iMedia Matters – Our Take

WHEN YOU KNOW IT’S TIME FOR A MARKETING AGENCY

Welcome to the iMedia Matters Blog – our very first.  In the upcoming months we will be bringing you things like trends, updates, tips and sometimes, just our take on things. Above all we hope that with these posts you get to know us a little better and we hope to provide you with information that you can use.

So, for our very first Blog, we though why not write about how you know when it’s time to work with a marketing agency.  The question around this rests in whether to take it on in-house or not and hat often comes down to a question of affordability.  Our question to you is, can you afford to keep on going as you are.

iMM Office meeting

If you are the owner of a small to medium sized business owners you may, like many, feel it necessary to do it all.  Sometimes this decision is a necessary one and also there is also a certain pride that comes wish building from the ground up. Then, as you grow things get busy and then busier. Time is precious because it runs out and time is money. If you continually find yourself working “in” the business versus on the business, it’s time to take stock. You realize you need help such as an admin person, or perhaps a sales or new business development individual.

Great, now you have those folks in place.  But then you start to wonder or realize that you really do need some dedicated marketing.  You’ve tried to get on top of this however it’s hard.  Doing a great job of marketing your company takes a great deal of time and know-how. You simply cant’ do it all yourself and delegating down the line isn’t working well. So when is it time to take that step of hiring a marketing agency.

You know it’s time when:

1. It’s Not Getting Done

Or at least it is not getting done consistently. Everyone is going 100 miles an hour and working and working on 10 things at once, all of which are a priority. We understand. Something has to give and often it is marketing because marketing is more than the occasional ad and social media posts. Effective marketing requires a solid plan with a strong strategy and then there is the executing it part. More time A good marketing agency becomes an extension of your business and since marketing is what they do, they take this on, and make it a priority.

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2) Sales are not growing – New business is not beating down your door

Many businesses rely heavily on their sales staff to do it all.  And back in the day that may have worked. The thing is the world has not been put on hold. Sales territories and opportunities are Global and digital technology has forever changed the landscape. Consumers can find anything they want or need on their phones. Just Google it.  Your product or service may be stellar, your prices more than competitive and your value proposition the best there is.  However, if your current and prospective customers can’t fin you or the information they need, you are, in effect. A very wise person once told me early in my career. “Good marketing not only opens the door for sales, it make that cold call just much warmer.” If your sales aren’t moving, consider that marketing can help. One easy way to tell if it can? Many marketing agencies offer a free brief consultation.  Find an agency that will take the time to understand your challenges, offer an assessment along with some ideas or suggestions.  Many will offer this initial intake free of charge.  Talk to them and see which one is the best fit for you.

3) You Don’t Believe In Marketing – Or Like It.

And guess what. It Shows. A minimal effort is no effort. If you do it have heartedly the message you are sending to the world out there is that you don’t care enough to make the effort. Believe it or not, it starts with knowing your target customer- not just their age and income but how they think, where they source their information, their belief system and more.

Simon Sinek has a great book called Start With the Why. In it, talks about leading with they “Why” behind your brand versus the what and the how.  Apple does it brilliantly.  Effective marketing brings that why forward and invites like-minded people to join in.  That why is more than a reason? It is a promise that must never be broken.  You know you have it nailed when the customer says – the get me.  Let the marketing agency bring their passion in bringing the passion you have for your brand into view and connecting with your constituencies.

4) You’ve Realized You Don’t Know This Stuff

And why would you? Your strength is running your business.  This world of marketing is not what you do day in and day out. It’s a fast moving world and changing by the minutes. There is absolutely no shame in admitting that you don’t’ know everything about everything. There is also no shame in hiring those people who do that one thing matter than you – and make you money in the process. Strong Leaders know this and get out of their own way. I have no problem admitting my very limited knowledge or ability to – say- is an outstanding graphics designer but I do know when I need one. A marketing agency who truly is your partner will get to know you and your business really well and then apply their skills to make it all happen for you.

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5 Your Marketing Is Not Delivering Results

I would say that many people think advertising is marketing.  It’s a part of it yes but not all.  And what happens when there is sales slump? Advertising often gets pulled.  As yourself about what marketing efforts you apply to your business. If your marketing is not balanced well, the results can be hit or miss and this can have you arriving at the conclusion that marketing (inbound or otherwise) doesn’t work. If you’re marketing efforts are infrequent and you are not using all the tools or disciplines effectively the results will always bring disappointment

A marketing agency will look closely at your goals, challenges and wins to get a full picture. And for me, they will have an honest and open conversation about their findings. This way an intelligent and effective strategy can be designed den developed to achieve success. It’s collaborative and designed to be refined over time.

6) I’d Love To But I Don’t’ Have The Budget

Look, expense management is critical – we understand that. But don’t close the door to the idea of hiring a marketing agency. Have the conversation. There are always options.  Having access to a strategist, a content producer, social media manager, PPC specialist, and graphic designer can be expensive but it doesn’t have to be. If you have the conversation you may find that can still get the benefits of all that experience and all those skills – for about the cost of a full time employee.

Tell us about you’re your experiences with marketing. We would love to hear from you!