So maybe you need a marketing agency. Instinct tells you to get a conversation started ASAP. But there are some things you need to be ready with first.
Try prepping with these three things:
Go Beyond Goals to Gaps
In the first conversation, a marketing agency will help define your goals. The best agencies will go one step further and ask questions about your marketing gaps as well.
Talking about marketing goals is important. Don’t get us wrong. But discussing gaps can get to the heart of the most pressing issues. It’ll guide your agency to tackle the things that make the biggest impact.
Have Realistic Timelines
Here’s how an initial conversation with a potential client sometimes goes:
We say: “When would you like your website launched?”
Potential client says: “Yesterday.”
We think: “Okay…”
Good marketing agencies have a process for doing great work. They need to do a proper discovery phase to learn the context of your business. They need to think critically and creatively about proposed solutions. There are cycles of collaborating, pitching, and getting feedback. All of this happens before marketing tactics or assets get launched. Great work needs time to happen.
Try to think of your marketing plans in six-month or one-year increments. Anything shorter and you’ll fall into the trap of thinking only tactically not strategically.
Cultivate C-Level Buy-In Sooner Rather Than Later
The earlier the client gets buy-in from their C-level execs the better. Proposals get complicated when a marketing manager needs a perfect plan before getting approval. But not all of the details need to be set before a top dog says “yes”.
The proposal process works best when it’s iterative. First, the agency will help you flush out the big picture. Then, the marketing manager gets buy-in on the potential objectives, deliverables, timelines, and budget. This is the time for an early check-in with the C-suite. Frame the conversation as an opportunity to gather their feedback before plans are formalized. Nothing has been set in stone yet.
The earlier you engage your execs, the better the proposal process will go with a marketing agency.
If you have these things in place, the proposal process will be a lot faster and more pleasant. In the end, your objectives are more likely to be met, less time will be wasted, and you’re more likely to make and save money for your business.