The first step in figuring out what style of marketing assistance you’re better suited for is to get clear on who you are, as a business and as an individual in the workforce.
So, Which Animal Are You?
Check out the lists below. Which one sounds more like your business culture and your own personality?
- Tight budget
- Effective, reliable communicator
- Focused and motivated
- Small team (or a team of one), where each team member might wear several hats on any given day
- Internet-oriented, very comfortable with emails, texting, project management tools, Slack, Gdrive, etc.
- Willing to get creative or take risks with out-of-the-box ideas
- You like learning and you’re very structured with it
- Average to large budget
- Working within a corporate, franchise, or brick-and-mortar business
- Sometimes you get pulled away, things come up at work that you just can’t expect
- Medium to large team, where each team member gets to focus on their responsibilities in clear ways
- You use the internet in smart ways, but you like to pick up the phone and call someone whenever a question pops in your mind (and before you get pulled away at work again)
- Enjoy creativity, but prefer to keep things structured with tried-and-true methods
- You like learning, but you necessarily have time or brain space to do much more
Both lists have their pros and cons, so be honest with yourself. There are no wrong answers! And if you’re really having trouble deciding, throw away the budget consideration. It doesn’t matter what budget you have – if you sign up with a service that doesn’t truly suit your style, you’ll waste money.
If You’re Business Kookaburra, Here’s What to Do.
You are in need of a concrete package. More complex, customized plans are likely to fail you, because it’s not something you’ll want to keep up with. You might be concerned that “pre-made packages” seem like a sales strategy.
Are you really getting honest work? Are you getting the best bang for your buck? And those are justified questions. Pre-made packages might be a little more expensive, because you often wind up with details that aren’t incredibly vital to your goals. But, as a double-edged sword, you’ll know that the work you’re receiving is very thorough.
As for credibility, just be sure to scope out businesses’ reviews online before signing anything. Look them up on the BBB, Yelp, Facebook, Google Reviews. Post to social media asking if any of your friends have used them before.
Ask the company itself if they can provide testimonials. Another benefit to getting a packaged deal is that they’re usually provided by medium to larger sized agencies. That means that you can call an office line any time of the day, and (at the very least) get a response from customer service nearly immediately.
They might have chat windows you can use on their website at night, or even service request forms that you can fill out online at any hour. Some even provide customer support via Twitter or a variety of forums. You’re paying a premium for this route, but having a road map carved in stone and people on-call will give you peace of mind that’s worth every dollar.
And If You’re Business Zebra, This Is What We Recommend.
You are a focused, fast-paced business and not interested in spending a penny that you don’t have to. Get a customized service, for sure. You might see larger companies offering pretty packages that sound good, but everything looks a little expensive… and you’re not even sure you need all of it.
Can you cut corners? Can you ask questions? How flexible is everything? Of course, we’re never advocates of actually cutting corners. But what we are advocates of is having clear priorities. Your customized plan will be laid out in stages, with intervals to regroup and redirect on a quarterly basis should anything come up. If your focus is really just affiliate marketing, for example, spending time optimizing your website is pretty unnecessary.
What you need right away is reliable outreach and effective automation to support the affiliate leads you’ll be receiving… and maybe a little creativity on the team’s part to notice that influencers on YouTube might be an exciting addition to your affiliate program too. Then down the road, maybe a year later, you can still easily revisit the on-site optimization tasks – all within the same company. The customized approach is structured, but agile.
Why Did We Even Write This Blog?
BrainVine turned 5 years old in December 2017. We were really excited to have celebrated that birthday! Over the years, we’ve learned a lot… and we continue to learn. Daily. We’ve seen a variety of clients now, in all walks of life. Different budgets. Different industries.
Different phases of growth within their businesses. And person to person, we’ve truly connected with them all. But sometimes, it can be hard to tell whether a service really fits, or whether you just like your account manager. Ya know? So we’ve gotta be honest. Some of our clients, no matter how much we loved them, were not well-suited for our purely customized approach, and vice-versa.
When we lacked approvals or clear communication, their campaigns would stall, making things less effective. We might have gone weeks without talking, if the client was really busy with their own responsibilities. Creative, new ideas couldn’t be actualized, and that can lead to a lot of failed opportunities. Which isn’t fair to the client or the service provider. In other cases, we’ve worked with clients who were very entrepreneurial, very tech-oriented.
We got efficient responses and enthusiasm for new ideas, ways to make faster progress or to save them money. It’s really energizing for everyone! The client has fun, we have fun, and the campaigns can see results in days or weeks. The goal here is to find a good match. Everyone involved should be fulfilled from the client-service engagement. Don’t sell yourself short! Take the time to look at things from psychological and social frameworks. Consider company culture. Get clear about not only goals, but expectations. Then, take action.