Beyond the Buzz

Faux Marketing Firms.

*Note: This article originally appeared at Beyond the Buzz Marketing.

There are a lot of people out there who have started social media companies and branded themselves as marketing companies. The same also goes for web design and graphic firms. Because logos, websites and print materials are so integral to the foundation of marketing, they have claimed the title of ‘marketers’ or ‘professionals in marketing.’ But there’s a big difference in those two things.

Someone who puts together graphics can tell you a great deal about what the general public sees when they come to a website or what will be attractive in terms of logo and design for the consumer. I fully admit that I have no graphic training or talent and this is not my area of expertise. It’s why I’ve built a partnership with Sherry at JV Media Design. I often joke that many people are graphically inclined. I’m graphically DECLINED.  But I can call my partner anytime and get her input when I am putting things together for a client and that’s invaluable.

The flip side of that partnership is that Sherry is well aware that she doesn’t have everything it takes to build marketing plans, write
captivating content or get the word out about the websites she builds. That’s why we work together. I am her Marketing Director.

Recently I’ve had the unfortunate opportunity to meet several people who paid hundreds – sometimes thousands – of dollars for
websites and marketing materials and then had no idea what to do with them

How can you tell if a company truly understands marketing and what it involves? Here are some questions you can ask:

  • How will you get my website to my target audience?
  • What’s your plan for utilizing these materials you’re making for me?
  • What are your long term goals for my company – once we’ve gotten the graphics done?

If the company doesn’t have an answer for those questions or can’t give you a good detailed gameplan, reasons behind their choices and solid leads to get to your target audience, they don’t understand marketing. They’re a design firm that’s trying to get more money from you by adding ‘marketing’ to their title.

Similarly, someone can easily update Facebook or Twitter at any time for your company, but do they have plans on how to engage the audience? What times of day should they post and how often? What’s the plan for follow up?

If you’re going to spend any money at all on a marketing company or a good marketing plan, before you do, make sure you ask the right questions. It will save you time, effort and a lot of heartache!