Don’t try to hide it now.
Whether a Mar-tech software, popular influencer to even a creative digital agency; we’ve all been approached by or considered a marketing vendor.
Smart Insights stated in 2019 that businesses who plan marketing campaigns and projects thoroughly create a 356% greater likelihood of ROI with an aligned strategy.
One of the greatest factors contributing to a well tailored strategy that every business executive must know is who your marketing partners are externally.
As some have held cynicism for outsourcing any marketing activity of theirs to a 3rd party, there are justifiable reasons from past experiences such as:
- Low financial budget
- Scam artists posing themselves as ‘professionals’ or ‘experts’
- Distrust in results being achieved
- Potential loss of marketing authenticity, branding or ownership
These are common reasons that prevent a business from outsourcing to any vendor as we all desire to reap our money’s worth from external support.
Yet over time, a 3rd party experience with a marketing vendor can prove highly beneficial as you power up your expansion and marketing strategy towards your business goals.
Before considering any ongoing transaction with a marketing vendor (not many blogs may give you this inside-scoop), get your corporate checklist out and consider these 6 must-dos before considering closing the mutual deal:
1) Learn values and Vendor Offerings
Every marketing vendor has business values for why and how they operate.
When considering marketing assistance for a current campaign or communications strategy externally, it is vital to conduct background research on a clean history of the potential marketing vendor.
Even if you were referred by a trusted business partner, friend or affiliate, your discernment of the vendor’s values differ from a friendly referral. It is your budgetary investment, ESOV and reputation at stake before any business engagement takes place.
Although this sounds basic, yet reading the vendor’s About us page on their website, browsing their LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram activity; to even video interviews or thoughts builds up how credible they are. You are able to track digital footprints on:
- What’s their inner drive towards helping businesses and brands through marketing?
2. Is there a respective level of practical consistency in their stated values?
Once values are considered, review their offerings and whether this can be sustainable for your growth.
An influencer, agency or business software can have x, y, z, aa, bb, cc ……….etc services or packages within their arsenal, however being realistic on goal alignment is paramount.
If any of their offerings don’t align with your marketing or campaign goal outcomes, you risk wasting time and investment at a win-loss situation.
Do you really want that?
2) Keep in touch with a Senior Executive
Once considered, establishing a great working relationship with a senior executive or personnel is key to growing a strong marketing partnership.
From our experiences at Content 45, we encourage any client working with us to regularly communicate with our agency. We wish to know as much relevant details about project work as you wish to know on our progress for your business.
If you can, always stay in touch with 2-3 executives; the founder/director or key influencer, accounts manager and creative.
These individuals are important when maintaining healthy communication directly relating to your ongoing marketing campaign and its management towards success.
- Founder or key influencer – they’re the main person controlling and overseeing the entirety of your outsourced work
- Accounts manager – Leads and processes the relationship profitably between you and the executors of your marketing
- Creative – Drafts and plans your campaign perspective and message from dust to reality in an appealing, market-worthy manner (e.g. branding, content, advert, etc.)
Never miss a beat on keeping these individuals within your good books and regular contacts as they appreciate your communication and cooperation too. Marketing outsourcing and implementation is teamwork and not a one-sided transaction at all.
3) Be receptive and compliant to constructive advice
When working with a marketing vendor, always observe and watch out for the arrogant, telling-you-what-to-do type.
Creating a balanced relationship between your business, brand or organisation and the ideal marketing vendor must have reciprocal value.
For any outsourced vendor, choose and listen to the consultative and open-minded types building value to your business. Despite you working in the industry with more experience, any marketing agency or vendor offering you consultative advice and genuine, practical value is a keeper.
You must be open-minded to listen and not easily criticise or disregard your marketing vendor’s concepts and strategies they offer. They have experience within the marketing & advertising field, whether online or offline; you have operational experience within your chosen sector.
Why trivialise their efforts and over-develop an independent ego to do ‘your own thing’ ?Teamwork, unity and consistent communication should be approached with an ‘our own thing ‘ mindset for any vendor you work with. If a marketing vendor takes things one step at a time as part of an incremental strategy, this proves they wish to make YOUR success THEIR success too without perceiving you as adding on to their revenue margins by cross-selling unnecessary project fees and services.
4) Prepare your budget without Frugality
Every man or business has their price – never approach or consider a marketing vendor on a zero to hardly any budget.
With economic inflation always in effect, you too give an impression on a potential vendor if you disregard their commercial needs.
Marketing vendors need business sustainability too when continuing their services and projects they deliver. This must never be underestimated as any business considering outsourced help with online or offline marketing should account for specified marketing figures as a sufficient budget to execute any vendor’s work during preparation.
Realistically plan your marketer’s budget either monthly, quarterly or annually and be reasonable with any project quotes without seeing an opportunity to slash costs for your own advantage.
A frugal mindset produces jeopardised outcomes – every marketing vendor must be compensated fairly for their sacrifice.
5) Ensure Marketing goals and Project scope is addressed
One of the most critical stages when managing any marketing campaign is ensuring each action aligns with main goals outlined.
At Content 45, we’ve been trained and experienced to ensure any project our agency team works on with clients addresses marketing goals. This way, transparency of expectations and rationale behind any tactic performed is displayed crystal-clear towards a client.
This sounds like a simple stage a business must follow, but believe us when we say SO many vendors go overly ecstatic with their ideas and skills that they forget it’s a business’ reputation on the line.
Nothing looks worse than using a Mar-tech platform, hiring an agency or influencer to do implement an action plan that does not address your marketing goals for profitable value in your business.
Time and money will be wasted and both parties will be dissatisfied – never reach to this extent.
Any marketing vendor you work with must ensure the project’s scope is addressed, thereby presenting a clear overview of marketing deliverables, objectives, timeframe, KPIs and future direction the project is seeking to head for.
6) Finalise mutual documentation without unnecessary delay
As the project is agreed on between yourself and the vendor, all details must be drafted into official written documents for your records.
Works contracts, NDAs or Partnership agreements are the 3 most common documents you will come across before commencing work with a professional marketing vendor.
Even you as a recipient of pending work for your business must not delay a marketing vendor’s time by sitting on an incomplete contract without signing. Many start-ups, small brands and entrepreneurs are guilty as charged for holding incomplete agency documentation due to eventual lack of funds, the incapability to commit long-term on a project or clashes with personal life distractions.
By realising you cannot work with a marketing vendor after going through the aforementioned 5 stages becomes a waste of time and resources spent from a marketing vendor’s perspective to build your marketing value for ROI.
No one likes their time wasted, so do not waste a marketing vendor’s either.
For future references, ensure you’re prepared mentally and financially to commit to a marketing vendor relationship; whether an agency, influencer or tech platform. Most deals or contracts, especially within the B2B sector run dry and non-existent from very basic fundamentals such as the signing of contracts; thereby making everyone lose out on opportunity long-term.
Did we miss out any stages you’ve experienced with a marketing vendor?
Comment below with your thoughts and ensure you’ve prepared thoroughly before making that next marketing partnership.