After having ran a marketing agency, consulting company, & coached sales team to convert for a couple years now, there is one definitive task I find myself repeating over and over in the sales meetings I’m involved in; Diagnosing if that business is ready for a true marketing agency engagement. When I’m pitching BrandLyft Marketing, I’m often left with business owners that have been burned with other marketing agencies, sometimes it’s not their fault, other times I know it’s because they weren’t ready. They weren’t ready often because they didn’t have the sales systems, processes, and foundation in place. Sometimes it’s also a poor product/market fit. Not only do I have to convince them of working with us, but in many cases, I’m having to re-educate the importance of marketing, sales-marketing synchrony, and brand positioning as a whole to their business. This in many cases leaves their idea of working with an agency a horrible nightmare, because if there not ready it can be for both.
The #1 one thing a business owner or decision maker should be looking for in the early stages of looking for a marketing agency is whether that agency leads with a one-size-fits-all approach or a truly consultive deep dive on their business issues, how marketing plays it’s role, and making sure things happen towards their desired income. Too often, agencies offer packages, emailing marketing, PPC, SEO, Facebook Ads, without even finding out if that’s the best lead acquisition strategy. Not only that, but that may not be the cure to the business owner’s issue he/she wants to solve.
Why A Package Approach Is Wrong
When you go to a doctor, do they lead with a variety of medicines for you to choose from? Of course not. For a doctor to properly do their job, they need to know what issues you are and have been experiencing, and the symptoms they have caused. It’s no difference in business. A marketing agency that leads with things like Facebook likes, Twitter followers, web traffic, lead gen, etc. is an agency destined to fail you because it’s prescribing vanity metrics, no lead/sales attribution, or a marketing/sales journey map.
The Consultative Deep-Dive Approach Is What You’re Looking For
In order for a marketing agency to truly be the right partner, they need to take the time to understand the history of your business, your products, brand story, market positioning, your competitors, what’s worked, what hasn’t, the results (or lack of), and what your goals and objectives are (business outcome). Filling out a form or a 30 min call isn’t quite nearly enough to get there. An true agency needs to commit to taking the time, asking the right questions, and digging to deliver a customized strategic and tactical plan for your business. They don’t see you as a client, they see you as a partner. They want to be a true extension of your business and are committed to going deeper than surface level metrics!
The good news, when you find an agency that does it right, you’ll know. They go above and beyond. They truly understand your brand story and wants to be part of the piece in the puzzle that helps you get it to where it needs too. A good question we ask ourselves in the pre-qualifying stages is, “What would a successful Agency partnership look like”. If the answer is attainable, we’ll let you know. If it’s out of the realm of expectations in the project scope, we’ll also let you know. By asking and listening, we’ve managed to work with some dream clients.