The marketing firm you choose will be in charge of your brand, so you need to make good decisions on who you hire.
When it’s time to hire a marketing firm, you have a lot of choices to pick from. There are more than 500 advertising agencies, public relations and digital marketing firms in the Tampa Bay area. Many of them are highly specialized, while others can offer a large suite of marketing services. It’s important to be prepared before handing the reigns over to a firm in charge of promoting your brand.
Some Important Questions, First
Going into a relationship with a marketing firm takes some homework on your part. A little business self-awareness goes a long way in understanding the type of relationship you’ll need with the firm.
- Do you know what your brand is?
- Who is your ideal client?
- What geography do you cover?
- Are your clients local or online?
- Is there a budget in place to handle all marketing costs?
- Have you set goals for your marketing?
If you don’t have an answer to those questions, work with your team to determine the answers before hiring a marketing firm.
Choosing a Local or National Firm
With all of the choices available locally, it’s rare to go out-of-state to hire a firm. The goal is to hire a firm that fits your needs exactly. There are local firms in the Tampa Bay area that carry a national presence and national companies with a local presence.
The choice really is more about what you prefer when hiring a service. Do you prefer meeting face-to-face? Or can your marketing be handled through video conferencing, email and phone calls? Both are effective ways to communicate and build very successful relationships. In our experience, having a good mix of each one leads to stronger relationships.
Setting the Search Criteria
When considering to hire a marketing firm, the following 10 things to consider should be used as a checklist.
- Portfolio – The firm should impress you with their design and implementation.
- Experience – A lack of experience could cost you money.
- Industry Knowledge – Having a firm with industry knowledge reduces the learning curve for them regarding your business. Something to also consider is if their industry knowledge works against their ability to be creative or think outside the box.
- Capabilities – Smaller firms offer more personalized service, yet may be limited in capabilities, but this is not always the case. Be sure to do your research and ask the right questions.
- Business Savvy – A firm with solid business acumen will understand the big picture and not just work from project to project. They are more adept with problem solving, too.
- Channel Expertise – Strong marketing firms understand the channel directions for most industries. This makes them better marketers. They are better at forecasting and seeing the next big thing on the horizon.
- Technical Knowledge – Marketing is technology heavy. Both print and digital marketing are driven by advanced technologies. The firm you pick should know how to harness these technologies for successful campaigns.
- Network – How extensive is their business network? These connections can be valuable assets.
- Communication – Everyone is looking for fast and friendly. How about clear and concise? Honest and thoughtful? Those are special qualities, as well.
- Personality – It’s a business relationship. Your personalities should mesh well together. What makes them unique is something that can differentiate your company from others.
Make sure each one fulfills your criteria. If no one fits it, then look at what’s really important and how many do fulfill those needs.
At Pinstripe, we have experience with companies across the United States—from entrepreneurs to the Fortune 500. We are passionate about creating tailored campaigns that generate results. Our team has decades of experience within a wide range of industries. Contact us today to learn more about how we can provide the best marketing experience for you.