Do you need more? More customers, more sales, more of this and more of that? These (and more) are what marketing agencies promise to their clients. But are sales promotions also worthwhile for small and medium-sized enterprises? How can you find a serious provider? Here are the answers:
What exactly does a marketing agency do?
In short: a marketing agency boosts the sales of products for their clients. To achieve this, the marketing pros must find the right means and ways. This is most successful when the marketing concept is ideally tailored to the clients – and thus to their target groups. It hardly makes any difference if the client is from the B2B or the B2C segment.
At the heart and at the end of the sales-push are always the suitable marketing measures. For these campaigns, an (online) marketing agency must take charge of the following tasks:
- Advisory on how to define the goals and measures
- Budget planning and structure
- Content, set-up and design
- Selection of media and channels for communication
- Monitoring of success
- Adjustment or further development
Not all marketing agencies offer this full service. Some, mainly smaller offices, limit their services to just some areas, as they may not have the necessary know-how; others are truly specialised in certain areas.
Criteria for a serious online agency
In addition to traditional, stationary providers of sales-promoting measures, there is today a large number of online marketing agencies. Finding the right one amongst the crowd is not easy. Especially when companies don’t have their own specialists or a separate department of people who know the line of work. In these cases, it makes sense for the management team to adopt a certain basic knowledge of online marketing themselves.
However, in the everyday business routine, time is often not available for delving deep enough into topics such as SEO, Google Ads, conversion rate or sales-promoting opportunities provided by social networks. This makes the path to a tailored campaign more difficult, but not impossible. The following tips help you select a serious online marketing agency:
- If small-business entrepreneurs have hardly any or no experience in marketing, they can ask business partners or competitors about potential candidates.
- A good agency may have a diverse team of experts for various tasks, but a single employee as the main contact person for a client. Here is where all the strings come together so that the client only has to deal with this one person most of the time.
- Responsible agencies can be seen in their ability to disagree with the client’s wishes if necessary. This is because professional agencies know what they are talking about and have lots of experience. For this reason, their clients must reckon with the fact that their own idea of a campaign may be rejected by a serious online marketing agency and replaced with better alternatives.
- The size of an agency says nothing about its quality. Small-sized agencies can also deliver good work. A strong team, however, is advantageous when campaigns frequently require a lot of new content.
- The effect of online marketing is, thanks to numerous generated figures and values, transparent and can be monitored. A trustworthy agency provides its clients with the respective figures, talks about them and uses them to determine improvements.
- Good service requires a lot of work and therefore has its price. In addition to a monthly payment on a flat-rate basis, there are hour-based models (normally 80 to 150 euros). If an agency is particularly affordable or expensive, a healthy portion of scepticism and critical questions are required.
Not every SME needs a marketing agency: the alternatives
Generally speaking, marketing is a good idea for small and medium-sized enterprises. But, of course, only as long as the financial effort brings a return. This may affect smaller business, above all, who have a low budget. Despite this, they do not need to do without sales-promoting measures. An alternative option is free advertising on the Internet.
Another variant is a business directory entry on specialised platforms such as Europages. This is a B2B marketplace that brings buyers and sellers together. Here, too, is where directory entries can be generated free of charge.