Marketing is a key part of any business, with companies allocating approximately 11% of their total budgets towards it. This is a huge sum of money to spend on a single department. As a result, it’s fair to say that decisions about how and where to spend your marketing budget shouldn’t be made lightly. (1)
This leads us to our key question: who should you entrust with such a sum? What values, qualities, skills, or talents should you require from someone you hire to help with your marketing?
It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there, and unfortunately, marketing is no exception. This article will give you some tips for how to choose the right marketing agency for your business.
What is marketing and what does it do?
Per the definition of the American Marketing Association, marketing is an activity, a set of institutions, and they processes they perform. The focus of all of these is on the creation and communication of messages with value, both for your clients or consumers, and society more broadly. At its core then, marketing is about getting your business, products, and services into the consciousness of consumers and having them pay for your products or services. (2)
This is all well and good, but it’s more complex than simply “gaining attention and making money.” Pharma marketing agencies are going to have a different approach than other marketing agencies, for example.
Having an agency that knows your industry can make all the difference. A pharma agency is going to know the ins and outs of regulations and laws surrounding healthcare marketing where as an agency that focuses on e-commerce brands is going to know the ins and outs of getting your brand into the highly competitive ring of online marketplaces.
Understand your own business
Just like the agencies you hope to be represented by, you need to know you own needs and business attitude. Laying out who you are, what you offer, and your target markets are going to put you in much better shape before you ask an agency to help potential customers find you with SEO, or use other resources at their disposal.
Key areas to prepare include:
What to look for in an agency
Picking the right marketing agency for your needs is fundamental to the operation of your business. Not only because it occupies such a high proportion of your budget, but also because having a budget at all is dependent on the cyclical relationship between marketing, sales, and the rest of your business. Ensure you understand your business and desired outcomes before you start your search, and look for key indicators of merit across any agency’s capabilities and integrity.
1. “Marketing Budgets Vary By Industry,” Source: https://deloitte.wsj.com/cmo/2017/01/24/who-has-the-biggest-marketing-budgets/
2. “Definitions Of Marketing,” Source: https://www.ama.org/the-definition-of-marketing-what-is-marketing/
3. “How To Write A Marketing Plan,” Source: https://books.google.com.au/books?hl=en&lr=&id=zd997eheGk8C&oi=fnd&pg=PR7&dq=marketing+plan&ots=jqNWb0AAIH&sig=vwvvYdWJcYdlusrmzfu0ZhQQ_0w&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=marketing%20plan&f=false
4. “Inferring brand integrity from marketing communications: The effects of brand transparency signals in a consumer empowerment context,” Source: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0148296319307350
5. “Business Development vs Marketing: What’s the difference?,” Source: https://cmox.co/business-development-vs-marketing/