As we head into 2022, many small businesses (SMBs) are recovering—or have recovered—from the effects of the pandemic, lockdowns, and economic downturn. Things are looking up!
With the world reopening—as we see in our NJ/NY metro market—it’s time for businesses to reboot consumer awareness and regain market share with an investment in their marketing. If you’re thinking of engaging an external marketing agency in the coming year here’s what to expect from the right relationship.
It’s not just about lead generation—it’s about strategic partnership
Marketing is all about gaining new customers and retaining existing ones. So of course, generating new leads and turning prospects into buyers is a core driver of brand marketing. But a full-service marketing agency goes beyond “just” lead generation. There are interdepartmental workflow recommendations to make, technology tools to discuss, and customer service issues review; working on these can improve your operation and in turn, affect the outcomes of your marketing activities and customer connections.
Look for a full-service marketing agency that operates as a consultative partner—one that strives to understand your business and make informed (often, data-driven) recommendations to improve operations and achieve business growth via a customer focus. That means providing materials they need and information they want, in language they understand, and making stronger connections with your target audience through customized marketing solutions. After all, there’s nothing cookie cutter about your business so why should your marketing be that way?
- Does the marketing plan speak to business goals?
- Are the tactics going to reach the right audience in the right channels to achieve results?
- Is the agency flexible about shifting the marketing road map to make course corrections that benefit your business?
- Is the agency as keen on getting measurable results as you are?
Business owners do what they do best. So do marketing agencies.
No one’s an expert on everything. Business owners and non-profit directors know what they must do to fulfill their mission. They know how to make their goods, deliver their services, and run their operations. We believe business owners should be involved in and aware of their company’s marketing plan and activities; but outsourcing the marketing to an external agency enables leaders to focus on what they know and do best while the agency handles the social media, website, email marketing, branding work, content marketing, advertising . . . you get the picture!
You’ll save time and reduce your stress
A survey of SMB owners by Call Rail found that 93% of respondents are devoting time to analytics to determine their own marketing strategy, but 74% would rather spend time working on their business. These owners spend an average of 20 hours a week on marketing.
With business picking up, hiring taking place, and orders to fill, who has time for all that? A marketing agency reduces the burden many SMB owners take on (thinking they’ll have time and energy to tackle all the tactics around their marketing plan).
At Rapunzel Creative, we say partner with an external agency so you can take back your time and energy and focus on your core business. Outsourcing to a team of marketing and advertising professionals enables business owners to achieve greater results with less effort on their part.
Does your marketing department do ALL that?
Companies with an internal marketing manager or director—even a small marketing team—likely does not have all the experts on staff to handle the many branding, messaging, and awareness-building tasks that a marketing plan may entail—nor the time to deal with the myriad activities involved with launching, sustaining, and measuring campaigns. An outsourced marketing team comprises:
- Digital and traditional marketing strategists
- Creative teams (graphic designers, advertising and content copywriters)
- Media planners and buyers
- SEO and digital marketing experts
- Website developers
- Social media managers
A long-term view for marketing strategies
Don’t look for one-and-done success stories nor fall prey to promises about quick ROI or guaranteed results. A marketing plan is a puzzle with many pieces. It may include some short-term fixes to address immediate concerns about branding, but marketing happens over months and years (not weeks), with course corrections as the agency evaluates which tactics are working and which need to be altered or dropped.
Lots of marketing tools that expand digital reach
Of prime importance now is to expand your company’s digital reach. The pandemic accelerated the digital trend as many businesses had to “go digital or die.” Hiring a digital marketing agency that has expertise in this area is key to building up brand awareness among today’s consumers, and expanding your messaging to new channels.
Custom digital marketing solutions bring with them many marketing tools. There are myriad marketing tactics that need to be launched, tracked and measured for effectiveness. At Rapunzel Creative, these could be:
- Updating an existing website or creating a new one (especially after the pandemic if your business has shifted or if your website is at least five years old)
- Email marketing
- Social media posts
- Social media advertising
- Print and digital ads
- Content marketing (blog articles, white papers, checklist and other digital content)
- Integrating your CRM (customer relationship management) with marketing campaigns
Working with a full-service marketing agency is an investment that will help you save time and energy so you can focus on your operation, and will boost your ability to connect authentically with your target audience. If you’d like to discuss your current marketing and areas of opportunity for 2022, schedule a complimentary discovery session with Rapunzel Creative to get started.
Rapunzel Created is a WBE, WBENC and woman-owned business located in Ridgewood, New Jersey, within the New York metro area. We work with businesses and nonprofits nationwide.