We had an interesting call recently: Ostensibly from a ‘web marketing’ agency, the charming and efficient chap on the phone offered us a free survey of our website and critique on our web marketing.

Always keen to improve our marketing efforts and learn a thing or two, especially if it’s free of charge, we agreed.

The chap asked a few things about our company and duly made an appointment for an internet consultation meeting the following day.

A senior member of the company called us and chatted through what they do – whilst internet marketing was part of their services, they were, in fact, full service marketing consultants. He then looked at our website and asked a few questions before concluding that we were, in fact, direct competitors, and that there was probably little that he could do for us. We agreed and he went on his way. What we didn’t tell him was that this was the third time we had spoken in the last few months.

What can we learn from the experience? Well, not much for our own website, but it did illustrate something which has long been a concern for us here at Publicity Services; that is, how much thought do other agencies put into their clients’ businesses, if they can’t invest the same care into their own? Are they recommending solutions that will be effective and implementing them with diligence, rather than suggesting something that will get the highest return for the agency as quickly as possible?

If a full service agency rings another touting for business, does this not cast doubt on their ability to think and act effectively for their clients?

The experience suggests that the original database from which our contact details were obtained has not been properly sourced, updated and/or vetted, the telesales person who made the call appears only to have been interested in making the appointment and not in ensuring that the appointment would be worthwhile, and the process has wasted time and resources.

The same principles apply to any form of marketing activity. I’m sure we are not the only ones who receive direct marketing materials, via email or post, which are of no interest whatsoever to us as individuals or to our company. Where has the sender got our details from and who is responsible for vetting the contact list?

The lesson is, as any good marketer knows, right message to the right target audience in the right way and, preferably, at the right time. Getting it right takes more than simply buying a list, creating the communications and sending them out; it takes planning, care and attention to detail.

For an agency working on behalf of a client, this has to mean thinking on the client’s behalf and acting in their best interests, treating the task as if it were their own and asking the same questions they would ask themselves at every stage of the undertaking, even if this does challenge the client’s opinions. This surely makes for a stronger, more effective marketing partnership!

Is there an answer? Yes there is; use an agency that invests the same thought, care and attention to detail into your company’s requirements as it would its own. Call us to find out why companies stay with us for so long and how this can help you.