Avoid the 4 biggest pitfalls to marketing success

Thought Leadership on Marketing and Branding Success presented by O2 Lab.

Hiring a marketing agency is an excellent first step toward taking your business to the next level. But even the best firm can’t do its job without your help. Here’s how to avoid the most common pitfalls.

1. SHARE YOUR STRATEGY
Marketing exists as part of a whole. It is — or should be — a significant corollary to your business strategy. If your agency doesn’t know your company’s goals and strategies for reaching them, your marketing efforts won’t be successful. Effective marketing campaigns are tailored to your company’s objectives. They draw upon your strengths, give life to your aspirations, and communicate your unique positioning in the marketplace. On the flip side — and we can’t stress this enough — no amount of marketing will ever fix the lack of a business strategy.

2. ENGAGE TOP DECISION MAKERS
Once you’ve partnered with a firm, let them talk to your top brass. Leaving management out until the end of the process is a sure way to derail your project late in the game. Allow your leadership team to share their thoughts about your audience, competitors, differentiators, and internal stakeholders early in the process. Their support is crucial, their knowledge is indispensable, and their vision is critical to the company’s success. Your agency is looking for unique insights and common trends. They should be skilled enough to analyze what they learn from these interviews—along with additional research and their knowledge of your industry and competitors—and develop a unique positioning for your company.

3. KEEP TIME IN MIND
You’re a busy professional with a lot on your plate. But when you hire an agency, it’s key to have a deadline in mind — and stick to it. Without firm deadlines for each step in the process, it’s human nature for you and your colleagues to turn to client projects that seem more pressing. Remember: Your company’s marketing is critical to the health of the business. Make it a priority.

4. TRUST THE PROCESS
The process of working with an agency is an exercise in collaboration. Together, you are making something new and vital. On the other hand, it’s good to keep in mind that your agency is a professional service firm. You have vetted them. They know their craft. When you hire an agency for their expertise, let them use it. Trust them.

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