BCM is a strategic B2B marketing communications agency, specialising in Cognitive Marketing to help you understand your customers better than your competitors. Founder and CEO, Miriam Drahmane, explains what to look for when choosing your marketing agency
Everyone is under pressure to do more with less, now more so than ever, therefore investing in a marketing agency to help your business achieve its objectives is a sound decision. You need a marketing partner who will deliver real, tangible value and true marketing productivity to ensure you are making a good investment, rather than wasting your valuable resources. But with over 25,000 marketing agencies operating in the UK alone, they are far from equal, and it is crucial that you choose the right agency for you.
Here are seven key characteristics that you should look for when choosing a marketing agency:
B2B not B2C
There is a significant difference between B2B and B2C and you will need to engage with a B2B marketing agency to truly achieve your business goals. Good B2B marketing is founded on great insight – knowing your customers, your industry and your competition better than anyone else – key when dealing with a more complex decision-making unit, comprising of multiple individuals, as opposed to just one consumer.
When choosing the right agency for your business, you need someone who truly understands B2B.
Strategic insight, not just tactical execution
Some of the latest advancements in technology and tactics are amazing. However, a good marketing agency knows that tactics are useless without a sound strategy. Don’t be blinded by the tactics some agencies will offer, as without a robust marketing strategy you will just be wasting your money and time.
You need to reach a specific target audience with precise messages, at the right time. Customer insight, research, planning and timely execution with clever creative is what is important, otherwise you will be creating the wrong messages, in the wrong place and at the wrong time, which will not resonate with your audience
Knowing your customer – inside and out
A good marketing agency will always undertake customer profiling to truly understand your target customer; their wants, needs and preferences. Regardless of how much industry expertise and experience an agency may have, your customers are as unique as your business, so a copy and paste approach will not work. A good agency will take the necessary time to create a strong strategy and clear customer profile, as it is the only way that the correct channel plan can be created.
A fully integrated approach
If an agency offers you just a one-off brochure, mailer or website – beware! While they will possibly have a short-term impact, any agency worth its salt will always look to integrate your messaging across numerous channels to ensure targeted, consistent messaging and brand
Great creative direction will get your company noticed. A good agency will have creative designers and copywriters on board who can turn your company’s USPs into attention-grabbing headlines. Well-researched and well-written content, such as thought leadership articles, white papers and case studies, will effectively engage with your customer and lead them along the buying journey. Exciting creative such as infographics, logos and images, are also proven to shorten the relationship timeline.
Robust ROI measurements
A good agency will remove any guesswork from your marketing, by being able to measure the effectiveness of their work. They understand that a marketing strategy must achieve your business goals and that the only true measure is the bottom line. Robust ROI measurements are an absolute necessity and, if they don’t have the appropriate measures in place, walk away. After all, if you can’t measure your marketing, how do you know if it has worked?
The right team with the right attitude
People buy from people and it is no different when choosing your marketing partner. The agency team are the driving force behind your strategies and campaigns. Friendly yet professional, they should be a group of passionate, enthusiastic, creative, analytical individuals with a real zest for marketing and making a difference for your company. If you don’t feel a connection with them, then they are unlikely to be the right agency for you.
At bcm we specialise in simplifying the complicated. We focus on marketing productivity and develop an agile strategic marketing and communications plan with the B2B customer at the heart of all we do.