This blog originally appeared on Mint Leaf Media.
Let us take a wild guess that you didn’t win the $1.6 billion Powerball jackpot last month. It’s okay, you can join the rest of us who had the nearly nonexistent chance of winning the largest prize in U.S. lottery history.
It’s always fun to take a shot in the dark in such a low risk, high reward environment; however, this try your luck strategy isn’t as effective in everyday life (maybe outside of the “I’m Feeling Lucky” search option on Google).
In reality, risky chances usually don’t end well. This is particularly true for small businesses when it comes to their marketing strategies. Just consider that 85 percent of companies say the pressure to measure and prove marketing ROI is only increasing. Now imagine this pressure for small businesses, where it’s not uncommon to see owners singlehandedly managing their own marketing initiatives—oftentimes with no way of knowing if they are yielding desired results.
For small business owners, avoiding a questionable “try your luck” strategy is critical. A sounder alternative would be to allocate hard-earned dollars towards an investment that is proven to generate marketing ROI.
Whether it’s strengthening multichannel marketing or learning the ropes of social media, small business owners shouldn’t feel as though they have a once in a lifetime shot at winning big when it comes to accomplishing their objectives. Instead, they should rest assured that there are ample resources available to help them, like a marketing agency that concentrates on relieving the pain points specific to small businesses.
This is all good and well, but in a world saturated with agencies claiming to specialize in small business, it can feel almost impossible to find the right one. So, what should you keep in mind when shopping around? Look for a partner that:
- Specializes in consistent branding: Your partner of choice shouldn’t have a one and done mentality. It should instead be dedicated to maintaining consistent messaging across all of your marketing channels—especially digital and social—to ensure an ongoing Web presence, as well as brand uniformity.
- Takes time to educate: Understanding the value of your time and finances, your partner should equip you with the knowledge you need to make the most informed decisions for your brand. Whether it’s a quick “how-to” or a deep dive into a project management system, your partner should leave you feeling more empowered than when you first started. In other words, your partner should help you understand core marketing processes, verses simply doing them for you.
- Maximizes your time: Your partner should have a solid understanding of the pain points that are specific to small businesses, enabling them to create a foolproof strategy that maximizes your time. This might include, for example, prioritizing tasks based on how much time you have to offer each week so that you can gain a predictable view of when objectives will be accomplished.
- Works with you, not for you: At the end of the day, your marketing agency should feel more like a collaborative partner than a third-party vendor. There should be flexibility, understanding and appreciation when it comes to your time, money and challenges—always.