A few weeks ago, I was talking with a cohort of CEOs representing a variety of industries. The work of their organizations was different, but their feedback was the same: “I’m paying my marketing agency to get my work out to the world and I’m not seeing any results.”
As the CEO of a marketing agency, I was shocked. In my agency’s work, results are one of several things we tell our clients they can – and should – expect. That conversation made me take pause, step back, and come up with some recommendations for those CEOs as they’re evaluating their marketing agencies.
3 things you can (nicely) demand from your marketing agency
Complete understanding of your work
Before your agency executes on any strategies, content, or events, they need to do a deep dive into your company’s work. They should know exactly what your pain points are and you’re hoping to accomplish. While this takes extra time on the front end, when your agency has this complete grasp on your work and goals, it frees up your time in the long run. Without having to handhold the agency, you have more time for your own critical work.
What does this look like in practice? It could mean sitting down with a nonprofit’s board members to align on how they want a new website to function, like we recently did with Impact 100, a women’s giving collective we work with. It means sitting down with event organizers to understand all the details and moving parts, like we did for one of the country’s largest Veterans Day parades. With only three months to plan, we had to understand every single detail the organizers needed us to cover and their goals for the parade. That level of understanding let us coordinate with over 85 separate organizations to finalize promotional activities, event day schedules, a safety and security plan, and more. It led to seamless execution and incredible results. But more on results later…
Radical transparency and communication
I’ll be honest, marketing isn’t an exact science, even though we all wish it was as consistent as Einstein’s E = mc2. The reality is that while there are some hard and fast marketing rules, what works for your company might not be the same as what worked for another one of your agency’s clients. So be cautious of an agency that makes promises they can’t keep. And make sure they’re committed to open communication, honesty when something isn’t working, and will adjust their strategies as needed.
The Source Marketing Group guarantees radical transparency. That means we provide demos of the work we propose and regular status updates so you can be confident in the projects you’re paying for. The best marketing agencies constantly evaluate their work, reassess, and realign to get you the absolute best ROI, which leads us to….
Results. Hard and fast results.
Here at The Source Marketing Group, we promise an obsessive focus on results that bring you lasting connections and unforgettable experiences for your customers. Even if marketing isn’t always as straightforward as good old E = mc2, my team’s decades of experience in digital marketing, events, strategy campaigns, lead generation, and graphic design mean we have a really good idea of what will lead to your best results. And like I said above, the right agency will be honest along the way about what’s working, where they need to adjust, and how to make your marketing efforts as badass as possible.
Here are some examples of the kind of results you can expect from your agency. Remember that Veteran’s Day Parade? It saw a 33% increase in spectators over the previous year and created new revenue streams for the event’s organizer. At a Memorial Day race event we planned for a nonprofit client, we increased attendance 165% year over year, raised $143k in revenue, and increased vendor participation by 152%. For another client, 3 Pillars Law, we created an integrated marketing solution that included email marketing support. In just a few months, they had an email list of over 1,000 subscribers, with email engagement rates that far exceeded the industry average.
Take the next step
The right marketing agency should make your life better, and you should be confident that the money you’re paying is leading to the results you need. If that’s not the case, it might be time for a change. An easy way to start is to leave a comment on this blog about some of your marketing challenges or shoot me an email. I’d love to hear more about your marketing goals. The Source Marketing Group does the full scope of marketing work, with a focus on female, veteran, and minority-owned businesses. We promise honesty with you from the get-go. If our services aren’t the best fit for you, we’ll put you in touch with an agency we can personally vouch for.
Kristin is the CEO/Founder of The Source Marketing Group. The marketing agency is focused on elevating female-, veteran-, and minority-owned businesses.