A couple years back I worked for a now defunct startup as their social media manager and the one question I would get from friends and family a like, some who owned their own businesses, was “So, what exactly do you do?” It’s a valid question, but one that is not so easily answered. The follow-up questions were almost always, “So you play on social media for a living, posting spammy promotional posts and the occasional meme?”
While I was helping with marketing for a specific company, the questions helped make one thing alarmingly clear, most people simply don’t know what people in marketing actually do. I’m not even sure marketing people know exactly what they’re doing at all times, but a quick look at ProductHunt and the countless new ideas and products that pop on there prove one thing – in a sea of ideas, you’re going to need to invest in a flare gun if you want to be noticed. Marketing companies are that flare gun.
So, what does a marketing company do? While each company offers their own benefits and services, at the end of the day, their goal is the essentially the same – to help drive traffic and direct sales to your business. A rebuttal might be, “So, it’s like PR,” well, no, not exactly, PR is more about putting a positive reputation on your company. They are different branches of the same tree, but definitely not the same branch. With marketing companies, it requires a healthy knowledge of different industries, but it is also heavily dependent on the technical know-how and prowess to identify a client’s actual strengths and weaknesses to then use that knowledge to get the product or service in front of the people most likely to need it.
They accomplish this through a multitude of different methods to build an effective strategy. Market research is a big factor, but marketing companies can also be looked at as teachers and mentors. They should help their clients understand not just how something is done, but why it is done. Marketing companies help you develop time frames for certain goals and then help you understand how they plan to work with you to accomplish those goals. They help with branding and key messaging. Internet strategy is also important to a marketing company – paid ads, keywords, and Google rankings are typically part of the marketing experience, as well.
In more recent years, some marketing companies have started to blend the traditional marketing company idea with more modern applications, more specifically, Software-as-a-Service. On paper, this really is the best of both worlds, you get the personal 1-on-1 help of an old-school marketing company, with all of the benefits of SaaS marketing software. While this new blend of marketing might not be for all businesses, it definitely helps fill a space in the small to medium business sphere. SMBs need marketing, some may even argue that they need it more than the big enterprise level guys, and that makes sense when you start looking at the costs associated with a traditional marketing firm.
Marketing firms are not cheap, and these blended marketing solutions fill a gap for SMBs that help to actually give them the chance to get some quality marketing, while not completely breaking the bank in the process. You get the benefits of having a person that you can actually talk to, while still being provided the tools to accomplish things like email automation and lead generation on your own.
I reached out to one such marketing company, Marketing 360, to find out more about their blended services and how it works for clients. You can check out the interview below.
Care to introduce yourself and your role at Marketing 360?
I am Jerry Kelly, CMO and Partner at Madwire® and Marketing 360®. I handle brand development, strategic planning, market analysis, product development, product design and R&D innovation for internal assets. My key areas of focus are to ensure our growth demands are aligned with our internal lead generation, customer acquisition strategies, and partnerships.