When choosing a supplier for a new website or to market your company through graphic design, you will probably be looking for an accessible and reliable company to act as an extension of your own marketing team. There are many companies offering what at first may seem like very similar services, so how can you decide which is right for you?
To help you find the right partnership, you should always ask the following questions:
- Is the company well established?
- Is their website informative and up to date?
- Is there a proven track record of previous work?
- Is their work of excellent quality?
- Do they encourage visits to their premises?
- Are the turnaround times efficient?
- Can they deal with the unexpected?
- Are any testimonials or references available?
The answers to all these basic questions should be yes. Once those boxes have been ticked, you should also consider if a good relationship which leads to a true partnership, can be established.
Most of us value personal service. It can be frustrating to deal with a large, faceless organisation, to whom you are just an account number and whose main point of contact is a national phone number or a generic email address. It is important to have direct contact with the people you deal with, who will take the time to meet with you, answer your telephone calls and return your emails in a timely fashion.
“Large enough to cope- Small enough to care” has become an overly used cliché. The message it contains however, still applies. Your chosen supplier should have the resources available in both personnel and infrastructure to enable a swift response to enquiries and once your order is placed, the ability to carry out the work within a reasonable time frame. A graphic designer working out of a back bedroom may be all very quaint, but what if your one-man-band is ill, or on holiday? When you have an urgent requirement, will this one man band have the resource and infrastructure to meet your timely deadline in the same way a small but efficient team can?
At the other end of the spectrum, there are very large marketing companies who certainly have a lot of staff and all the latest technologies at their disposal. So your company, along with all the others, will probably get processed very efficiently. Of course, you will end up wishing you had a dedicated account handler whom you get to know, rather than the ‘very pleasant but doesn’t know anything’ newbie who happens to be working at the call centre that day. “Sorry, could you give me your account number again?”
Choose a marketing advisor who will get to know you and take the time to really understand your business, your brand and your targets. They should work closely with you to keep you informed of new products and technology and help you get the best value from your budget. The company you choose should be in the position to tailor their services to your requirements and be able to react with urgency whenever needed.
Finding the right partnership cannot be left to chance. Research the company, their work, their team and meet at their premises. When you are ready to commit, be sure that you are making the right choice.