Are you partnered with the right marketing team? How do you know if an agency is a good fit? How do you choose the right agency? 
It can seem overwhelming at first, but here are some areas of focus you can start with:

 Area of Expertise
Are they a traditional or digital agency? Is their work primarily B2C or B2B? What categories and/or industries do their clients fall into – automotive, retail, lead generation, branding, creative, public relations, etc.?

Agency Culture
Does the agency’s values, leadership and structure align with your team and the way you run your business? 

Track Record
What is their reputation in the market? Can they share references or success stories with you that are focused on the clients’ wins? 

Results & ROI
What are your expectations of the agency? Are they responsive in giving campaign feedback throughout and after the campaign? How will you collectively measure success?

Relationships are built on trust – that is where it starts and ends.

The goal is to partner with people, a team, who are personally invested in your business, working with you to achieve winning results. You want a team who will be by your side through to celebrate the successes and to help you weather the storm during unforeseen and uncontrollable circumstances – like Spring 2020. The right team will advocate for you, work to get you more for your investment and roll up their sleeves if something goes wrong.

This should not be a one-size-fits-all approach. Each business is different but all business owners want to see a return on their investment. Just as we wouldn’t hand over our money without a strategic, customized plan – we wouldn’t expect or want you to either! 
A successful strategy starts with two things: your goals and a budget. 

How To Set a Budget
A marketing budget should not be viewed as an expense; rather it should be an investment in your business’ future and part of your business plan.
If you want to start a new business or grow your existing business, you need to set a certain percentage of your revenues aside to put back into the company in the form of advertising. When business owners follow this strategy, and allocate the necessary funds, they will see growth in their business.

When you are first starting your business, branding, name recognition and awareness of your services is your primary goal. You likely have competitors, who are advertising, so it’s critical during a product or service launch or time of growth, to have a higher marketing spend to achieve your goals.

For a new company – typically one to five years in business – your marketing budget should be 12-20% of your gross revenue. For established companies, who have a loyal customer base and brand awareness, that figure is about 8-12% of gross revenue.

If you’re just starting out, that can seem like a lot of money to invest in marketing upfront, however, in order to compete with establish brands, build awareness, drive leads and foot traffic, you will want to make that financial commitment. 

How to Choose the Right Platforms for Your Audience
We have your goals and budget and you know who your customers are (or who you want them to be). Now how do you get your message and name out to the public?

There are dozens of tactics you can utilize including: TV, radio, social media, streaming radio, OTT, news apps, cable, radio, digital banner ads, billboards, video pre-roll – the list goes on.

Determining the appropriate placements for your message rely largely on your budget and your audience and how they consume media.
If you are an established business with a large marketing budget that is looking to target women between the ages of 25-54, with a specific household income who are interested in DIY home projects – this gives the marketing team enough data to create a strategy with the appropriate tactics and placements to aid customer’s on their decision-making journey.

It’s worth noting – there are no bad tactics or mediums out there. When you are partnered with the marketing team, they will take your goals, your budget, your audience and create a specific strategy to deliver on your business objectives.

There is also no harm in trying something new – but – that’s why you need to know what results you expect to see in order to evaluate their effectiveness for your business.

You have the relationship with your marketing agency, you have defined your goals, set a budget, and selected where to advertise your message. Now comes the execution of your campaign.

If you are currently working with a marketing team or agency, do they walk you through the process? The elements of a digital campaign will vary from a traditional media buy. Do you know what you need to provide, what’s being created, how it will be used and the timeline? Being guided through the process and having a set of clear expectations will make the execution go much more smoothly.

Let’s say part of your campaign include TV commercials during the local, morning newscast. Are the commercials airing during that time? A large part of the execution is regular auditing of all campaigns as it allows us to pivot quickly if something has changed. We trust that everyone does their part during the campaign launch and trafficking of ads, but by checking in on throughout the campaign, allows for transparency and gives an agile team the ability to adapt to changing circumstances.

Monday Marketing Huddle
If you have just started to consider advertising your business or have been in business for years but need a marketing refresher course – we have a great (and free!) resource for you!

Debbie and Darcy of D2 Media host the “Monday Marketing Huddle” where we discuss current trends, what works and doesn’t, what we’re seeing in the industry and how to keep your business moving forward. Each week we have a special guest, an expert in their field, to discuss how business owners can take control of their marketing and propel their business forward. 

Past topics include how radio advertising still drives results, how to use social media to engage with your customer, simple rules for digital marketing, why public relations is important & how to make a plan, creating compelling video messaging and how to maximize your digital presence.
Visit www.D2-Media to listen to past podcasts. You can also drop us an email if you would like to be considered for a guest spot on our next Monday Marketing Huddle podcast.

D2 Media’s SMART System

We have developed a proven formula for success to help our clients win and, it’s SMART. 

S – Strategy: Successful campaigns begin with a well-built plan. We do the research to ensure what we present as options will deliver on your goals.
M – Measurable: Enough cannot be said for setting performance goals with our clients and then monitoring daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly. Not to be cliché, but it’s very similar to the stock market -- you need to be constantly monitoring and strategizing your next move.

A – Accountability: The execution of the strategy and tactics are non-negotiable and we hold our partners responsible for their part of the strategy. This works together with Measurability and constant performance monitoring, so that we can catch a mistake early on, and ensure its rectified.

R – Relationship: Debbie and Darcy, the partners of D2 Media Team, are personally invested in your business, working with you to achieve winning results. 

T - Trusted Team: It all begins and ends with trust. 

If you’re ready for a new and SMART approach for marketing your business, we’re ready to roll up our sleeves and get to work.