by Paige Burton-Argo on November 7, 2016
What NBCG Needs To Know About You
So, you’re thinking about hiring a marketing company. (High five!) It’s exciting, but also a bit daunting. Whether you need consulting and a strategy, or a new branding suite with collateral materials, you’re looking for a company that will do amazing work and be a good fit for your business. But where do you begin? How do you prepare to meet with a marketing company? What kinds of questions will they ask?
Speaking from the other side of the table, we get excited about that first meeting because it’s essentially a “first date” where we get to learn more about you and your vision. Like any (good) first date, both sides have a lot of questions. So, as we kick off what we hope will be the start of a beautiful friendship, here’s what you can expect us to ask during our initial confab.
How did you find us?
Maybe someone recommended us. Maybe you came across our website. Or maybe you met one of us in person and thought, “Hey, that person is my kind of crazy. I bet if we put our brains together we’d do amazing things.” (We like the way you think, by the way.)
We want to know what you know — and don’t know — about us. For example: Are you aware of all of the services we offer, or do you think we just do graphic design? Are you familiar with the structure of our company and how we work with our clients? Do you know how long we’ve been in business, or the variety of industries we have experience working with? As you get to know us, you’ll have a better sense of who we are, what we do, and if we’re a good fit for your needs.
Tell us more about YOU.
Now, it’s your turn. How did your business/organization get its start? How has it evolved over time? What sets you apart from your competition — and who is your competition?
We want to get all up in your business…literally. But not just to be nosy. We customize everything we do for our clients, and the only way we can do that is to really get to know you and what makes you tick. So open the floodgates, folks!
What are you looking for from us?
Do you know what you specifically need — say a new website, logo, or a digital ad campaign? Or, do you feel totally lost in the sauce and you need consulting services to get a handle on your marketing efforts?
Some people come in and know exactly what they need, while others have an idea but are open to suggestions…and some people are just desperate for guidance! We can help no matter which of these categories you fit into. The key is that we don’t want to give you a proposal for a marketing plan and a full suite of new marketing materials, if all you really wanted was an updated brochure. (However, if we see some exciting possibilities and think that you really need the whole enchilada, we’ll make that recommendation and get your feedback.) Once we know what you’re looking for — or what you’re open to exploring — we can propose something that truly meets your needs.
What are your goals?
There’s plenty of good-looking marketing out there, but without a goal or purpose in mind, a good-looking ad or website won’t get you very far. Marketing should help you achieve your goals, whether that’s creating better name recognition, educating your audience, increasing revenue, or whatever your specific goal(s) may be.
Once we know what your goals are, we can form a plan to help you achieve those goals, and we’ll customize your plan with marketing tools that are the best fit for getting the job done. As we like to say here at NBCG, “Form follows function.” Not only will you get snazzy materials, but those materials will be backed by a solid strategy that is centered on your goals. Beauty AND brains is how we roll.
Who is your target audience?
Well, the real question is whether you know who your target audience is? And, are you going off a hunch, or real data (such as a customer database, demographics from your web analytics, industry research, etc.)? Your target audience ranks right up there with your goals when it comes to developing marketing recommendations and materials.
We can create marketing that you’ll love, but really, you’re marketing to your audience. So we have to make sure they love it, too. In learning more about your target audience, we can create marketing that appeals to them, that speaks to their needs/dreams/fears/desires, and helps them realize that you offer exactly what they’re looking for.
Why are you contacting us now? What’s at stake?
For some, it’s just “the right time.” Maybe there’s never been a true marketing strategy in place, but the business has grown to the point where a strategy is desperately needed. Or maybe there was a strategy in place at one time, but because of intense growth, it fell by the wayside. Or maybe it’s budget-planning time and you’ve decided to prioritize your marketing for the next fiscal year.
For others, there’s more urgency. A new product is being launched. The company’s service area is expanding into a new city or region. You need to promote an upcoming event in the hopes of selling a certain number of tickets.
Knowing what’s at stake and the motivation behind reaching out will help us determine the best next steps, and give you a plan that makes sense.
What’s your budget? Timeline?
Like you, we dream of a world where time and money is no object. Wouldn’t it be awesome if we could all just do the things we love and not have to worry about the little things, like food and shelter?
Whether you’re a small business or a large corporation, you still have to operate within certain budgetary parameters, and we get it. Caviar dreams on a burger budget and all that. Which is why we have to ask the budget question. We’d love to serve you up a whole swimming pool of caviar (aka, a no-holds-barred marketing plan with every bell and whistle you can imagine), but we want to give you a plan that really works for your budget. So don’t be afraid to tell us a number — when we know what we’re working with, we can make sure you get the most bang for your buck.
Knowing about any impending deadlines that you’re working under is also helpful. For example, if you’ve promised your board that they’ll have a new website in three months, we can make sure that our proposal reflects that timeline and then work with you on making it happen.
Don’t worry if you don’t have all the answers right now. The more you can think on these things, the more prepared you’ll be to answer — and ask — the key questions.
And when you’re ready for that first date, we’d love the opportunity to meet with you and talk about how we can help. Give us a call, email us, or fill out our handy-dandy online form to get the ball rolling!