For so long people have been doing it all wrong! Marketing isn’t just a minor aspect of a business that anyone can do, rather it is a major determinant of how much your business is going to blossom.
There are a lot of people and companies offering a marketing partnership and claiming to possess the skills needed to draw numerous customers. However, you have to continuously ask yourself, do these people know exactly what it means to market? Are they passionate about it? Do they understand my customer niche?
Many business owners are incredibly lazy regarding the marketing aspect of their business. In many case, friends and/or family members are put in charge of marketing without regard as to whether these people have the requirements needed to effectively market the business to foster growth.
You also must be able to invest in what you want. Looking for a cheap way out isn’t always the best. In the long run, what you thought was a cheap way out might cost you a lot based on what you will lose. Most times you get what you pay for. Also, you shouldn’t fall for those who are all out to exploit you with over the board bargains. Let your price range be reasonable and acceptable, keeping in mind the quality of marketing partner you want for your business.
Understanding Your Brand
Before you decide what kind of marketing partner you want to take on or strategies you want to apply, you need to sit back and ask yourself some basic questions about your business. This will help you determine the kind of marketing partner you need.
- What are your Service Needs? There are different aspects of marketing. From PR, to Media, design and others, all are targeted towards putting your business out there. Before embarking on the search for a marketing partner, it is necessary to identify what your business needs.
- Your Vision: If you do not have a Vision for success, then it is almost impossible to choose the right marketing partner. Having a Vision enables you to sail in the right direction, knowing that you are working towards a particular goal. You must first identify this personally before bringing in someone that will help you achieve it.
- Your Values: Every business should have a set of cultural values that are important to them. Character traits and behaviors that work best for the business. You should identify what your values and goals are so that you can choose a marketing partner that can achieve those initiatives.
Things to Consider when Choosing a Marketing Partner
A true marketing partner well help you make strategic decisions that are best for you and the Brand rather than themselves. He or She will offer solutions based on experience rather than mere thoughts and advices. To help you have an even clearer picture, here are some basic things to look for in your next marketing partner.
- A brand Advocate: A true marketing partner will stay true to you and your brand. Whether it is an agency or individual, a true marketing partner will be your greatest cheerleader and committed to pushing your business forward. A solid partner should continue to think of new ways to propel the brand in a positive direction.
- Walks hand in hand With You: You need someone who stays beside you and encourages you. Walking hand in hand with you means that the marketing partner understands your business needs, your budget and the nitty-gritty of your business. He/She is abreast on all happenings and ready to advise you as you make decisions.
- Creativity: Someone who is thoughtful and innovative will make for a good marketing partner. He/She does not just follow the trend, but strategically thinks of ways to improve the brand. They should be able to invent ideas and seek to execute them. He/She gives advice that challenges you to break into new grounds and not always to build on an already existing solution.
- Has the Tools and Resources: Having good intentions and the right plan to execute is cool and all, but does your marketing partner have the right tools. Without the right tools or resources to carry out these plans, everything will end up void. How does the marketing partner intend to execute his plan? How is he/she going to track the situation? All these are questions you should ask.
- Good communication: The right marketing partner should be able to communicate his or her ideas. You do not want to waste your time with someone who cannot easily pass a message across.
Finding the Right Marketing Partner
You know what you want now and the kind of marketing partner that fits your business. You just want to set out and find “the one”. Here are some steps you should take to make the process easier;
- Make a list: First, if there are potential marketing partners you feel will suit your business then you should right them down. If you’re not clear about these, you can check for online pages and individuals that you admire or think shares the ideal way of marketing.
- Check Social Media Profiles: Visit Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn to know more about these potentials. Check engagements and likes and what they are sharing. Ask yourself if this is the kind of person you will like to work with.
- Access the Overall Content Reach: This is particularly useful if you are seeking a marketing agency. You want to know who they are making content for and how many people are actually paying attention to them.
- Set up a Meeting: This is assuming you have a clear knowledge of who you want from your findings. You can put a call through to the individual or company and ask to see them in person to discuss your business marketing needs and offer a proposal.
- Alternatively, Advertise the Position: If you are not aware of any individual that suits your preferences then you can advertise for a marketing partner position. Get people to apply and pick your top choices.
- Set up an Interview: Interviews help to know the person better and assess if they are the best fit for your brand. Ask about relevant experience and have them tell you what they have been up to in marketing (latest trends). Assess their style of marketing and determine if it fits what you believe to be it best for your brand.
- Make your Choice: After all is said and done, it is now left for you to choose who you think is going to get the job done. As earlier mentioned, you shouldn’t be all out for the cheapest offer, this might end up costing you a lot. With all the walk through above, you should now be ready to take your time and consider specifics.
A marketing partner can go a long way to make or break your brand. It is not as easy as you might think, to choose the best one. Not everyone will bring their A-game so you should ensure you only pick the best. Just take necessary steps to determine the kind of Marketing Partner you want, and your business is on its way to amazing success.
It is important to choose a partner that can take you to where you want to be not just do what you need at this moment.
With over two decades of in-the-trenches marketing experience, Matthew Maennche’s views on developing and supporting a successful business are fundamentally different from the norm. As a developer and strategist, Maennche has helped thousands of businesses of all sizes, both domestic and international, take their organizations to the next level.
Matthew also spends time giving back to the local business community as a volunteer, mentor, and leader for the local chapter of SCORE.