So. You’ve done your research, considered the options, and have decided that you want to outsource your marketing. Now the question is, how do you pick a legitimate and kickass firm to take your marketing to the next level?
It’s a big decision, we get it. Luckily, we’ve got some straightforward criteria to keep in mind during the evaluation process.
Are they a true marketing outsourcing company?
One of the greatest benefits of working with an outsourced marketing company is media and discipline neutrality. Every strategy, media, and discipline are on the table. This is significant because no matter how hard a traditional agency tries to serve its customers, it exists to sell its specialty.
Look closely at the marketing outsourcing company’s pedigree: do they focus mainly on design, sales, telemarketing or advertising? If you want strategic, seamless, and truly integrated marketing, you need a marketing integrator. Marketing outsourcing should be their core business model, not just one of the services offered.
Do they have a compelling portfolio?
Browse through the work on their website and any samples they provide. Is the work creative and visually interesting? Do you believe they have the ability to dramatically elevate your brand? Will it break through the clutter? This is a big decision, and you have the right to feel inspired.
Who are their clients?
Is their client list full of companies you admire, or names you’ve never heard? That’s not to say that you need to chase firms working only with huge companies—maybe they have boutique clients or social ventures that are making waves in their own way. Which leads us to the next consideration…
Are they a good cultural fit?
You know your company’s values, culture, and vision. Does this marketing outsourcing firm seem like they reflect a similar mindset and value system? Do you think they can understand, respect, and evangelize your viewpoint?
Are they a domestic company?
You may have received solicitations from offshore companies offering marketing services, often at rates that seem too good to be true. And indeed, these rates often come with unplanned overhead. Additional meetings during off hours may be necessary due to time differences, and there is the potential for language barriers.
What is their strategic process?
When you speak with them initially, ask questions about their strategic process. Does it make sense to you? Are their recommendations based upon consumer insights? Be wary of the quick, low-cost ‘workshop’ meant to get you signed up quickly. Planning a year or more of marketing requires a modest investment in time and money. Look for a thoughtful process that seems grounded and practical.
How long have they been in business?
Do they have the experience to do your marketing well? Find out whether the firm is established and experienced, with references and relevant work to back up their pitch.
How do you feel when you talk to them?
When you talk to them, notice how you feel. Are they really listening? Do they communicate thoughtfully and with respect? Do they sound like they believe in their capacity to execute well? This will be a significant and potentially long-term relationship, so make sure you feel comfortable with their communication.
Do you think they can make marketing fun?
Marketing is supposed to be the fun part of growing a business. Great creative and a solid strategy can transform your marketing and bring back the fun. After reviewing their work and speaking with them, ask yourself if you think you’d enjoy working with them. Building marketing mojo has never been more challenging, so chemistry is key. Find a partner you’ll love working with.