January 16, 2023
Very few small to mid-sized companies have a marketing team. Social media marketing, event planning, experiential marketing, and advertising usually become a receptionist’s, manager’s, owner’s, or administrative assistant’s responsibility.
There are two reasons this is a bad decision. First, it’s a distraction and limits the time your employee has to do assigned work duties. Second, they lack experience, which often results in ineffective marketing strategies.
There’s a better way to handle your marketing needs. Work with a marketing agency to build an effective experiential marketing plan that fits your budget and needs. As you get started, make sure you’re choosing an experiential marketing agency that is right for your company by following these tips.
Investigate Your Competitors
What companies are most likely your business? Who are your competitors locally and nationally? Check their websites and social media pages and see what you like and don’t like. As you find things you like or even love, see if you can find out who does their marketing. It’s often listed at the bottom of a website or in social media posts sharing news of recent events or pop-ups.
If you attend trade shows or expositions and find things that stand out, pay attention to those companies. You’ll want to explore their blogs and social media information to see if you can find out who helped them with their marketing strategy.
As you find the names of these marketing companies, jot them down. This is the list you’ll use to get started finding a marketing company to help you with your experiential marketing plan.
Explore Websites, Current Projects, and Portfolios
You’ve built a list of possible marketing agencies. Now is the time to start doing your investigative work. Visit their site and social media accounts and look at some of the work they’ve done. Check their portfolio for things you like and dislike. The more you’re able to verbalize exactly what you like and dislike, the more helpful it is to your final choice.
See if they’ve won awards, and what those awards were for. You may find one agency that won awards for branding, but you specifically want help with a virtual trade show or a pop-up at a music festival. You’d want to look for companies that have won awards for their virtual presentations, user experiences, or pop-up marketing events.
If you find a marketing company you really like, don’t get upset if they turn you down. They may not have the time to invest in the marketing campaign they feel you need. Or, your vision may be beyond their staff’s strengths, especially in a smaller agency where there may only be a handful of staff members.
Look for Agencies With Specific Experience in Your Field
When possible, look for marketing agencies that have specific experience in your field. If they know what your company does and needs to showcase, it will go better if the work you do is completely new to them.
Your company specializes in clothing made from recycled bottles. The agency you’re looking at has worked exclusively with car dealerships. They may not be the best fit. That doesn’t mean you have to rule them out, but make sure from any meetings you have that you feel they’re capable of bringing your vision to life.
Discuss Your Budget
Now that you’ve narrowed down your list, schedule meetings with your top contenders. You want to meet the marketing company’s team, see what they propose, and discuss the budget. If they hesitate and aren’t certain they can do the work that’s required within your maximum budget, move on to the next option on your list.
Can They Do What You Want?
Most importantly, make sure the marketing agency you choose for your experiential marketing campaign can do what you want. If their team is too small to do everything you want them to do, what happens next? Do they bring in contractors to help out or will they only do the things they have the staff to complete?
For a small pop-up or product demonstration at a trade show, a small marketing team might be all you need. But, you may want audio and visual effects in a VR booth. You need a team that can pull that off. The larger the team, the more they can do, especially if they have a large team with a variety of technical and marketing expertise.
How Do They Brainstorm and Discuss Visions?
As they’re working with you on a marketing plan, how does it work? Do they involve you in brainstorming sessions or do they shut you out? Do they create mood boards on a site like Pinterest to show possible colors, fonts, and themes and get your input by having you share your vision?
Do you always have to go to their agency or can you have some meetings remotely to save time? How involved do they want you to be once colors, themes, and marketing ideas are laid out, and how involved do you want to be?
Find Out What Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) Are Tracked
When the experiential marketing event is held, how does the marketing company track KPIs? How are you going to know if the event was successful? Is it going to be visitors to your site or store? Additions to your mailing list? How about completed sales? The five most common KPIs are:
- Positive customer reviews
- Retention rates
- Increased profits
- Increased website traffic
- Social media shares
Those are just a few options. There are many, and you want to pick and choose the ones that best match your goals. You might want to increase sales, or you might want to have more shares and followers on social media.
Think About How You Felt
While meeting with the potential marketing agency, did you feel valued? Do you feel they were really listening to you or simply agreeing with you to speed the process up? Did you find the owner or managers to be particularly abrasive? Do your work cultures mesh or do you feel that you will clash frequently?
Go with your gut. If you feel that a company isn’t a good fit for some reason, move on. A marketing team needs to be able to communicate effectively without hurt feelings. If you get the suspicion that saying you don’t like something is going to cause conflict, you want to choose someone else.
Factory 360 is a 360-degree marketing agency that has an expert for everything. It’s our goal to take your vision and make it stand out and leave an impression.
Instagram came to us looking to build the company’s first-ever retail pop-up for more than a dozen independent, diverse brands that use Instagram. We created bold, colorful displays that told the story of each brand and provided items to look at and purchase on Instagram by scanning a QR code. Consumers who completed a purchase received freebies. By the end of the pop-up, close to 7,200 shoppers had stopped in and the QR code to purchase rate reached an impressive 25%.
We can do something just as impressive for your company. Let us know how we can help and we’ll turn your vision into a stunning experience.