Buyer Guide to Marketing Firms

10 Things to Know About Marketing Firms


1. Cost -per-acquisition (CPA) is king! CPA is the amount it costs you to place an ad divided by the number of sales you receive.
You should have a target CPA for every marketing campaign and track CPA constantly.

2. Remnant advertising.Remnant advertising is discounted space for last minute availability. This works great for some products when ad placemen or specific air time is not important, but this strategy does not work for every product/service. Identify when similar products/services are advertising and test, test, and test some more.

3. Designing an ad. Most ad channels will design your ad for free if you advertise with them. It never hurts to see what they come up with, or you can outsource with someone who specializes in ad design.

4. Testing and tracking. Even great marketers track all their ads to see what works. Ask your customers where they heard about your company and use multiple 800# and web analytic tools, such has Googleanalytics.com, to track where your customers are coming from.

5. Pricing.Most marketing companies and ad agencies will have a set up fee and then charge you a percentage of the money you spend in advertising. When you place an ad directly, you will pay based on a combination of factors including the size, frequency, and placement of your ad.

6. Direct mail.The two most important factors in your direct mail campaigns are your ad design and your list. Don't cut corners on your lists or you'll be wasting money to send your ads to bad addresses or the wrong demographic. Also try multiple designs when you are starting and track which are most effective. You can also test different promotions, such as a percent discount or give something away free. Using a virtual assistant to carry out this process can be efficient and effective.

7. 1-2-3 ad design goals.
Catch the attention of your audience
Quickly sell them on your product / service.
Create a call-to-action. Ex. Call now, go to website now, go to a store now, etc.

8. Market research. After you design your ad, hire a market research company, or ask friends and family if your ad is effective. Ask what stands out first in the ad, ask them to describe your product / service after reading the ad, and ask if they would honestly buy from the ad and why. Market research helps you understand what type of people/business will buy your products / services.

9. Mailing services. The postal system can offer a lot of discounts, but can also be very complex. For example, sorting and bundling your mail can make you eligible for bulk discounts. Depending on the size of your mailing, you may want to consider a mailing service company.

10. PR. Tell past customers about new products and tell local publications something interesting about your company or products. If you have a unique/interesting product or story, reach out to the local press. Write an article, provide a fact sheet, and introduce yourself. They may write your story and you can receive great advertising for free. PR companies can help write press releases and may already have connections at local publications.

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