Here are 15 steps that will help you make the right decisions when choosing a marketing company in Johannesburg, Durban, Cape Town and South Africa.
So you want to grow your business! Good for you!
Many marketing companies are in the business for a couple of reasons, some of which benefit you directly and others will cost you a small, or even a large fortune and sometimes the benefits are not always in your favour.
Consider this list of motives when choosing a marketing company or marketing agency:
- They want to produce incredible customer engagement campaigns.
- Customer engagement campaigns are great but they depend on your marketing objective. In my experience engagement is good as it encourages front of mind marketing and brand awareness.
- If this is your objective then your goal has been reached however, our mission is to help businesses grow which, in a nutshell means sales. Customer engagement must lead to sales and repeat sales. This is how you will actively grow your business.
- They want to win awards for best creativity.
- Winning awards is amazing but winning clients is better. Clients pay you for your products and services but advertising and creativity awards don’t. Yes, you may get a bit of brand exposure for the award but do you get sales?
- The truth is winning awards is often at the cost of the client. You see agencies use your budgets to buy their time to get creative and win awards for themselves. Be careful, your marketing and advertising budgets could be used to generate sales, in other words, more income.
- They see you as a cash cow
- Everyone is in business to make money, so are we, but don’t get tied into long, hard to get out of contracts. If the marketing is working keep the relationship going but if the results are poor end the agreement and relationship as soon as possible.
- Now we are talking… Marketing should help you grow. Growing your business is a process and I often describe it like this African fable about the time a elephant and a rabbit spends in the womb and the lifespan of each animal. Did you know that the African elephants gestation period is almost 2 years and once born lives up to 80 years whilst the rabbits gestation period is only about 31 days and once born lives for 1 to 2 years in the wild.
- So when clients ask me how fast should I grow my business, I answer with this story and we then talk about building a sustainable business and a strategy to manage the cost of growing your business.
- They want to help you streamline systems
- Streamlining your business is key to success. Repetitive tasks should be automated wherever possible and streamlining the marketing and sales process is vital to the success of each marketing campaign and the client journey.
- Another aspect to consider when streamlining your business is making the sales process and the buying process as easy as possible for the client. Remember that a client enters subconscious mental state known as the MMS, the Moment of Maximum Satisfaction when making a purchase and it is your duty and that of your staff to make the process and smooth and easy as possible.
- This helps the client know that they have made the right decision. Complex sales processes often hurt the sale and many times clients are left unsatisfied once they have signed up for your products and services.
- They want you to make more sales
- In my opinion this is the crux of any marketing activity. Yes, it is true, branding, brand exposure, promotion, sourcing, procurement and many other aspects fall into the big marketing picture but without the resultant sale, or many sales marketing becomes expensive and in my opinion useless.
- All marketing activity should result in a sale even if the objective is branding. So when choosing a marketing firm, a marketing agency, a marketing company make sure that their primary objective is to help you increase sales by marketing and promoting your business, products and services.
- They want you to increase profits
- The next obvious measure of your ROI or return on investment is profit. Marketing done correctly becomes an investment, done incorrectly becomes expensive and eats away at your profit margins.
- We believe in designing campaigns that are low-cost, high-yield, in other words the best bang for the money spent on marketing and promotion that results in profitable sales.
Choose a company that focuses on the following:
- Understanding your business growth goals
- As obvious as this seems, your goals should be the primary goal of the agency you choose and they should map out the quickest route to reaching your business growth goals.
- Has a keen understanding of your ideal clients
- Understanding your ideal client only comes with time. Spending time with you in your business and learning about your daily operation is key to identifying, reaching and engaging your ideal clients.
- Strategises a plan specific to each client segment
- You probably have a range of clients based the different services and products you offer and designing unique and specific campaigns to relate to these clients segments is imperative to the success of each campaign.
- Remember promoting the best product to the wrong audience will not work whilst promoting the right product to the right audience will engage them, establish the need and encourage a purchase.
- Sales that increase our bottom line profit
- Marketing and promotion needs to be profitable. Yes, loss-leaders are a good way of tapping into an audience but non-profitable sales will cost you in the long run.
- Make sure that every campaign run has a profit goal and do everything to reach that goal.
- Attract long-term clients for your business
- Statistics show that it costs 60% less to get a current client to buy from you again than finding new clients. You need to find fresh new clients continuously so getting new business through the door whilst up-selling and cross-selling to past clients will become highly profitable.
- If you don’t have additional products and services to sell to repeat clients, I suggest you find some otherwise you leave loads of cash on the table.
- Focus on inexpensive marketing campaigns
- Marketing done well becomes an inexpensive investment. Don’t go for the big flashy promotions, often the simpler and cheaper options work better.
- Meet with you on a regular basis to ensure all goals are aligned
- You should not just be another client number or part of the sausage factory with you agency. To make sure your agency goals are aligned with yours they should meet with you very regularly, at least monthly.
- I prefer weekly as this makes sure that we are on the same page with our clients and that the reporting is accurate and up to date and planning response actions can take place quickly.
- Take ownership and responsibility for the marketing of your business by partnering with you.
- Your marketing agency should see you as a partner and base this success on yours. This will encourage them to work to the benefit of your business growth and goals.
Bonus Marketing Company Tip:
The company you choose should be intensely focused on your needs and in turn use the marketing tools, vehicles and channels available that will reach and engage your ideal client. Many marketing agencies focus on a couple of channels: Above the line advertising, below the one marketing, telesales agencies and call centres, online marketing and social media agencies.
Although these may be specialists within their fields they often suggest that you use their preferred marketing channels. The risk is that their chosen and preferred channel may not have your ideal client is the direct line of sight. This means that they use your budget to promote to a market that is not all that interested in your offer. I am sure that you can see the cost implications and the potential losses.
Please be careful.
I am sure that you can see how Marketing your business should be focused on selling your products and services and not about winning awards and accolades that promote the marketing agency rather than your business. The concept of Marketing is simple and with the right approach and goals in mind you will get the results you want and your marketing spend will be well-worth the investment as it will become profitable.
Market Magnet Consulting is a marketing company in Johannesburg and operates in Durban and Cape Town as well as surrounding cities and towns.