Q: What can an agency do for me?
Provide all the services necessary to manage your total advertising and marketing needs. Depending on your business’s goals, present needs and capabilities, this can include:
- Analyzing your problems and opportunities.
- Recommending effective marketing directions and solutions.
- Preparing an appropriate and creative message.
- Ensuring maximum efficiency in the planning and buying of the right media in which to communicate your message.
Q: What are the benefits of working with an agency?
Working with an experienced agency will afford you the following benefits:
- Flexibility as an “as-needed” resource you “turn on” when you need it and “turn off” when you don’t.
- An extension of your own marketing department, or in some cases it effectively becomes the marketing department.
- Smart, innovative people.
- The ability to turn strategic, creative ideas into persuasive marketing communications.
- An objective, third-party perspective free of internal politics and bias.
- Insights gained from experience with the way people research and buy products.
- “Cross-pollination” of ideas—benefit from the agency’s experience.
- Knowledge of the different media outlets and how to get the best return-on-investment (ROI) for your advertising dollar.
- An integrated, 360-degree (“holistic”) approach to marketing.
- Accountability—competition ensures you get their very best.
Q: Can I do all this myself?
It’s really a question of evaluating what you do best and what an agency does best. After looking at core competencies, many businesses decide that it’s wisest and most cost effective to form a relationship with a good agency.
Q: How do you get the most out of your agency?
The first step is to decide what it is you hope to accomplish with the agency. Clearly stating your objectives in writing is a good way to bring focus to your thinking. And, it creates a “scorecard” on which you may wish to evaluate prospective agencies.
Q: How do I evaluate results?
One of an agency’s roles is to help you form realistic and appropriate measures of effectiveness. In online advertising, click-throughs can be one way of measuring effectiveness, but it is only one way. Companies as large as P&G now look at not just click-throughs, but at branding and the power of online and social media to help make or break a company’s image.
By helping to bring a proper perspective to your marketing strategies, means and goals, TheMarketingsmith will work with you to formulate truly useful measures of effectiveness and marketing success.
Q: How do I set a marketing/advertising budget?
Historical spending is one way to set an ad budget, but not the best. Percent-of-sales is another approach, but should be guided by factors like company size and product stage (maturity). Another method—the one we usually advocate—is the “task to be accomplished” approach whereby a list of goals drives a list of strategies, which in turn drives a list of tactics or tasks. Each task is then assigned a cost and the sum is a budget.
Q: What is our definition of effective?
Effective work is work that makes things happen. It does more than get noticed; it makes the market say “Wow!” It does more than create awareness, interest, conviction and action; it builds a brand of distinction. It does more than persuade; it sells.
Q: What makes TheMarketingsmith tick?
Our people. Let’s just say TheMarketingsmith is a tightly knit bunch of loosely wound advertising professionals working side-by-side for the betterment of our clients’ businesses and the improvement of our lots in life…one project at a time…one day at a time.We simply give you our very best. It’s all about creating professional, effective marketing by knowing our clients’ business and by being the most Proactive, Creative and Effective team we can be on their behalf. It—The Work—is not just what we do each day. It defines who we are.
Q: How do we work for you?
We surround each project with a multidisciplinary team consisting of just enough people to get the job done.
We also recognize there are times when we won’t have every resource under our roof. That’s when we bring in the hired guns. With over 60 years of experience and literally hundreds of contacts in the business, our network of talented freelancers, photographers, programmers, etc., is a real resource to our clients. Whether we act as your general contractor, or simply provide a quality referral, your needs drive the mix.
Q: How do we charge for services?
Actual compensation methods vary depending on your needs. We accept cash, credit cards, Paypal, and bank transfers. We work primarily on a project basis—specific work for a set price. But there are projects where a contract agreement is most appropriate.
We work collaboratively with clients to establish the terms of our relationship. We want whats best for your business goals.The first step we take is a Letter of agreement. This establishes all the terms of the longer-term relationship. This agreement may include a monthly retainer fee and the agreed upon work parameters. The benefit of this arrangement is much like that of having a utility’s budget plan: you know exactly how much is budgeted each month for those services.
At the end of the day, whether we’re compensated on a project, or hourly basis, through media commissions or through a retainer, the acid test is simple: if you feel you got what you paid for, the compensation arrangement is working.
Q: How do I get started on the best marketing/advertising campaign?