This article doesn’t seek to educate you on how to negotiate a lower rate for your marketing, it seeks to educate you on how to get the best value for money.
The fact is that specialist skills are gained through many years’ experience and an investment in training and qualifications that rightly, marketeers expect to see a return on throughout their career in exactly the same way as in other industries.
There are some very low-cost options out there, particularly with the rise of digital marketing techniques where the practitioner doesn’t necessarily need a solid strategic foundation to implement some quick wins for you using a specific technique.
However, what we are talking about in this article is what you should expect to gain from employing a good integrated marketing agency as your strategic partner.
How can you define a good level of service?
Here are some questions to ask yourself about the level of service you receive from your marketing agency. If the answer to any of them is no, then you could not only be getting better value, but more importantly an increased competitive advantage.
1.) Do they add value to the ideation process?
A key benefit of working with a strategic partner such as a marketing agency, is that they are creative and proactive in bringing new ideas to the table for you. Not all agencies will be so willing to be a part of this process but will be all too happy to accept your brief and implement your ideas. In some instances, this will be all that you require, but the opportunity to draw on somebody else’s creativity, knowledge and expertise and to be able to bounce ideas around is always going to aid delivery of a more robust and effective strategy.
2.) Do they work with you to shape your brief and are they are prepared to make suggestions if they identify an opportunity to improve or tighten the initial brief?
If you offer a specific or rigid brief, do they ever offer suggestions to strengthen it? Some agencies will just accept your brief and will implement it to a T, even if they believe that an adaptation will create a better success with your project.
It seems hard to believe, but challenging a brief is an investment of time and endangers the client – agency relationship if not done in the right way.
A really good agency will want to do their best work for you because they know that the investment in your brief, and in turn into your relationship, creates a better result for you and will support your retention as a long-term partner which is what agencies really want.
3.) Are they proactive in keeping abreast of changes in your marketplace?
One of the benefits of working with an agency offering their expertise to a specific industry is that they already understand the intricacies of your marketplace before they begin working with you and they are likely to be able to identify very quickly where they can add value to your sales and marketing process.
They also have fewer media outlets to keep an eye on, so are more likely to be up to speed with recent developments in your industry.
There are some drawbacks to using an agency that focuses on one specialist industry however, as they may get stuck in a rut, utilising the same old techniques and missing the opportunity to draw inspiration from different markets to develop something that might be unique in your own.
Partnering with an agency that has specialist knowledge of your industry, but doesn’t focus entirely on it could offer you the best of both worlds.
Taking a view from your side of the fence
Having worked with a wide variety of agencies during my in-house career, I have experienced many examples of both good and not so good service. Therefore, I can empathise with those responsible for delivering marketing objectives and ensure that the service Concept Communications offers provides the best value for money to our clients.
If you have given your agency enough opportunities to provide an excellent level of service to you, but your instinct is that your account might not be top of their priority list, then why not get in touch with us?