Are We Meant To Be (Your Outsourced Marketing Department Match)?
Do you ever wish there was an OK Cupid or eharmony to help you find the right partnerships for your business? Just like you might or might not be a personal match for everyone on a dating app, some businesses are destined to be a perfect professional fit, and others aren’t. At &Marketing, we are proud to be different than your typical marketing agency. In fact, we prefer not to even call ourselves an agency. As an outsourced marketing department, we consider ourselves an extension of our client teams. It’s us & you.
The successful partnerships we’ve built with our clients would be impossible without first establishing some common ground. This happens before we even sign on a new client. We take the time to understand your business, your goals, your team, and your culture. In doing this, we’ve learned that we’re not a perfect fit for everyone. Based on our experiences with a variety of clients of all shapes, sizes, and industries, there are certain commonalities that we and prospective clients must share in order for us to have a successful relationship.
First thing’s first: can you articulate your business goals? Do you know what you’re hoping to accomplish? If not, we can help you figure that out. However, if you can’t arrive at a clear definition of goals, it likely won’t work out between us.
Why? There are two reasons. First, your goals lay the foundation for everything we do with you. Without them, we can’t develop a strategic marketing plan. And without a strategic marketing plan, we can’t put together an execution plan. We’re headed nowhere fast. Second, we measure our success by whether we’re driving results for our clients, and results are dictated by goals. Yes, we can sit and check boxes and complete tasks, but what is the actual return? We like to win, but we can’t win without knowing how to calculate the score.
Partnerships aren’t always pretty. Sometimes hard, uncomfortable conversations need to happen (your palms sweat, your heart beats fast…you know what I’m talking about). But this doesn’t intimidate us. We say let’s go ahead and have those hard conversations. We believe in open, candid communication with the senior decision-makers at our client companies. Transparency is one of our core values, and we admit when we’re wrong. Let’s face it, we’re human beings, so being right 100 percent of the time is not feasible. We’re also not afraid to challenge you or encourage you to see something through a different lens.
Respect for Time and Money
We’re not obsessed with billable hours, and we don’t nickel and dime. We’ll never ask you to be in a meeting just for the sake of being in a meeting. We don’t invite our entire team to be on client calls; only those who are necessary. As much as we might like you and enjoy talking to you, we’d much rather have our heads down working toward meeting your business goals. One of the questions our Managing Director, Rajat Kapur, likes to ask is, “What would you do if it were your money?” When you think about it like that, the conversation changes. As your outsourced marketing department, we will treat your money (and time) like it’s our own.
We have purposefully created a unique and unbureaucratic company (well, as unbureaucratic as possible…obviously there need to be some rules.) Our culture is important to us. We have very little turnover at &Marketing because when people come on board, they tend to stay. We are selective with our people and invest in them accordingly. Ideas from every single team member are valued, from those of us with decades of experience, to our newest, fresh-out-of-college Marketing Coordinators. Everyone brings value. Our expectation is that our clients will treat each of our team members — regardless of age or experience — with dignity and respect. How we operate together will make or break this culture.
Ultimately, it all comes down to ethics, and we’re not afraid to decline work with potential clients if it’s a cultural mismatch. As we wrote in a previous blog series (the ABCs of What We’ve Learned so Far at &Marketing):
“What we’ve learned so far is that you can’t assume everyone takes ethics seriously. Many take it for granted, while others don’t even think about it at all. In our two-year journey, we’ve run into a surprising number of clients who try to cut corners, don’t stay true to their work, or don’t hold themselves accountable for their end of the bargain.”
As your outsourced marketing department, our top priority is not growing our own bottom line; it’s meeting your business growth goals. We measure our own success by our client’s success, and we’re here to generate results for your business. The foundation of that joint success is transparency and mutual respect. We believe if we do that relentlessly and consistently, the financial results will follow.
So, do you jive with our ethics? Are you looking for an honest, trustworthy marketing partner, and not just a “vendor?” If the answer is yes, let’s chat! Contact us for a free consultation, or download our workbook, “Marketing Planning Like a Pro: Offline and Online.”
About the Author
Tracey Colla is a Marketing Director at &Marketing. In her role, she is an outsourced marketing director for multiple clients, helping them execute modern marketing programs by understanding their business challenges, providing them sound advice, and coordinating activity with &Marketing’s experienced team of creatives, developers, analysts, and writers. Tracey brings nearly 20 years of experience to &Marketing, including Peet’s Coffee and Jamba Juice. She lives with her husband, 11-year old son, and anxious rescue dog in the Philadelphia area.
In today’s fast paced world, many growing businesses are struggling to modernize their marketing approaches because either they don’t have the expertise or the bandwidth to do it themselves.
&Marketing provides seasoned marketing strategy professionals and a nimble execution team to help our clients achieve their goals. Our unique partnership model allows us to augment our client’s existing teams or outsource the entire marketing function in an affordable, flexible, and transparent way.