Choosing the right agency: Part II

In the first ‘Choosing the right agency’ article we looked at the typical everyday enquiries received by a busy Manchester marketing company like thinktank. This time we look at the first of the Specialist Agency types which provide marketing services to clients

The Marketing Consultant & Marketing Consultancies

A stand-alone marketing consultancy can carry out general strategic marketing work for you, however the majority of marketing consultants in the UK or marketing consultancies ‘affiliate’ with external advertising agencies or design consultants, in order to implement their findings. There’s often an ‘association’ of freelancers involved, sharing your confidential information along the way. So, make sure you have an NDA in place to help protect your business from any kind of confidential leakage of information. It’s no guarantee, but it provides you with recourse of sorts in the event that your information gets into the wrong hands before it is in the public domain.

You should be really careful in selecting a marketing consultant as good consultants can implement their recommendations if they have have the pre-requisite expertise in each individual field, for example advertising, digital/online or web marketing, brochure or catalogue design or video production. There is a natural tendency in life for people to stick with what they know works best, which in 2013 isn’t always the right answer due to the way things are changing. Technology is pushing agencies so hard at present that it is a real challenge to keep up to speed with what is available for clients, let alone have a grasp of each emerging technology.

You always need to have a good marketing plan in place. This is essential to optimising your business or product / service marketing, however having a partner who can implement their recommendations directly and be responsible for them ultimately is a preferred solution for many businesses.

Once you’ve selected your agency partner, you should try to learn who will be dealing with your account, as a good marketing consultant should also be time-served in a blue chip company. Preferably the consultant or agency should have a track record in your area –  public and private sector marketing are totally different. Marketing within niche industries or heavily regulated sectors also requires skill and experience which isn’t the domain of an inexperienced or junior marketer.

If you are employing the services of a consultancy or agency, you should look for individuals working on your account who have management background at a senior level or board level. This is particularly important if you want your agency to navigate your company ethos and politics in a sensitive and effective manner.

If you are looking for the right kind of marketing consultant. thinktank’s team have individually a minimum level of 10-15 years experience at a senior level.

Next time we take a peek inside digital marketing… check back to find out more