Some readers may wonder if it’s more effective to do all their marketing themselves or to hire outside help.
Although the answer is different for every organization, this month’s column will explore the different types of companies that can provide marketing guidance to businesses, as well as explain what some of the specific services are.
As the saying goes, “there are many different ways to skin a cat.” In this case, it alludes to the types of businesses that offer marketing services. Within this category, there is much overlap and variation among the types of organizations. Keeping this in mind, here is a loosely-defined breakdown:
• Traditional ad agencies which provide general advertising services and media placement
• Design firms that specialize in creating your print materials
• Web development organizations that can design, host and provide search engine optimization
(SEO) for your site
• Freelancers/consultants who may either specialize in a specific service, such as copywriting, or may
broker services on your behalf
• Full-service marketing firms
Because a full-service marketing firm is the most comprehensive, I’ll review some of the most common benefits this type of firm can bring to your business:
1. Create a strategic marketing plan that supports your overall corporate goals.
2. Write copy and provide graphic design for print materials and advertising.
3. Handle photography needs, audio and video production.
4. Place media in appropriate advertising vehicles to help reach your target audience.
5. Develop your website from initial plan to SEO.
6. Prepare needed point-of-purchase (POP) and trade show signage, as well as supporting distribution
7. Serve as a resource/sounding board when your business is developing strategies for growth.
Above and beyond the benefits listed above, a marketing firm can provide expertise and resources that may not be available within your organization. You may have employees who are doing double duty as salespeople and marketing professionals, which takes them away from focusing on sales. Or you may be juggling marketing with your other responsibilities as a leader within the organization.
However, working with an agency dedicated to marketing your business means you can get back to doing what it takes to run and grow your business. In addition, marketing firms have established relationships with suppliers in the industry, such as printers, media reps and freelance professionals, and can use these strong relationships to benefit your company.
If it becomes evident that marketing support is needed for a business, how would a corporate decision-maker choose the right agency? Stay tuned for the next column where I will provide some guidance on this very issue. TPW