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Posts Tagged ‘marketing services’

Get the Most out of Your Marketing Agency

December 31st, 2015 by Alicia Folwarski

Communication

We work with a lot of Austin-area B2B tech companies who have been disappointed with the performance of their past agency partners. Common in the list of grievances is poor communication.

To a large degree, as always in business, this is the fault of the service provider, who promised success and has not achieved it. We’ve put together a list of best practices for communicating with your marketing agency to help you get the service you expect from a professional service provider.

Don’t get lost in semantics
The most frustrating miscommunications happen when no one realizes the miscommunication until it’s too late. Frequently, this happens due to marketing and/or business jargon that people use (or misuse) differently depending on their experiences. Especially in newer fields like social media and marketing automation, certain terms can have very different meanings to people depending on the tools they use and the length of time they’ve spent in the field. Avoid the trap and cut through the jargon – define everything.

Examples of jargon that we see confused often:

  • Campaign: First there is the general marketing term campaign. Then, there is the term in multiple technologies, which can have synonyms as vast as: workflow, action, email send, and paid post, depending on who you’re talking to and what about. It may seem obvious and it may seem basic, but be sure you understand what your marketing team is saying when they talk about campaigns.
  • Engagement: Can refer to a type of program, an algorithm indicating social media post success, or generically refer to activity around an email or asset.
  • Lead: Referring to a specific person? A certain lead status or lifecycle stage? A type of record in Salesforce? You can see how this can get confusing fast.

Schedule a regular, face-to-face meeting
And keep the meeting. Even if emails get lost or not sent at all, this is where you can get everything on the table that needs to be on the table. Cadence of the meetings is really dependent on the intensity of the engagement, but we find most of our engagements are best served with biweekly or monthly F2F sit-downs.

Request reporting
We cannot emphasize this enough. In your mind, the agency should be doing this anyway, right? It’s part of their job – and the best agencies would certainly agree and scope it in automatically. To the average agency, however, reporting is a service to the client and if it’s not requested, it’s simply not done. You can ask to include reporting at any point in your engagement. A pro tip to get the reporting thrown in free: in exchange for reporting, offer to be available for a case study after the engagement (or if the engagement is on-going, 6 months in).

We hope these tips help you get the most out of your marketing partner. If you’re interested in more expertise, follow us on Twitter/Facebook/LinkedIn or better yet, request a free consultation with a Launch Marketing expert today.

 

Here we are, seven months in to the year. How do you feel about your marketing plan? How are your marketing programs looking? Are you consistently providing good leads to your sales team? Are you feeling overwhelmed by your goals and slightly underwhelmed by your production?

As part of a marketing firm, the title of this blog probably doesn’t surprise you, but there are definitely two sides to the “should I” or “shouldn’t I” question. Let’s start off with a few reasons why you should not hire a marketing firm.

First, don’t expect a marketing firm to immediately correct your marketing if your product or service lacks clarity. Next, a marketing firm cannot generate more clients if you don’t have sound sales methodologies in place. Finally, you should not hire a marketing firm if you plan to hand off the marketing and completely disconnect yourself from the process.

Hiring a marketing firm is a big commitment, but typically one that is worth the effort. To maximize effectiveness, the engagement needs to be a two-way street where both parties are involved, attentive and strategic. Here are a few reasons why you should consider hiring a marketing firm.

You need a bona fide marketing strategy.
Working with a firm should involve creating a solid foundation built on strategy before implementing campaigns and tactics aimed at generating leads. The time and effort put toward marketing will never build momentum until you lock in on the triggers that cause your audience to act.

You are finding resource gaps.
Let’s face it. In the IT start-up world, we all wear multiple hats and often find ourselves spread thin. Sure, you can set up a newsletter, manage social media profiles, and update the website, but these may prevent you from focusing on tasks that are more directly tied to generating revenue. Let the marketing firm take tasks off your plate and simultaneously make them a priority.

You need a variety of skill sets.
A good marketing firm will take time to understand you and your business goals and apply their skills accordingly. When you engage a marketing firm, you are tapping into a broad set of resources. It is always recommended to do your due diligence during your search but most firms will have a person or a team dedicated to disciplines such as strategy, graphic design, writing, web and social media. Instead of hiring one person focused on one specialty, you’re enlisting a team of experienced professionals who can do it all. You also get the advantage of leveraging best practices and ideas they’ve put in place that have worked successfully for other companies.

You understand that creativity is invaluable.
While many of us may have MBA-level knowledge and insight, we may lack the ability to translate that knowledge and insight in a way that speaks to our customer. Enter the marketing firm. They understand that the purpose of your marketing is to brand your business with a message that supports your company’s goals while building and nurturing leads. A good marketing firm is packed with creative minds that are skilled at crafting targeted messaging and design pieces to distribute your message.

You need to adjust your priorities.
Sadly, many business owners tend to be fixated on website traffic and social media “likes” when their main focus should be on conversions. Having the consultative guidance of a marketing firm will help you focus on the needed adjustments and activities that will have your conversions trending upwards.

At the end of the day, the big question shouldn’t be, “Can I afford an experienced marketing firm?” but rather: “How much am I costing myself in time, money and lost opportunity by trying to do this in-house?” Allow yourself to focus on mission critical tasks and let the marketing experts assist in guiding your business to the next level.

Have additional questions about working with a marketing firm or our services? Contact Launch Marketing today! Be sure to follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook to keep up with the latest B2B marketing tips and trends.

Graphic Source: www.bcff.org

Why Choose a Local Marketing Firm?

May 29th, 2014 by Christa Tuttle

Austin Local Marketing FirmHow does a business choose a marketing firm from the pool of talented agencies across the globe?  There is a lot to be said about choosing a local Austin marketing firm to drive your marketing efforts. So much value can be gained from regular face to face interaction and from a business that has its finger on the pulse of the local community.

Seth Godin, marketing expert and author, said in a recent blog, “Community-based businesses tell stories. They create remarkable products. They sync up their tribe. They happily surrender market share to the commodity seller–if it’s a lower price you want, good luck to you!”

Agility and Understanding

Oftentimes, the smaller, boutique firms are more agile and can deliver results more quickly. And, if you want to be successful in your community, you may want to consider working with a local marketing firm that best understands the market. For example, Austinites will not likely respond well to an advertising campaign targeted to a conservative Wall Street banker, but may react more positively to something that appeals to the unique character and vibe of Austin. A marketing firm in New York may not be able to accurately understand these characteristics of Austin as well as a marketing firm located in Austin.

Keeping It Local

There is also something to be said about keeping money local. Local business owners tend to support neighboring businesses and that strengthens the economic base of the community. When you invest in a local marketing firm, it is an investment in your business and the surrounding community economy.

Considering hiring a local marketing firm? Need help with your marketing strategy? Contact Launch Marketing today! Be sure to follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook to keep up with the latest B2B marketing tips and trends.

Maintaining a social media presence can produce many benefits for a company, including increasing brand awareness and industry credibility, as well as generating leads and website traffic. In order to obtain the greatest benefits from social media, you should first develop a strategy for utilizing social media according to the goals that you wish to achieve. In addition to aligning your activity on social media to this strategy, here are a few additional tips:

  • Post content that is both relevant and interesting to your customers
  • Post regularly, but don’t overwhelm your followers with a constant stream of updates
  • Curate original content on a blog and direct your followers there. Ideally this would be on your company’s website.

Unfortunately, not all marketers follow these best practices. Here are a few classic examples of what not to do, followed by ways each could improve.

1. Overwhelming Omar
He posts over 20 random updates on Facebook every day, but is surprised that his fan numbers keep falling.

How could he improve? Omar should step back and evaluate his strategy. By sending so many messages through his Facebook page, his fans are probably becoming annoyed and unliking his page. By being more strategic, he can send fewer, more effective messages to his followers, increasing the likelihood for interaction and fan growth.

2. Ingrid the Ignorer
Her customers try to interact with her brand on social media, but she never responds back so they eventually stop.

How could she improve? Ingrid should acknowledge her fans, even if it’s a simple “Thanks!” for re-tweeting her or commenting on a Facebook status. She should also remember  to monitor her sites regularly so that she won’t miss any of these interactions and be able to respond in a timely manner.

3. Oblivious Olivia
She doesn’t believe that any of her potential customers are on social media, so she doesn’t want to waste any of her time or money marketing there.

How could she improve? Olivia should do research before she draws conclusions. With the large majority of people of social networks, there is a large possibility that her customers are there too. Another good idea would be to do a quick search to see if her brand is being mentioned anywhere in social media. Once she has this data, she will be able to make an educated decision as to which social networks would be best to join, as well as an effective strategy to reach these customers.

4. Rick the Recycler
Everything he posts on Facebook is an article from another source. Most of his tweets are all verbatim retweets from leading industry experts.

How could he improve? Rick should focus on curating his own library of content and draw his social media audience there. This will also drive traffic to his website, which provides additional opportunities for sales or lead generation. He can still draw from other sources, but shouldn’t go overboard with it.

Do you need help with your social media marketing? Let Launch help! And be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook to stay up-to-date with the latest B2B marketing tips and trends.