We always want what’s best for our business, however, we aren’t all-rounders and competent in every aspect of our business. That’s why there is a growing trend in outsourcing – companies are now more inclined to subcontract their IT department, HR department or even their marketing department to external companies. But with all these choices in the market, you are sure to be overwhelmed with the sea of potential partnerships.
5 Ways to Pick the Best Marketing Firm for You

But when it comes to picking the “best” marketing firm, companies have the right to be worried about making the wrong choice. There exist detrimental downfalls when you choose the wrong company to work with. Typically there may be a reduction of innovation capabilities, lack of quality, lack of collaborative effort or even, not being able to meet minimal performance standards – and these are things that we want to avoid at all costs, as our company’s brand and marketing success are heavily dependent on their work. That is why I have compiled a total of five ways to help you choose the most suitable marketing firm for your company’s needs.

1.       Know What You Want

I know this sounds silly right? But often companies forget it during the negotiation process. They are afraid of being picky, afraid of going through the same searching process and have a tendency to just “go with the flow”. But that’s a trap that you want to avoid – they won’t be able to deliver what you really want as your expectations are halfheartedly set on the wrong person. Or even, don’t be afraid to ask more questions during the screening process – because even some marketers are afraid to say no because they don’t want to disappoint you. So be sure to get your needs out there so you can be sure that your wants and their strengths are definitely met.

2.       Get to Know Them Through Their Websites

Like how a resume can tell you a lot about your next potential hire, a company site can tell you a lot about the company itself. It is a key tool that you can use to learn more about their strengths and what they are good at - since we are all shy about what our weaknesses are, what we failed at in the past, we have a tendency to show off what we are good at, what our achievements are - so let's take advantage of that. Take some time to look through their website, and keep asking yourself – can you see yourself working together in the long term?

3.       Is Their Definition of Achievement the Same As Yours?

Typically a section on their website will be dedicated to their personalized “glory space” where they share with the public their proudest portfolio of work they have completed for their clients. Find this section, look at what they can do –and if you don’t like it, speak up and say no. It is also important to remember that marketing is subjective – not everyone will like what you do. So examine closely at their current portfolio of published work and you will be able to get a gist of what their work is like. And ask yourself, is this what you want your next marketing campaign to look like?

4.       Make Reviews and References Your New Best Friend

Even though you have gone through their website, heard their pitch and they tick all your boxes; you must remember to look for past reviews and references from their old clients before you commit to the purchase. They may be a talented at producing what you want, but they could potentially have a poor collaborative process that could make the whole project a long dreary process. So be sure to research, ask around and avoid investing into the wrong firm.

5.       What Does Pricing Actually Mean?

Pricing is often seen as the key indicator for quality – like buying bag at discount retailer in comparison to buying a bag at a luxury brand store, you can immediately tell which one has better quality. Now the question is will the marketing firm be able to produce optimal work relative to their pricing strategy. You can come across a relative cheaper marketing firm, but that doesn’t mean that they are only capable of producing poor quality work; and you can come across a well-known company that has an extensive list of big brands clients but that doesn't mean that they will deliver the best work due to their limited senior marketing executives they have on hand. That’s why even though pricing can be a quick indication of quality, be sure to weigh out between other key factors as well.  

To simply put it, finding the “best” marketing firm for your company is like finding the soul-mate in life, it may be a difficult process for some but an easy task for others.  But be sure to consider the five ways listed above when choosing your next marketing partnership!

- Katrina Huynh
they may not deliver the best work due to the limited senior marketing executives that work for that company
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Mellissah Smith

Mellissah Smith is a leading marketing expert having pioneered two specialist marketing firms into operations all over the world.

With 20 years experience, Mellissah has worked with over 200 companies, emerging and large multinational, on developing and executing strategic marketing campaigns.

From developing strategic marketing plans to re-inventing old brands in a changing market place, Mellissah has creative flair, business acumen and a knowledge of all aspects of marketing. She has also worked extensively in marketing and communications for companies listing on the ASX in both the small cap and large corporate arenas.

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