Sunday, October 24, 2010

Choosing an Internet Savvy Marketing Agency

It is estimated that 64% of all shoppers seek out the product or service online before they go to the store. Of that 64%, 38% will buy from the first place the customers visit (Marketing News, 2009). Considering these numbers would it not be smart to increase the web presence of your company. Today's Internet savvy purchaser is educated and self-informed about the types of products he/she is interested. More than six out of ten purchasers have researched the product to the point that he/she is comfortable with the knowledge of function, cost, reliability, and warranty. Making your product stand out among the competition is harder than you think. A knowledgeable marketing professional has spent hundreds, if not thousands, of hours researching, testing, and perfecting a plan to develop, introduce, and advertise your product to the public. Only a marketing professional can put your products in front of prospective purchasers with positive results. Most company owners do not have the time to invest hours per day to perform market research, client testing, and ad development. Hiring a full-time marketing director is impossible for most companies so the owner(s) sublet or contract with a marketing/advertising company. This frees up time to run the business, but how do you know who to choose for your marketing needs.

A marketing/advertising company should give you multiple options and have several examples of previous successful campaigns run by the agency. DO NOT contract with the first company you meet with or you will be sorry. Interview several different marketing companies and ask many questions about past campaigns. Ask to interview clients of the company, good advertising agencies will have many clients how will vouch for the marketing company's good name and show you examples of successful campaigns. After interviewing several companies narrow your list to two or three selections and request a small demonstration of the companies ability to present your products to purchasers. A mock presentation should be no problem for a good agency.

When you receive your presentation now you can make a decision based on your company's wants and needs. This also gives you a chance to see how the agency's culture matches with you own. Developing an ad campaign is not a clip art laden PowerPoint presentation. The presentation should have all aspects of media involved which will fit your budget and reach your target customers. A marketing firm that consistently comes in significantly under budget is short changing you. If you have $10,000 to spend, the agency should use $10,000. Anything less and you are not effectively using your money and something is being left out. Do not think your agency is giving you a deal. The agency should be using every penny available to get your product out in front of your clients. The opposite is true too. If the agency is consistently coming back to you to get more money then it is not using your money correctly. If the quote to perform a campaign set is $10,000 and then the agency comes back and tries to renegotiate the terms or cost, DO NOT comply unless you have thoroughly investigated the reasons behind the increase. A contract to perform work is to protect you as well as the agency. A reputable marketing firm with years of experience will be able to create a campaign to within pennies of the budget you give them. But do not expect a Super Bowl ad campaign on an infomercial budget.

An ad campaign should definitely include Internet ads and social media blasting. Facebook and Twitter are vast wells of potential customers just waiting to buy your products. Introducing your company to users of social media can create a web presence unlike anything you could accomplish with billboards, radio spots, and television commercials. By integrating your company's website with social media outlets such as Twitter and Facebook you can introduce your product to new clientele. More companies are creating Facebook and Twitter accounts to keep up with new trends and fads customers want. Knowledgeable marketing agents can put your company and products in front of thousands of new customers through social media. Make sure this is part of your ad campaign whenever you hire an agency.

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