June 22, 2020 Doug Cofer

How to Pick Your Marketing Agency: Part One

Shot of a mature businessman experiencing a headache while working at his desk in a modern office

Get it Right From the Start

Aligning Your Goals to Your Marketing Needs

As a decision-maker for your company, you are continually striving for success. Each day you face a constant maze of challenges and decisions you’re required to navigate. Macroeconomic forces, market dynamics, personnel changes, competitors, delivering the highest level of work and meeting revenue and profit objectives. As executives, we all feel the pressures –– all the time. 

Eventually, marketing your company becomes intertwined with achieving your goals. If you’re like many other business owners or decision-makers, marketing is not necessarily your strength or something you’ve found success executing on your own. For most, it’s an area not actively managed, due to the lack of marketing experience or a strong aptitude. Plus, in today’s ever-evolving digital marketing world, successful marketing can be an elusive and mysterious conundrum.

If you are nodding your head and muttering under your breath thinking about past forays into marketing and the recollection of wasted investments, this blog series is for you.

Think In Terms of Goals, Not Tasks

The first step is obtaining a clear understanding of what your company is looking to gain through marketing. What outcome do you need in order to achieve your company’s goals? 

This seems like an obvious, almost elementary point to make. But, stick with me on this.

When meeting with potential clients, I often hear “We need a new website” or “I need help with social media.” Those marketing tactics should NOT be your main focus. Instead, start by thinking about what the end-goal is. Making decisions on marketing tactics should begin with conversations around long-term goals like, “We need help communicating our value” or “Our brand is being drowned out in the market” instead of immediately pinpointing a marketing service you think you need. Stating bigger picture goals such as “We need to grow revenue” and “Our sales team needs to perform better,” provides a clear understanding of what your company is trying to achieve. This allows you to better identify the right marketing partner to provide guidance, rather than making an immediate choice that may not get you to your goal. 

In place of developing a hefty “to-do” list, a more efficient and effective way to define goals and work to achieve them is through the establishment of objectives and key results (OKRs). This allows you to choose the right objectives to direct your company on a particular path, all while outlining three or four key metrics to get you there. Keeping these objectives and metrics specific, detailed and measurable is the key. Without realistic goals that can be tracked and monitored, you and your team will waste valuable time trying to achieve the unachievable. 

Knowing How To Start Makes All the Difference

Often times we see business owners and executives who come to us saying things like “We need a new website,” or “We’re looking for a trade show backdrop and brochure” and so on. While some marketing initiatives can begin in a rather short period of time, for larger goals and tasks (such as a website) patience will prove beneficial in the long-term. 

When you and your marketing team initiate tactics to achieve goals, it’s critical that you are committed to long-term outcomes. Before you build a new website, you must identify the brand, design and message you want to represent your business for years to come. People often want a quick fix when it comes to marketing. But in reality, when more time is poured into marketing efforts, the more likely you are to reach your long-term goals and achieve those defined objectives.

The key is this: When determining objectives, ensure you’re setting goals that marketing tactics can achieve. It’s all about practicality. Then, you’re able to define strategies to reach those goals with the support of a marketing team that carries the expertise and experience needed to guide you and your business to success.

In this series, I’ll walk you through the tactics necessary to execute when picking the right marketing agency for your company.

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