At Branded, we like to consider our agency stage agnostic. Meaning no company needs to have a certain headcount, have completed a minimum level of funding or boast certain metrics related to their platform, solutions, services or products to work with us. All a company needs is a message it wants to amplify. Still founders, CEOs, CMOs and other marketing executives ask: When is the right time to engage with an agency?
Like everything we do at Branded, the answer isn’t universally the same across all conversations. Instead, it’s as customized as each of our client engagements.
There are some basic tenants, though. So, below is a primer on questions you should be asking yourself before engaging with a marketing agency:
Is your company and its platform, solutions, services or products ready for mass market exposure? At Branded, we’re in the business of awareness. Whether you’re engaged in public relations, content marketing, digital marketing, branding, paid or earned media services, the goal is always to gain exposure among a company’s key stakeholders, potential customers and investors. But that does little if your company’s flaws would be unveiled in the process of an awareness campaign. No, that doesn’t mean products or services in beta aren’t ready for widespread awareness. Instead, every company needs to ensure its positioned to be well received when external messaging reaches those target audiences. Remember: the goal of marketing is to gain mass market appeal.
Has your company identified pain points in the marketplace? Ever wonder why the word “solution” was born out of tech? A company’s advents -- from Apple to Nike -- tend to bear an answer to a problem. But that means that problems must precipitate your “solution.” And those problems are critical to developing your brand story. From there, our branding services can help develop a logo, website and messaging that will resonate publicly and ready your company for an awareness campaign.
Is a team member available to manage the agency? At Branded, we consider ourselves an institutional part of your company. We truly want to partner together. But that requires that someone be identified within each of our client’s teams to manage the relationship. Marketing agencies need an advocate within each client’s team to help move initiatives forward and communicate what work is being accomplished to help scale the brand.
Have you assessed what marketing services will fuel your company’s success? Though part of the exploratory process when we first talk to a potential client, it’s important to identify, as specifically as possible, what services will help your brand scale. Maybe you’ve identified paid social media as an area that can help drive awareness. But have you considered how you want to allocate your ad spend across the multitude of social platforms that currently see mass engagement? You may have identified a need to improve your SEO and digital footprint. But is there an immediate need, which might necessitate using paid search? Or do you need to establish a more long-term SEO strategy that might lend itself to more organic efforts like content marketing? Are you driving leads but seeing a low conversion rate? Then you might want to consider services that earn third-party validation like public relations.