Imagine you're a small business just getting started.
You know that no-one has a clue who you are, what you do or why they should buy your product.
So, you thought ahead and put aside some marketing budget in order to ensure you get your name out there.
The first thing you do is approach a marketing company.
In this case, a digital marketing agency because you're selling your products online and you want to reach as many people as possible in the digital space.
Now, it's possible they'll explain in marketing gobbledegook, the myriad ways they'll market your business. Social media, SEO, influencer marketing, etc., etc.
Ok, granted you'll know what social media is and you'll probably know it's a great way to market your business, so it makes perfect sense to want to build a presence on one of the big channels.
You might then be informed that the agency can offer to run your chosen social media channel, posting five times a day for a fee of...(fill in the blank).
You may also learn that the agency can also optimise your website so that it moves up the Google rankings.
They'll also reach out to some influencers online and get them to talk about your products.
This all sounds great, but honestly, is this what you want or what you're being told is good for your business?
So, let's start again. Imagine this scenario:
You've heard that Twitter is a great place to market your business, so you want to utilise this channel.
Which of the following is your preferred response:
A) Of course, great idea. We can tweet 10 times daily for ££.
B) Twitter can be a really powerful channel, but let's start with some research to see whether your competitors are using it, what kind of content they're posting and how successful they are at engaging with their customers.
Chances are you hadn't thought about what you might like to post in order to reach your target audience.
You may not have considered that people don't generally use social media to buy products.
It's also possible that you didn't know that only talking about your business and your products is a surefire way to turn off prospective customers.
In fact, you should be thinking less about what you want and more about what your audience wants. What are their problems? What are their challenges? How can my business help solve them?
That's what a good marketing company does; ask the right questions.
Provide answers. Build a strategy.
And help you to grow your business.