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Choosing a Marketing Partner

Choosing a Marketing Partner
Brooke Heffernan

Most people can think back to a time where they took a big swig of an unexpected drink. Immediately regretful, you’re reduced to shock and disappointment. As a marketing consumer, you want to do everything you can to avoid a similar feeling. Choose wisely and you will reap the benefits of creativity, project execution, business growth including, shorter sales cycles, lower barriers to entry, and notable brand awareness. Choose poorly and you will suffer through inflexible project timelines, poor communication, stalled production, and unqualified sales funnels.

The choice is yours. Should you swipe left OR swipe right? Much like the popular dating app “Tinder” swiping left implies that you’re not interested and you’ve disqualified the prospective suitor shown on the screen. On the other hand, swiping right implies that all systems are a “go.”

Immediately SWIPE LEFT (Bye!) if:

You see a waiting game in your dating game.

Are you experiencing long wait times for sales discovery calls, meetings, or proposals? If they aren’t organized on the sales side, likely they aren’t going to be organized on the account management side either. Think about it this way, if they aren’t motivated to get dollars in the door, they certainly aren’t going to be motivated to deliver.

They talk too much about themselves.

If you can’t get a word in edgewise, they aren’t interested in what you are hoping to accomplish. A strong marketing partner should be able to understand the problems that you’re trying to solve or goals that you’re trying to achieve.

They have a questionable past.

If you research the company and you find less than enthusiastic, or even poor Google or social media reviews, they might not be all that they’re projecting. If people are commenting publicly and not singing their praises, it’s worth a deeper dive.

They overpromise.

We’ve all heard the phrase ‘if it seems too good to be true it probably is’. If a marketing company doesn’t ask clarifying questions, push back on your goals, or establish a baseline that progress will occur in phases, they’re overselling and will underdeliver.

SWIPE RIGHT (It’s a Go!) if:

They set proper expectations.

Trust is established little by little. Tardiness, rescheduling, blowing off meetings, shotty or unfinished proposals are early indicators that things may often go overlooked. If your initial touch points are timely, thorough, and meet expectations, you’re off to a solid start. It’s important that expectations are set and maintained. Chances are if there is transparency early on, you can avoid feeling like you’ve been duped.

They are a team player.

There’s no “I” in team! A successful marketing partnership begins with a solid exchange of information and goal setting. Together, you must work to determine if those goals are realistic and the process that you’ll need to follow to reach those goals is obtainable. If your prospective marketer says, “Oh we do absolutely everything so that you don’t have to,” it’s a nice thought, but it doesn’t translate. Things will be expected of you. You’ll need to be prepared with existing brand files, possibly content, and other resources. A strong marketing teammate understands where they can help and assists you along the way to achieve a better result, faster.

They take pride in their work.

After understanding what you’re hoping to accomplish, they demonstrate relevant examples of sample work and referrals. After all, you want a partner with a solid track record of performing well and treating people even better.

They compliment your style.

Bonding and rapport are important. You have to vibe with your marketing partner. If you’re disconnected, the fallout can be significant. Communication is key. Can they immediately articulate who you are, what you do, and who you help in a way that is relatable? Face to face communication has to come easily, but when you’re working independently and remotely- how do you work best? Do you need weekly phone calls? Emails? A client portal or task list? You should have a fond understanding of how your marketing firm will be working with and for you once you enter into a formal agreement.

Finding a match is tough. In order for outsourced marketing to truly work, it has to be a good fit for you and your team. If we aren’t the match for you, we’ll at least point you in the right direction. We’d love to hear from you!

Brooke Heffernan
Brooke Heffernan
Partnership Director
Dec 13th, 2017 • Business Development, Marketing

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