You’ve done the hard work of creating a brand and developing a line of consumer goods. Now it’s time to get noticed.
No matter how innovative and well-designed your products are, your business is only as successful as it is visible. If you want to win in the retail space, you need a team of experts who offer more than just content. Strategic marketing takes your products off the drawing board and into consumer’s shopping carts (both physical and digital) and drives sales so that your advertising budget pays for itself.
So, how do you choose a marketing agency?
With so many marketing firms near you promising to create buzz around your brand, how do you find one that understands your story and believes in your products as strongly as you do? Most importantly, how do you guarantee that the investment you make in a marketing firm’s services will be reflected in sales?
“Marketing tactics are only a tool to get a business where it needs to go. They aren’t just fantastic in and of themselves.”
Here are five of our best tips for choosing the right marketing firm for your business:
1. Choose a retail marketing agency with a research-based approach
Thanks to data goldmines on social media and consumer research tools like segmentation studies and focus groups, marketing strategists should always be able to show examples of their work when making a recommendation.
Look for evidence of relentless curiosity in a firm’s portfolio. Do they defer to the data when deciding how to make the best use of your budget? In cases where that data doesn’t already exist, the best marketing strategist will do the research themselves.
The benefit of this data-driven approach is twofold: not only does it support the best return on your marketing investment, it provides your company with tremendously useful insights that can also benefit your product and sales teams.
2. Ask your prospective marketing team to explain its process
Before you take the plunge and invest in an advertising company’s services, take time to peek behind the curtain. Seasoned strategists have a process in place for helping retail companies succeed that should be relatively consistent and straightforward.
Marketing agencies with a track record of wins should have no trouble laying out a roadmap for victory, whether your company is interested in expanding into ecommerce, growing your presence in brick and mortar stores or some combination of the two. Don’t hesitate to ask for clarification to ensure that you and your marketing team have a shared definition of success.
3. Verify that their marketing strategy is results-oriented, and ask for examples of past wins
Crisp copy and attention-grabbing graphics are a wonderful thing, but when it comes to a marketing firm’s portfolio, they’re only skin-deep. Retail companies looking to get a foothold in competitive physical and digital spaces need more from their marketing team than great content. They need great content that functions within the context of a well-researched strategy designed to drive sales.
As you shop around for a marketing agency, look beyond examples of attractive ad campaigns, and ask for specifics about how the agency’s efforts helped that client meet their goals.
4. Give priority to marketing firms that are vertically integrated
A marketing campaign that takes the buyer’s entire journey into consideration takes a village. At a minimum, there are digital strategists, developers, content creators, social media marketers, SEO specialists and industry researchers. For products that are subject to their merchant’s product line review (PLR), companies’ needs can be even more complex.
Marketing firms that offer more of these capabilities under one roof come with some serious advantages. They are able to gather their own data in order to make strategic recommendations, pull their own analytics and own the entire sales cycle. Vertically integrated firms offer retail companies simplicity and greater responsiveness, often at a significantly reduced cost than sourcing all of these services separately.
5. Look for a retail marketing agency that wins when you win
One of the best ways to protect your marketing investment is by choosing an agency whose financial interests align with yours.
Look for firms that offer partner pricing, a payment structure that rewards the marketing firm with agreed-upon payouts only when your company meets and exceeds its quarterly goals. It may be based on sales or on non-monetary metrics, like winning your PLR.
Partner pricing can significantly reduce the up-front cost of the marketing agency’s services, making additional payments contingent on your business’s success. Best of all, it is an excellent way to guarantee that your marketing team remains invested in helping your company identify and solve its target audience’s problems.
The bottom line: The best marketing agency is the one that understands and supports your business’s goals
Whether you are looking to win at ecommerce, claim shelf space with a major retailer or blaze a trail into a new product category, look for a marketing firm that is prepared to do what it takes to understand your brand and target audience. Marketing starts with awareness but ends with successful-problem solving. Seek out a strategic partner who is prepared to support the entire journey.
Our marketing experts are always ready to answer your questions and learn about your goals for your business. Reach out today and start building a strategy for placing your products in the path of your ideal consumer.