on social channels, search engines and other websites in this instance is based on how often someone interacts with the campaign.