Looking to build an exceptional marketing business, department, or team? Marketing is often about creativity and innovation, but there are still important staples you have to pin down before moving into the marketing hall of fame. Virtually all successful marketing agencies have the following 6 things in common, so read up and figure out how you can check them off your team’s list.
#1 Killer Creative Culture
Any good marketing department develops a custom creative space in which they can maintain their best standards. Often, creative types work way better when they can bounce ideas off one another. Much of this has to do with culture – is your workplace culture open and positive? This doesn’t have to be an in-person situation, especially since the pandemic has placed so many workers at home. But Skype, Slack, Zoom, and similar communication platforms can allow your business to grow a strong workplace culture that feels distinct from the home environment. And the better the culture of your marketing business/department, the better your work will tend to be.
#2 Digital Mastery
Here in the 21st Century, most marketing strategies are digitally carried out. With the internet being central to virtually all marketing now, some of the strongest proof of your performance is how well you can build and care for an online presence. Are you and your campaigns easily discoverable —by the right audience—via search engine? Are your social media sides active and engaged with your demographic? If a given user from the target audience feels engaged by your online content, and, after discovering you, is likely to end up looking for more info on your product/services, that’s a great sign. How many followers does your dept/business have across all your social channels? Is your communication on social media consistent?
#3 Portfolio Pieces at the Ready
Some marketing agencies do really well at getting themselves into the digital limelight, but they may be inconsistent when it comes to making this happen for clients. A client of your marketing operation may want evidence of your team’s ability to perform, and one of the best ways to produce evidence of this is by using a portfolio. A portfolio is a convenient, effective way for potential clients to see for themselves what your team—from copywriters to social strategists—can do for their product or service.think of it like a miniature museum of your team’s greatest successes. A portfolio’s components should be built in advance so that a given client can be handed a customized collection of different projects (and their strong results) as needed.
#4 Creativity Balanced by Number Crunching
If you’re a general marketing agency, realize that after you’ve snagged a potential client’s interest, they’ll probably want to see some numbers. That is, they want to know if you’ve traditionally gotten the results you’re promising potential clients. Great marketing agencies boast a balance of both enthusiastic creative types and the more grounded, analytical strategists who can verify creative quality with data. A lot of ideas may come off as being totally inspired, but the real question is this: What did the market have to say? Here’s where the data folks come in – they can tell you the answer in fairly certain terms that tie directly to the numbers (i.e. money!)
Important performance metrics to look over include things like paid/organic search results, social media engagement, conversion rates, and audience growth.
#5 Chatting and Checking in
Can potential clients trust you? It’s a pretty direct question and one you can’t shy away from.
Strong marketing agencies keep a consistent, open line of communication with active clientele. There ought to be a predefined point of contact for everything your group does with clients, including editing, brainstorming, performance reviews, and billing. Much of this communication will take place over the phone or via email, but consistent meetings almost always need to be established regardless. Monthly performance reports are natural, but some meetings can be held on quarterly basis, depending on how you and your clients like to operate. Much of this can fall to the client as well, but good communication on your part will go a long way toward building good relationships and expanding your business through your stellar professional reputation.
#6 Foundations Laid with Failure
How can a marketing operation guarantee campaign success? Generally speaking, it comes down to rapid learning. Your team is made up of humans, and humans fail—a lot. That’s okay! The real key is how well you can do in response to failure. Do you get discouraged and quit forever? Or do you check off the strategies that didn’t work, make a note of why/how they failed, and redefine your approach? A lot of successful people and businesses are actually sitting atop invisible heaps of failed efforts and projects – you just don’t see this stuff because the success is so blinding.
Likewise, any marketing group or department worth its salt has probably seen its share of failures. Missed deadlines, lost money, unrealistic expectations… The list goes on. missed deadlines or fallen short of expectations. But a growth mindset (which you need to succeed) means using failure as a driving force. As you learn and develop as a marketing team, don’t be averse to big risks. It’s a learning experience, and if you can be a good student, you’ll be well ahead of much of the competition out there.