With so many specialists, experts and agencies out there to choose from - what help is actually best for you?
Well it all depends on your business. If you have the internal resource, the skill and what the key objectives are in your business and marketing.
But here is a start to help you - a quick guide to the types of marketing help that is available and what to look out for: The Creative Agency
They will typically have an 'account manager', 'creative director' and a team of graphic designers working for them. Their key offering is design of marketing collateral such as brochures, annual reports, exhibition material and stationary. Most have ventured into the digital marketing place now, offering website design and other online solutions
The creative agency should always be given guidance on your marketing objectives - they typically prefer to be given a design brief from someone who has a background in marketing to turn ideas into an output. A creative agency should act on your instruction and should not be instructing you. The Advertising Agency
Typically the Ad agency works with organisations with larger budgets, similar to the creative agency they will have an account manager who will be assigned to your project.
Great advertising usually requires a good sized budget to gain a decent return. A one off ad in the local rag or trade press usually won't generate much so beware of any sales agents that pester you to place an ad quickly for a reduced price!
A great advertising agency will look at the profile of your buyers and design the right type of material, punchy messaging, look at timing and use the right mix of channels to reach them (such as TV/Radio, outdoor media, social media and online space). The Digital Agency
There are many creative agencies who have claimed to move into the digital world, but be very aware that there are various levels of skills and knowledge in the digital space.
For example some agencies claim to be a digital agency simply by offering to build websites. However some of these organisations only offer sites that are simplistic standard templated Wordpress sites with little technical input to aid your marketing.
A true digital agency will have in depth technical knowledge and offer a range of solutions to build a great on-line marketing solution for your business. However, you may not need a built from scratch 'Rolls Royce' digital solution for your business. There are lots of solutions that are readily available online with little technical input!
This all should be considered before commissioning any agency. The SEO Agency
There is sometimes a cross over with the digital agency, but their main offering will be to get your website on page 1 of various search engines using search engine optimisation tactics.
Be wary of some who offer retainer packages and confuse you with technical jargon and offer flakey reporting. The likes of Google has changed drastically, and to gain high rankings that actually lead to sales conversions is not just a technical skill, it's also a marketing skill around delivering regular content online and ensuring your site supports conversions.
A great SEO agency will be transparent and be able to talk on your level so that you know exactly what you are paying for and what return your money is generating. The PR Agency
A PR agency will help raise your profile and brand awareness usually via media.
The beauty of the PR agency is the connections to the press and journalists that they have built up throughout the years, resulting in more column inches.
PR is a very important part of the marketing mix, but must not be seen as a lead generator on its own, which is a common mistake that the non marketer can make. The Telemarketing Company
With certain online experts shouting that it's all about attraction/inbound marketing and that the buyer searches for your solution meaning outbound calling is now useless, more and more businesses are dropping this tactic.
However a great telemarketer still has an important role to play in generating business in some sectors, particularly for the business that sells to other businesses (B2B).
Telemarketing is certainly not dead, it just needs to be considered much more carefully. It simply shouldn't be used alone, it's vital that an organisation has a great message to convey and carries out a range of direct marketing and other tactics to support this to generate the best return. The Social Media Expert
Social media is a vital channel for marketing - whether you like it or not!
A good social media expert should be able to coach your business on how adopt a strategy alongside all of your marketing to support brand awareness and engage with buyers and encourage participation, not simply encourage for it to be all outsourced to them.
Same as most marketing tactics, social media can't achieve everything all alone! For example a great website should be the hub for all activity to point to and have the ability to convert visitors into leads/sales. The Marketing Consultant
Consultants can command anything from £300 - £1,000 per day.
A great marketing consultant
will have the ability to devise a high level strategy AND know how this can be delivered.
Be wary of a 'blue sky thinker' stuck in the dark ages who struggles to advise on how you can actually action their strategy. There is no point in a £5,000 marketing strategy that your business has no idea on how to take it on and deliver it.
A marketing consultant doesn't usually get involved in the day to day delivery of marketing, so also bear that in mind! The Full Services Marketing Agency
is an example of a full services agency
What this means is that you have one point of contact for all of your marketing.
This is usually a better solution for a business who doesn't have a marketing expert such as a marketing manager or director, therefore requires guidance on what mix of strategies to adopt.
A full services agency will not only design the marketing strategy
as a consultant would, but will also take this and deliver it integrating all activities so you get the most value from each piece of work.
This prevents duplication of effort and disjointed approaches. A full service agency will work closely with your business as a bolt on solution, be transparent and closely measure all activity and demonstrate a return.
For more advice on what is the best help for you business contact us today.