Small business advertising, big advertising results
From coast to coast, in almost every field, small business owners are looking save money where they can. While you may be thinking about slashing your marketing budget, cutting marketing efforts is not an option for anyone hoping to sustain and grow their small business.
The trick, then, is to optimize the marketing budget that you do have, shrewdly allocating your money in order to generate a dynamic marketing plan. Your budget doesn’t have to be a stumbling block, as success can come from being resourceful, and choosing the right partner.
Don’t go it alone
Just because you own or are connected with a successful small business doesn’t mean that you should strive to be a marketing guru as well. In fact, many businesses – especially those with an entrepreneurial bent – may try to rely on their own in-house talent to fulfill their marketing and advertising requirements. But attempting this may lead to throwing your money at unproven tactics or haphazardly spending whenever you feel you have the cash to spare. With the potentially high cost of “experimenting” – and occasionally failing – with marketing techniques, it becomes clear that bringing in a team of experts is the savvy choice.
You can make the most of your money by investing in a well-designed marketing approach, created specifically for your company by experienced professionals. The key here is to identify a company that will work within your budget to deliver the best return on investment, and also take the time to really listen to your needs.
How to choose
Since the last thing you want to do is burn through your marketing budget by selecting the wrong advertising agency for your company, the first step is to ascertain what type of firm will be a good fit. Think critically about the role the advertising agency will play in your overall business plan. Don’t be impulsive in your selection; treat this process as you would if choosing a new partner in your company.
It’s a good idea to sit down with key company partners and employees to talk about specific marketing objectives; this will help you clarify your own thoughts, identify any potential issues within your company, and identify solid goals to be achieved. Another great way to find the right fit is just to ask around: contact local businesses with advertising campaigns that caught your own interest, and see who they worked with; or, contact local media outlets to determine who they’re often in contact with.
The “large vs. small agency” differentiation is another good measure to use to narrow down the field. Though this is a matter of personal preference, keep in mind that with a smaller company, you’ll enjoy better stability within the agency team and a more personal connection. Most likely, the same team will handle your business each time, and the company owner will have input into each facet of the marketing plan.
When meeting with the perspective agencies, ask each one to tell you where they really shine. Any agency can most likely do whatever sort of work you need them to do, but this will offer a window into what sort of agency they strive to be.
When it comes down to the nitty-gritty of the numbers, just remember that advertising is an investment. You’re investing your hard-earned money, but in the end, partnering with an established, experienced advertising agency is a vital part of the journey to success.