Planning for 2017: How A Marketing Agency Could Help Your Small Business

You’ve worked hard to build your small business, and you work hard every day to reach the goals you’re after. I love the passion and the tenacity you bring to your small business. And I love even more to see my small business peeps reach for their goals and plan for their futures! Because let’s get real — good things don’t just walk in small business’s door. Now more than ever, it’s important to have a plan. Make the time for your small business’ future, and you’ll be glad you did.

I’ve previously shared why you should review your small business’s performance in 2016, why you should write yourself a marketing plan for 2017 and affordable marketing tools you can make use of.

After all that, you may feel a little overwhelmed when it comes to the execution of marketing tactics. You may not have capabilities to design or write or program. And that’s totally fine! You don’t have to do it alone.

Call in the help of a marketing agency!

Choosing the right marketing partner.

When you’re looking for a marketing guru to partner with, remember to keep your eye on your goals and don’t get blinded by cool offices and free meals. When you receive a request for proposal or a project quote, be sure to ask yourself as you review:

  • Is this a full-service agency or do they have limitations to what they can do?
  • Do they specialize in any areas that make sense for my small business?
  • Do they have capabilities to think outside the box and create a unique marketing solution for my needs?
  • How much am I willing to spend? Will this marketing firm respect that budget?
  • How many people will they bring in on this project? Are that many people needed? Is this the most efficient use of my dollars?
  • How will the marketing team learn about your industry and company? Will you be involved in the research and background phase?
  • Are they working for similar brands as yours? How do you ensure you’re getting a unique message and voice, look and feel?
  • What does the fine print read? How many rounds of revisions will you get? When does the agency say they can get your work done? Are there any hidden fees that can accrue?  

Your role in the marketing partnership.

Once you find an agency that jibes with your budget and goals, and you give them the go-ahead to start your project, you may feel unsure of your role.

You, my small business boss, can sit back and relax if you want — or you can keep heavily involved. It’s up to you.

When you work with Zao525, we like to spend time upfront with you to learn about your industry, your offerings and your brand. Then, after we start on your project, we’ll send you the deliverables in stages.

If you see anything you don’t like at any of the stages or that doesn’t align with your brand, with messaging that’s off, tell us, and we’ll fix it! So many times clients feel bad giving feedback, or they feel like a bother if they make too many edits. I do like to guide clients in their feedback, though, by reminding them that:

  • We’re creating pieces to talk to their target market, which isn’t always necessarily going to speak to the client personally.
  • Every marketing effort should have a tangible goal in mind. We should always remind ourselves what that goal is to make sure the creative is on track.
  • We don’t know what we don’t know (for the most part). If you have an insight into your small business that will step up the creative’s effectiveness, tell us!

Is there a marketing tactic you need help with this next year? Let us know! We’d love to help spread the word about the great work your small business does.

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