One the biggest faux pas you can make when hiring a marketing firm is treating it like an infomercial rotisserie chicken cooker. As nice as it would be to set it and forget it, marketing doesn’t work that way.
Business owners often expect the marketing firm they hire to overwhelm them with leads and cause their sales to surge, all without having to do anything except pay the bill. I’m not saying you need to start sharing an office with your marketing team, but you do need to be in constant communication with them.
It’s next to impossible to come up with a compelling design or snappy slogans if you don’t give your marketing team any relevant information.
This burden doesn’t fall completely on you. Any marketing team with their salt will have a bag of tricks to extract information from you. This typically involves asking a lot questions you may not know how to answer.
Some of these questions may seem strange or unorthodox, but there’s a method to our madness. One of my favorite questions to ask new clients is, “if your brand had a celebrity spokesperson, who would it be?”
It’s questions like these that stretch your perception of your brand and uncovers vital information that leads to great creativity.
Apart from being interrogated, there’s a few key bits of information you should be sharing with your marketers.
- Goals– If you don’t tell your team what you’re trying to accomplish, they can’t make a strategy. These goals need to be specific. Obviously everyone wants to sell more and make more money, the question is how do you want to do that?
- Company Updates– Did you hire a new employee, move offices, complete a big project, or get a new puppy? These are all things I want to know about our clients, because it gives me more ammo. People want to see that things, big or small, are happening in your company. It lets them know you’re actually doing something, not just trying to take their money.
- Community Involvement– Possibly the best way to get good PR, and the warm fuzzies, is to get involved in your community. Whether it’s tutoring kids after school or cleaning up a park, people love to see it and it makes you look good.
- Topics– If you’re team is creating content for you, odds are they would love to be fed topics. Since you know your industry better than they do, you should alert them of any hot topics or current events.
Wil Reynolds of Seer Interactive is a huge proponent of what he has coined “real company stuff” (that’s the PG version). RCS refers to companies genuinely doing things that matter, as opposed to expecting the marketing department to sell products based some web of fluff pieces and tired sales pitches.
This is what people want and what people buy.
To clarify, you hire a marketing firm so you don’t have to do your marketing, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be involved in the marketing process.