Marketing Agency

Marketing Consultants think and talk while Marketing Agencies do !  Marketing agencies provide specialist skills and extra effort for their customers’ projects.  Sometimes their customers don’t have the skills but just as often, their customers just need extra people to complete projects in a timely way. A full spectrum marketing agency delivers all of the services in the table, but as the name suggests, SMEsOnline does not.   SMEsOnline is a small business marketing agency; generally speaking our customers do not need the more expensive and complex services that can only be done offline.

Research

  • Surveys
  • Personal Interviews
  • Focus Groups
  • Observation
  • Field Trials
  • Data Analytics

Strategy

  • USP
  • Target Market /Segments
  • Product/Service Benefits
  • Marketing Methods
  • Channels

Branding

  • Focus group your brand
  • Gap analysis
  • Emotional Benefits
  • Boil down to one key one

Promotion

  • Advertising
  • Media Buying
  • Customer Loyalty /Retention
  • Incentive schemes
  • Referral Schemes
 

Campaign

  • Target Customers
  • Select Channel/Medium
  • Value Proposition
  • Offer
  • Delivery Channel
  • Follow Up

PR

  • Audience targeting
  • Messaging
  • Press Releases
  • Feature placement
 

Events

  • Audience targeting
  • Event Selection
  • Stand Design & Setup
  • Staffing / Briefing
  • Literature
  • Tele conferences
  • Webinars

Website Design & Development

  • Website D&D
  • Social Media D&D
  • Traffic Generation
  • Lead Generation
  • Loyalty / Referral Schemes
  • Coupon Schemes
  • Email marketing
  • Webinars

Literature

  • Brochures
  • Stationary
  • Leaflets
  • Point of Sale
  • Online Download Literature, White Papers, Executive Briefing, ROI Calculators
  While consultants work with their clients, agencies do things for them.  But why should a small business use a marketing agency ?  Marketing agencies:
  • Have relationships with suppliers who will
    • Give them discounts (eg media buying, exhibition organisers, stationery)
    • Do them favours (for regular customers)
  • Have prior experience.   In practice, things never go so smoothly as they should; marketing agencies know the work arounds
  • Have new ideas; being in the thick of it means being up to date with what works currently
  • Can commit full time to the campaign or project

How to engage a marketing agency

If you’ve decided to engage a marketing agency, then this agency is going to be an extension of your brand and company and you need to find an agency with whom that you’re comfortable.  If you were working for a Big Business, at this point, your Purchasing Manger would drop a weighty tome on your desk entitled “Request for Proposal Template”.  Working through this kind of document is a useful discipline for you the client and if you can pass this kind of information to your marketing agency they will be more likely to give you a good proposal, but nobody in an SME has the time for that and actually the needs are simpler, so an outline is more than good enough Outline RFP contents
  • Business Background, Brand positioning
  • Overview of work needed - objectives
  • Details of target customers
  • Budget
  • Timescales
In fairness to agencies, if you’re reluctant to share budgetary information, then you should indicate a maximum figure and whether or not an agency will definitely be appointed. They can then decide if they want to make a proposal. Finding a candidate agency is relatively easy as they will all have websites.  You can also use directories in the local library.  if your clients are large organisations, you may prefer to work with a specialist B2B Marketing Agency.  Look for one that understands your business sector and has experience of the kind of work you want them to do.   Make sure that you will enjoy working with the people the agency will assign to your business and check on the reporting and invoicing procedures.  Be clear about your expenses policy. Don’t just throw your Outline RFP at every agency.  Do interview the principal and the lead “agent” and discuss the proposal with them.  At this point you may change your mind about what should be in it.  When you do decide to invite an agency to pitch, give them a reasonable time to respond (2 weeks is a minimum) and ask them to present their proposal to you. When evaluating the proposal, look for their expertise, their understanding of your requirements, their ability to execute, their progress reporting as well as their budget.  All of these factors need to be weighed according to the project context Once you’ve chosen an agency, conclude a service agreement with a payment schedule, a confidentiality agreement and set up the kick-off meeting.  Treat them as part of the company and remember “Bad Clients get Bad Consultancy /Agency!”.