What type of agency is right for your brand?
Perhaps you’re a seasoned pro, or perhaps you’re not sure what an agency could even do for your business. After more than 15 years of helping brands succeed, we’ve gathered a few key questions that we’d advise any of our partners to ask themselves before they begin their agency hunt. Interested?
What type of agency is right for your brand?
The best way to tackle these tough questions is to print this blog post out and spend some time thinking about your answers. First, what are your goals? Clearly identified goals will help you select which type of agency you need. Here are a few examples of solid goals.
+ To identify our opportunity in the market and our unique positioning. Why should customers choose us over competitors?
+ To identify an asprational vision that our organization can rally behind, and one that will attract like-minded customers.
+ We need to make it easier for customers to give us money.
+ We know who we are and have easy access for customers to give us money, but we need an engaging campaign that will attract more customers.
+ We need to grow our audience. We want to grow our email list, social media followers and website traffic.
+ We need to clarify our story. We have messaging goals we need to prioritize and unpack.
+ We need help figuring out what our marketing plan is: budget, goals, business priorities, positioning, resource allocation.
+ We need to focus on our digital presence. We need help with SEO, social media strategy and/or website.
+ We need help figuring out where to spend our advertising budget.
Okay, you have your goals. If you can only afford two of the goals you just selected, what are your top priorities? What are your marketing needs this year? A good rule of thumb is to get a clear picture of all of your marketing priorities, then focus on the top two. The following are examples of marketing needs your brand may have:
+ Brand Strategy: Inspiring strategy that can be converted into materials to explain our big vision internally and externally. Market research and strategy sessions led by a seasoned big thinker.
+ Brand Strategy: A new website is most important right now.
+ Fractional CMO: A conversion journey documented with a list of priorities. Addressing the ease of spending money with us. Working with a conversion specialist and increasing revenue quickly is most important.
+ Digital: Strategy focused on audience growth and engagement. Working with a team of experts in every area online (search, social, email, digital advertising).
+ Content: Strategy focused on audience development and communicating the big vision consistently across all channels. Working with strong storytellers who have a track record of developing audiences online.
+ PR/Communications: Securing national press with significant news outlets.
+ Campaigns: A compelling plan that can be used across traditional media (TV, outdoor, radio), digital platforms (video, programmatic, social, websites, influencers) and experiential (events, pop-ups, festivals, conferences).
+ Fractional CMO: Aligning our sales, marketing and distribution channels is most important. There are critical issues that need to be addressed before we can see substantial growth.
+ Content: We need someone to take over managing our social media platforms.
Choose the agency that is best for what you need.
Let's recap. After answering the last few questions where do you think your priorities lie?
If it's Brand Strategy, you need a big thinker. Someone who can identify the larger opportunity and create a brand strategy that is aspirational and inspiring. You need to ask who your team will be, who will be leading the brand strategy piece of the work and examples of their portfolio. What amazing brands have they been a part of building from the ground up (or helped pivot)?
If it’s Fractional CMO, you need someone who is good at the intersection of marketing and business. They have access to a team of creative folks who can develop solid creative assets but they are also good at the nuts and bolts of conversion and positioning. They should be able to help you align your sales, marketing and distribution. They should have the ability to look at your business holistically and be able to help you prioritize resources. They should have examples of businesses they’ve worked with to grow the business, create a cohesive marketing strategy and they should have someone on their team who specializes in all of these areas: customer journey, brand strategy, conversion, SEO, social media, email marketing, content, PR/communications.
If it’s Content, you need someone who has experience building online audiences (growing email lists, increasing social followers/engagement and increasing website traffic). Writing good copy is only half of the battle, you want a firm that can help you build meaningful relationships.
If it’s PR/Communications, you need someone who has a strong rolodex with writers in your industry. For example, if you are a fashion apparel brand, you should have a PR firm that has contacts at Vogue, W and New York Times Style section. They should have a roster of clients that look like your brand.
If it’s Digital, you need to have a strong digital strategy with an execution plan that is either shared between the agency and internal team or completely managed by the agency (depending on your budget). This agency should have a team of experts that includes search (written and audio), social, email, programmatic.
If it’s a new Campaign, you need a creative agency that has an area of expertise in creating campaigns for the platforms where your ads will most likely occur. If you have a large ad budget (more than $1 million) then you should work with a firm that can do traditional media ads (TV, outdoor, radio) and digital platforms (video ads for social, web display ads). If you have a limited ad budget, you should work a firm who specializes in digital advertising campaigns.
We’d love the opportunity to chat with you about your needs. Email us at Elizabeth@hownovel.co, and we’ll send you a case study of our recent work.