Green Apple Strategy’s Samantha Pyle developed an innovative work model to benefit clients, employees and contract talent. The team shares lessons learned as a hybrid agency.Continue reading
2022 provided its fair share of challenges for marketers. Many businesses were still navigating the ripple effects created by the pandemic — whether it was learning how to promote new services or balancing business development needs with operational capacity. Economic obstacles and the fear of an impending recession caused some companies to tighten their marketing spend or focus on fundamental strategies. Companies learned how to embrace the “new normal” of virtual team meetings and hybrid work models.
Despite these challenges, our team at Green Apple, and the clients we serve, have discovered valuable insights to propel our work forward. As Albert Einstein once summarized, we’ve found that “in the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.”
As we reflect on everything we’ve learned from 2022, we wanted to recap the insights and articles that our audience found most helpful throughout the year. As you’ll see, they cover a variety of topics in almost every aspect of marketing. We believe this goes to show the integral role that marketing plays in every area of the business. Without further ado, here are our most popular blog posts from 2022.
We’ve all seen or experienced our fair share of Zoom faux pas over the past few years. But an embarrassing interaction isn’t the only thing that can derail a Zoom meeting.
As a virtual agency, our team has learned A LOT about maximizing Zoom for productive team meetings. This article outlines some common mistakes to avoid.
Marketing has always been about capturing attention. How can you do that in our world that seems busier and noisier than ever? This article highlights some helpful design tips to consider whether you’re creating a social media post, print ad, or sales collateral.
Social responsibility platforms have become a priority for businesses in almost every industry. How can you leverage it to connect with customers and prospects in a more meaningful way? This article outlines a few key ideas to consider.
The pandemic created the need to find ways to show appreciation virtually. But as the way business has evolved, virtual appreciation gifts are also great for clients you might have in other parts of the country. This article highlights five of our favorite ideas.
We understand that it’s easy to get frustrated by the constantly-evolving nature of marketing. This article offers some encouraging reminders for business leaders or marketing managers who are frustrated by the fact that nothing seems to be working like it once did.
Print advertising isn’t dead. In fact, we’ve found that print advertising has some advantages over digital features depending on our client’s target audience and goals. This article shares a few benefits of print advertising and strategic ideas for integrating it into your marketing efforts.
The enneagram has become one of our team’s favorite tools and topics to discuss in recent years. This article describes how an Enneagram 4 — also known as “The Individualist” – provides the much-needed creative ideas and spark for your marketing.
It’s essential that you know your customers if you want your marketing to resonate. As a result, every business should develop customer profiles or buyer personas for their key target audience. This article unpacks 20 different questions that will make that experience more effective.
The experience you provide customers directly impacts your bottom line. How do you go about creating a culture within your business or organization that values the customer experience? While the specific tactics or strategies may evolve, this article shares four key factors that you need to create a customer-centric culture.
Enneagram 3’s (also known as The Achiever) offer essential traits and skills that can be helpful for managing your marketing efforts. This article unpacks the traits of The Achiever from one of the Enneagram 3’s on our team, our Founder and Chief Strategist, Samantha Pyle.
Get the Latest Marketing Insights & Trends
At Green Apple, we’re constantly looking for new sources of marketing inspiration for our clients. We typically share what we’re learning each month through The Core, our monthly newsletter. Sign up to get the latest marketing insights and inspirations delivered directly to your inbox.
Let’s be honest – managing all of your marketing efforts is tough. There are dozens of steps to move a single project from an idea to a completed deliverable and requires collaboration between multiple parties. While there can be a lot that can go wrong, the good news is that there’s a way to bring order to all the madness that marketing campaigns bring with them – marketing project management!
Project management is more than a way to make sure your team is staking on time and budget, it actually increases the ROI of your marketing efforts. Marketers who plan projects are four times more likely to be successful.
At Green Apple, we’ve learned quite a bit about the foundational principles and best practices for effective marketing project management. While some of the lessons we learned the hard way, others were discovered through the creative problem-solving of our team. Today, we’ve built a team of gifted client relations specialists whose primary focus is to execute an effective project management process.
For this article, we’ve asked one of our assistant client relations specialists, Kayla Reyes, to share a few insights she uses when it comes to “keeping all the plates spinning” for our clients.
5 Best Practices for Marketing Project Management
There are dozens of elements that go into managing your marketing projects effectively. From creating your overall structure and procedures to defining the communication processes, there’s a lot to consider. But how do you go about implementing these foundational principles for marketing project management? Here are a few best practices we’ve learned over the years:
1. Hire the right people.
Many of the tasks and responsibilities of a project manager require a certain mindset and skillset. Some people are big vision, whiteboard dreamers. They typically make better strategists that project managers.
At Green Apple, we use a couple of tools to assess a team member’s project management acumen. For example, we have several enneagram ones who embody the characteristics of being honest, detail-oriented professionals. We also use the Culture Index to evaluate the interpersonal skills that are required for project management.
2. Find tools to help.
Once you have the right people in your project management role, it’s important to equip them with tools that can help them be successful. In today’s digital-first world, this often means finding the right project management software for your team. As a hybrid marketing agency, we’ve found a lot of success in using tools like Basecamp and Asana for project management and collaboration with clients.
3. Build consistent processes and systems around your tools.
Investing in project management software is only helpful if your team knows how to use it. It requires intentional planning to discover how the match the features that are available in a project management tool with the internal processes and structure of your team. Training is another important factor to ensure everyone has what they need to fulfill their task and nothing slips through the cracks during a project.
4. Take a detail-oriented approach to execution.
Organizing and streamlining ideas and projects is essential to keep on track with deadlines. This is even more true in a fast-paced agency environment when you’re serving multiple clients at once.
While moving a project through the stages of development is one key, making sure it’s done well and nothing is overlooked is another. The people who are really great at what they do focus on executing – not just the big things but also on all the little details. A good project manager recognizes that even the tiniest details matter. They make sure everyone has what they need for their specific task and address any mistakes that are made along the way.
5. Periodically ask what’s working and what’s not.
Consistently asking, “is this working?” is just as important with your project management process as it is with other areas of marketing. At Green Apple, we make sure our project management approach integrates with our client’s internal processes. We’ve found it helpful to host quarterly meetings with our project managers and Orchard members to identify ways to improve our project management processes internally.
“As a project manager, I love getting into the weeds to help our clients launch a strategy or create a campaign that makes a tangible difference in the world,” Kayla described. “It’s always meaningful to look back and celebrate the hundreds of steps that are taken — and all the people who are involved – to execute all of the marketing efforts for our clients.”
Branding and creativity are two core elements of successful marketing. While most people think the creative direction is the fun part of marketing, the reality is that making a final decision on creative elements for clients is hard work. You have to consider brand perception and how to differentiate your client from competitors. Getting everyone aligned around a final decision can also be challenging.
Over the years, we’ve learned a few tips and tricks to navigate the complicated creative process. Mood boards have become one of our favorite tools. Mood boards can be a valuable tool whether you’re looking to refresh your entire marketing plan or find the next angle for your marketing campaign.
What is a mood board and why are they effective?
In short, a mood board is a visual representation of ideas gathered from a variety of sources to help you find the best idea for your creative marketing project.
While most companies utilize mood boards for big branding projects, they can also be helpful when redesigning your website, developing your social media calendar, or for something as simple as designing a company t-shirt.
Here are a few reasons why we love using mood boards with our clients:
1. Find and cultivate inspiration.
The best creative ideas come from collaboration. Because everyone has a unique perspective, certain images, words, or colors might resonate differently with your audience. Mood boards provide a way to capture a variety of ideas that can help you build a creative campaign that reaches different audiences
2. Get everyone on the same page.
Collaboration is an essential part of marketing. Ideas need to be heard and considered by every member. A mood board supports the collaboration process by providing a framework for people to operate within. It provides clarity within the collaboration process that ensures everyone is working in the same direction.
3. Ensure you’re developing a cohesive approach.
It’s important for your marketing to tell a cohesive story. Mood boards help by allowing you to see how various elements work together to develop a narrative.
4. Make it easier to gain buy-in from stakeholders.
Making a final decision can be one of the most challenging aspects of a branding or creative project. Your design team could work for hours only to get an idea nixed by the CEO or final decision-maker. A mood board mitigates that risk by gaining buy-in early on in the process. It also provides a more visually appealing way to present your ideas. Mood boards can help you explain your ideas or direction in ways that words can’t.
How to Create a Mood Board
There’s no one right way to create a mood board. But here are a few helpful steps to maximize your effectiveness:
1. Find a tool that works for your team.
It’s important to find an approach that works best for your team. You can create a physical mood board in your office. There are also a variety of online tools that make it easy to create digital mood boards. These are helpful if you’re working remotely or hiring a freelance designer for your project.
2. Define your goal and audience.
Taking a moment to identify who you’re trying to reach and what you’re trying to achieve can provide clarity for your team. Doing this on the front end can help save a lot of time and ensure everyone is working in the same direction.
3. Identify elements to include in your mood board.
What you include in your mood board will depend on the nature of your project. Most mood boards include images that convey the look and feel you’re hoping to recreate with the final product of that project. But you can also add colors, font families, or certain keywords or phrases that capture what you’re trying to communicate.
4. Invite others to share inspiration.
Once you’ve set some parameters, it’s time to invite others into the collaboration process. Encourage participants to include anything they find that feels like a visual representation of your brand. While this might come more naturally for some than others, don’t discount the feedback and perspective from people you might not consider to be the most creative individuals on your team. Invite everyone to look for marketing inspiration that is all around them.
5. Identify trends.
After everyone has had a chance to add ideas, it’s time to start narrowing your focus. Are there certain visuals or elements that seem to stand out more than others? What elements might work well together and appeal to your audience? Take this time to cut any ideas that might seem out of place.
6. Balance a final decision with continued inspiration.
Once you feel like you’ve narrowed down your mood board to its final stage, ask yourself: Does this provide enough clarity and direction to begin executing our project? If so, you’re ready to get started.
As an aside, some companies curate mood boards to capture ideas on a regular basis. These can be helpful to use as guideposts for driving brand and design decisions in the future.
Feel stuck in your branding efforts or creative marketing project? Our team can help. Connect with Green Apple to learn more about our unique process. We’d love to discuss your needs and develop a strategy based on where you want to go.
Finding new sources of inspiration and creativity can be one of the most helpful ways for marketers and business owners to stay proficient at their craft. You never know what might spark an idea or help identify the angle for your next marketing campaign.
At Green Apple, we like to keep ourselves inspired when it comes to new and better ways of marketing. Our team is constantly searching for creative practices and marketing ideas to incorporate into our work. It’s not uncommon for our team to share highlights from the latest marketing books we’ve read or quote thought leaders we’ve heard on podcasts during a whiteboard session.
10 Spot-On Marketing Quotes
Here are ten marketing quotes we’ve shared that do a good job of capturing the essence of marketing, where it’s headed, and how companies can maximize their effectiveness when it comes to reaching customers and inspiring people to take action:
1. “Marketing strategy will impact every piece of your business, and it should be tied to every piece of your business.” – Brandon Andersen
I love this quote because it speaks to the new reality that marketing integrates with every part of your business and vice-versa. This is a key mindset in the way we approach marketing strategy at Green Apple.
2. “The new reality is that sales and marketing are continuously and increasingly integrated. Marketing needs to know more about sales, sales leaders need to know more about marketing, and we all need to know more about our customers.” – Jill Rowley
Sales and marketing alignment is absolutely essential. This quote perfectly addresses the new reality of how the two teams should work together.
3. “As marketing converges with customer service and sales, marketing today is more about helping and less about hyping.” – Joel Book
Marketing tactics aren’t the only thing that’s evolved. As marketing continues to work closely with customer service and sales, it’s important to adopt a helping mindset.
4. “Every email is an opportunity to test a different benefit or angle.” – Heather Morgan
Because of the nature of email, it’s an wise tactic to continually test your emails and collect analytical data to see what messages (and approaches) resonate most with your audience.
5. “Great marketers don’t use consumers to solve their company’s problem; they use marketing to solve other people’s problems.” – Seth Goldin
The best marketing campaigns are built around what potential customers are thinking and how to help them solve their problems. That’s the way you earn trust and attention.
6. “Marketing is about becoming part of people’s stories.” – Bernadette Jiwa
One key to successful marketing is to position your brand in a way that makes your audience’s life better. Recognizing what customers want (and how marketing can help) is a key strategy to incorporate into your marketing approach.
7. “Good marketing makes the company look smart. Great marketing makes the customer feel smart.” – Joe Chernov
Great marketing campaigns make the customer feel like the hero. Whether it’s through the blog content you write or the monthly email newsletter you send, it’s important to focus your marketing content on your customers, not just highlighting your brand.
8. “The new wave of marketing is scientific marketing. It’s not about the big idea—it’s about making course corrections every day.” – Sharad Sharma
One of the best things about marketing in today’s digital age is the ability we have to constantly measure and tweak our efforts. Being able to optimize our campaigns has been one of the most beneficial practices we’ve implemented over the past ten years.
9. “The best marketing doesn’t feel like marketing.” – Tom Fishburne
People don’t like to be sold to. The gift of effective marketing is that you’re building trust with customers and giving them the inspiration to take an action that will help improve their lives.
10. “There are a lot of opportunities that you can discover by listening closely to what your customers are saying.” – Joei Chan
Customer surveys and testimonial requests are some of the most effective marketing tactics we’ve deployed for our clients over the years. It’s amazing how the feedback provides valuable information about sales, customer success, product development, and operational processes.
At Green Apple, we’re constantly looking for new sources of marketing inspiration for our clients. We typically share what we’re learning each month through The Core, our monthly newsletter. Sign up to get the latest marketing insights and inspirations delivered directly to your inbox.
When Green Apple was founded in 2012, we started with the commitment to always find the best way possible to serve our clients and support our staff. Rather than striving to become an agency with large office space, we wanted to stay nimble and find workspaces that were collaborative but not constraining. Instead of hiring dozens of full-time employees and trying to find ways to keep their plates full with projects our clients potentially didn’t need, we wanted to create a model that embraced the growing freelance economy to work with specialists who were building their businesses.
That’s where the concept of the Green Apple Orchard began to take root. The Orchard allows us to build the perfect marketing team for our clients by working with some of the industry’s top creative talent.
How the Green Apple Orchard Produces Even Greater Results for Our Clients
- We employ a team of freelance specialists to offer the best talent.
The Orchard is comprised of writers, print designers, web designers, web developers, photographers, and videographers who serve on our accounts as Green Apple team members. Many of the Orchard members have decades of experience in their areas of expertise. Some would be too expensive to hire on their own, but we have access to their services because they enjoy working alongside Green Apple’s clients in addition to their other commitments.
- We match you with team members with the experience or expertise you need.
The Green Apple Orchard becomes even more valuable as we begin to work with new clients. Each client that comes in at Green Apple undergoes a thorough onboarding period. During this process, we select Orchard members who will fit best with those accounts for the services they need (writing, photos, web design, web management, graphic design, etc.). We’re able to work with specialists from various backgrounds who often have direct experience related to our client’s industry.
- We can grow our team quickly as your needs expand.
Your marketing strategies and tactics should evolve as your company evolves and trends change. This is where hiring an internal marketing team can become tricky. For example, if you want to drastically shift your approach from an inbound content marketing approach to a more targeted account-based marketing strategy, your internal team might not have the experience or skills to deliver. Because of the Orchard, we’re able to adapt our teams and services with clients as the relationship grows or your needs expand.
4. We maximize our hybrid model to meet your needs from around the world.
For the past decade, we’ve worked with specialists and talent from around the southeast. At the beginning of the COVID 19 pandemic, Green Apple officially embraced a hybrid office model that allowed our entire team to work virtually but still have access to a central meeting space for meetings, brainstorming, team building, open-space working, and team collaboration.
As a hybrid agency, we’ve become incredibly skilled at working with Orchard members from across the country. This allows us to tap into resources from literally around the world to meet our clients’ needs.
Grow Your Business Through the Orchard
Are you looking for a strategic, full-service marketing firm that has the experience and adaptability to meet your needs? Contact Green Apple Strategy today to schedule a consultation. Our team is happy to sit down with you to discuss your goals and how we can help you achieve them.
Content marketing might be evolving, but it’s not going away anytime soon. According to the latest research, 82% of marketers report actively using content marketing in 2021, up 70% from 2020. Yet, the constant demand for content can be exhausting for businesses. Finding creative ways to get the most out of your content marketing is often one of the biggest challenges companies face in today’s marketing world.
Recently, our senior content strategist, Skylar Wooden, had an opportunity to educate our team on the latest trends in content marketing. She highlighted specific ways our clients can continue to get more out of their content marketing efforts. We wanted to take a few minutes to share her key insights and takeaways in this post.
How Today’s Audiences Are Consuming Content
Businesses need to know the variety of formats that are driving most of today’s content marketing. A decade ago, most marketers focused primarily on written content, whether online or in print. Today’s businesses must consider the way content marketing has evolved. Here are the three primary ways today’s audiences are consuming content based on statistics from a 2021 Hubspot report:
- Written Content — This includes content like blogs, e-books, and articles. 61% of marketers are paying more attention to writing these. Of the written content formats, the top 3 content types are social media content (95%), blog posts (89%), and email newsletters (81%).
- Audio Content — Many businesses have turned to podcasts as a way to reach their audience in recent years and for good reason! In under three years, podcast listening in the United States has increased by more than 60%. The podcast market is expected to reach more than 2 billion by 2023, meaning that marketers are preparing to devote significant time and money to the channel.
- Video Content — Video is now the primary form of media used within any content strategy. According to the report, a video was the most commonly used form of content marketing in 2021, overtaking blogs and infographics. So, how do you get more out of your content marketing efforts in 2021 based on these statistics? Here are a few important insights we encourage clients to consider:
- Consider Your Audience’s Preferences — Meet your audiences where they are, not where you want them to be. This is the most important principle to keep in mind when developing content. An estimated 68% of Baby Boomers prefer traditional content formats such as news articles, research reports, blogs, e-books, and email content from commercial brands. If you want your content marketing to make the biggest impact, you need to meet your audience in the channels they use (social, email, etc.) with the types of content they prefer (written, audio, video).
- Remember that Video Covers All Three Content Types — One unique aspect of the video is that it allows you to diversify your content into all three formats. You can start by posting the video, pulling the audio for a podcast or recording, and formatting the transcript to create a blog post or infographic. As video becomes increasingly important, this is an easy way to reach your audience by repurposing and reformatting.
- Know that the Future of B2B Marketing is Audio — While the video might be the most popular format of content today, businesses should pay attention to the increased interest in audio content. According to statistics shared at the 2021 Inbound Conference, 57% of the American population listened to podcasts last year and weekly listenership doubled from 2020 to 2021. Additionally, more than half of consumers say they consider buying from brands they hear on podcasts.
How to Diversify and Maximize the Content You Create
With these trends in mind, it’s important to consider all three formats of content in 2022. We also recognize that creating a new piece of content from scratch can be time-consuming. So, how do you diversify and maximize your content?
- Supplement Blogs with Audio & Visual Content — Is there a way to include a video or audio podcast into the blog posts you create to maximize content? Find ways to integrate audio and visual content into the online content you’re creating.
- Maximize the Reach of Podcasts through Show Notes & Additional Resources — If you’re creating podcasts, leveraging the show notes is a great way to maximize your content and drive your audience deeper into your content marketing funnel. Providing a way for your audience to download additional resources can also supplement your podcast efforts and increase engagement with your brand.
- Repurpose Resources into Shorter Audio or Social Content— You can easily repurpose, repackage or expand every piece of content that you produce to get the most out of your investment. For example, if you’ve created a piece of long-form content such as a video or e-book, consider how you can repurpose key ideas and concepts for other channels such as social media or email.
As content marketing continues to evolve, brands need to stay nimble. Remember, the most important way you can get the most out of your content marketing efforts is to ensure you’re meeting your audience where they are. Taking these tips into consideration will help you stay ahead of the trends when it comes to creating content that impacts your bottom line.
Need Help With Content Creation?
Our strategic, full-service marketing firm can help you plan and deploy an innovative content marketing approach to court customers and build brand loyalty. Contact Green Apple Strategy today to schedule a consultation. Our team is happy to sit down with you to discuss your marketing goals and how we can help you achieve each and every one of them.
Agencies are an Extension of Your TeamWhen you hire an agency, you’re adding to your team. These are professional and skilled marketers who help you with strategies, measurement, content, and more. You need to have open communication and keep them frequently updated. Sharing what’s on your marketing agenda will introduce creative brainstorming processes, establish comradery, and save you time. Sample information to share:
- Company events
- Internal marketing strategies and goals
- Target audiences
- Internal and external company changes
- Industry norms
Understand What Your Marketing Team is DoingIf you’re currently working with an agency or have an internal specialist, you have likely established the foundation of your goals, visions, and target audiences. That’s great! However, you don’t need to leave it at that. Keep yourself educated and informed about what is behind their strategies and judgments. Actively contribute your thoughts and knowledge about your industry. You’re an expert in your company, and your marketer is an expert in helping your company succeed. Truly grasping the process helps you long-term when establishing future objectives and goals–not to mention grants you confidence in your decisions and approvals.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask QuestionsYes, communication is key. If you have questions about certain decisions, proposals, or processes that the marketer is executing, ask them! You hired them, and they want to help you understand how the strategies work and what the results mean for your business. Marketers don’t hesitate to find out what your pain points are—don’t be afraid to ask what you want to know!
Results Don’t Happen OvernightWhile marketers would love to deliver your expectations immediately, it’s not that simple. Behind the success is deliberate campaign building, extensive researching, tailored design, and, in some cases, trial and error (especially in strategies such as inbound marketing). Include key team members early on during the onboarding process so that your marketer can hit the ground running with solutions. While there’s no guaranteed timeline for success, beginning with critical details or concepts helps save time and money in the long term.
Not All Marketing Plans are The SameWhile it’s good to scope out similar businesses’ marketing efforts, don’t obsess over what other companies are doing. You shouldn’t tell your marketer to implement a campaign just because you see your competition doing it. If you’re working with an agency specifically, each of their clients has unique marketing plans depending on several factors. Some of these may include:
- Marketing goals
- Business needs
- Company values
- Allocated budget
- ROI expectations
- Target audience
Invest in a Marketing Agency, and They’ll Invest in You!Odds are, you interviewed at least a couple of candidates or agencies throughout the hiring process and you decided on your final choice for a reason. Whether you were impressed by their case studies, felt a genuine connection when chatting, or liked their answers to your concerns, you wanted them as a part of your team. You’re investing in them, and they’re investing in you by driving results through SEO, sales funnels, social media marketing, website design, etc. Once any concerns are addressed and the onboarding process is complete, your marketing team or individual will know what direction to take, and with open communication, clarity is high.
Searching for the right marketing agency is a process. We understand—there are a lot of options. How can you know which one is the best? Like any relationship, they need to earn your trust, and you want to feel confident before selecting the right one. Before you grant them the power of connecting with your audience, spending your marketing funds, and accessing your client information, you need to feel assured in your decision. To make the process easier, we assembled the top seven questions you should ask your contenders before hiring a marketing agency.
1. What Are Your Industry Specialties?
Are you a B2B or B2C company? Do you have a niche? While some marketing agencies don’t promote specializing in one area, discussing their most popular industries or projects is worth mentioning. If you want to improve SEO, and the agency focuses primarily on media relations, be sure to keep your goals in mind and not settle if you want an agency that has more experience in your current priorities.
Having conversations about common client types also allows you to ask if they are currently working with any of your competitors. Knowing possible conflicts of interest at the beginning will prevent potential development or implementation roadblocks that could negatively impact your service.
2. How do you Communicate with Clients?
One of the greatest benefits of working with a marketing agency is having insight into marketers’ perspectives. However, you want to be sure that these suggestions and ideas are being effectively communicated with you.
Even if you’re new to agency business, you have an idea of how often you need updates or what your communication preferences are. Asking for reporting and dialogue habits will help determine if that’s what you want in an agency partnership. Most agencies will listen and correspond to your preferences. That being said, it will be helpful if your priorities align. That way, both sides are comfortable, resulting in more effective processes and results.
3. How Much Will This Cost?
Yes, talking about money can be uncomfortable. However, these conversations are necessary early on to determine your options. You don’t want to go with the least expensive option because they’re the cheapest, and you also shouldn’t proceed with the most costly if there’s no valid reasoning.
Describe what you want and ask them what that range looks like, but continue to dig beyond that. Determine how pricing is structured, what resources they’ll utilize, what percentage goes toward efforts vs. billing, etc. Once you have the numbers you’re looking for, compare with a few other finalists and determine what seems the most valuable to you.
4. What Do I Own before Our Contract Ends?
There are some instances where the client does not own any of the content that the agency developed for them. This could include photography, graphics, coding, or other branded resources that you may assume are yours. It is imperative to discuss this information upfront so that you know exactly what you are agreeing to. Just in case the relationship or project goes awry, you want to know what is legally yours to avoid issues.
5. Who Will I Be Working with Directly?
Building a foundation with your leading account holder(s) is beneficial for communication, expectations, and trust. Asking who you will be working with allows you the opportunity to research the individuals on LinkedIn and discover their professional background, including experience and longevity. While newer executives shouldn’t be discarded, it may give you peace of mind to find senior team members who will assist you with your account.
6. Can I see Your References?
Just like when you’re shopping online or deciding on a restaurant, reviews and photos give you what you need in your decision-making process. In your agency decision process, request case studies, testimonials, and examples that they find valuable. If ROI is important to you, ask specifically for projects with metric-centered results, like audience growth and CTA conversion. If you’re re-branding or need graphic design assistance, focus on visible transformations, like logo or website portfolios.
7. What Are Your Expectations of Your Clients?
Is there a limit on revisions? Are there certain times that are off-limits? When is an appropriate turnaround time for approval? Talking about expectations for you as a client helps you distinguish how much or little you want to be involved or if your priorities coordinate.
At the end of the day, you’re the client, and they are working for you. If their expectations aren’t reasonable for you, don’t settle. There are plenty more fish in the sea.
Bonus: Ask yourself: What does my gut say?
We sometimes tend to ignore gut feelings, and we usually regret that. Maybe an agency looks good on paper, but you lack the chemistry with your account executive. Don’t dismiss your intuition, even if your brain is thinking something else.
Throughout the process, you’ll learn the agency’s values, culture, and leadership, and you will quickly find out if there are certain details that you can’t get past. Trusting your instincts will only lead to better opportunities.
Thinking About Hiring a Marketing Agency?
Hiring a marketing agency involves many factors, and it can be daunting signing the dotted line. We want you in the right marketing hands just as much as you do. Green Apple Strategy helps companies strategically tell their stories and successfully implement their goals through our comprehensive set of services. Schedule a consultation today. We would love to see if we’re the right fit for you!
Marketing is crucial to the success of a business. It helps you meet your sales goals, increase your brand awareness, and tell your story. Though many understand the importance of marketing’s role in growing a business, few are sure of how to go about it. Should you hire an internal team, or should you outsource to a local agency? For the most robust, effective marketing strategy, we recommend outsourcing. Let’s talk about why.
In this article, we’ll cover a few reasons to consider outsourcing, including:
- Staying ahead of the curve
- Getting more out of your marketing budget
- Having a comprehensive marketing team without searching for employees
- Focusing on your core business operations
With an outsourced marketing agency, you can…
Stay Ahead of the Curve
A marketing agency lives and breathes innovative tools and effective strategies. They are working daily to research new methods, test the effectiveness of a tactic, and identify the best way to connect with your audience. Not only do agencies stay ahead of the latest trends, but they also invest the time into learning about your internal operations and your target audience’s expectations and needs.
Agencies live in the marketing mindset, whereas internal teams are living inside of your industry’s world. When you outsource your marketing, you know that you’re working with a team that will identify your vision, build a strategy, monitor that strategy continually, and do everything in its power to deliver results.
Get More Out of Your Marketing Budget
Can you believe that hiring an external marketing team could actually make your budget stretch further? When you think of it in terms of overhead, you can skip hours of searching for an internal employee and the countless dollars you would spend hiring, training, and managing that new person.
Having an agency on retainer also ensures that your marketing strategy will not be put on hold when someone leaves your team—allowing you to continue growing even during times of turnover. Finally, consider the continual training costs necessary for professional development, such as conferences and classes, and industry organizations’ membership costs.
All in all, agencies bypass your overhead costs and provide you access to a diversely talented and well-trained marketing team that always has a finger on the pulse.
Have Access to a Comprehensive Marketing Team without Hiring
An agency removes the need to hire someone to fill every role—content, digital marketing, graphic design, photography, web development, and so on. You will have access to each of these skills, all in one place. It’s as simple as that. In Green Apple’s case, we approach each new client strategy by handpicking a team of marketing professionals to fit your business’s specific needs. We serve as a full-service, one-stop-shop for all things marketing, and you’ll find that it takes the stress off your plate. Rather than piling marketing tasks onto your to-do list, you know that an agency is already five steps ahead of you.
Focus On Your Core Business
Your business’s core operations are where you want to spend your time. If you’re a roofing company, for example, you don’t want to spend your days wading through marketing tasks, nor should you have to. When companies have the internal capacity to tackle their core focus, that’s when they reach their highest potential. An agency identifies that potential and makes sure that your marketing aligns appropriately. You, on the other hand, focus on what you know and what you love doing. We take care of the rest.
Are you ready to take your business goals to the next level? Contact Green Apple Strategy today to schedule a consultation. To have marketing insight sent straight to your inbox, sign up for our newsletter—The Core.