To be sure, the corporate world has changed a lot in recent years. With the advent of so many more technical and online tools, some companies look to buy programs they can use in-house that will do everything from design sales materials to contacting, tracking and managing sales leads. And many of them feel it’s more cost-effective to embrace these tools and hire employees to work with them. It feels more like soft costs that way.
But we have a word of caution for you: don’t buy off-the-shelf in spite of yourself!!
Agencies bring a lot to the party, and the really good ones are actually measurable profit centers for their clients. So, before you go down the road of seemingly endless self-empowerment, however marginal, consider the following five reasons why you’re so much better off working with outside marketing, advertising, and public relations pros:
YOU CAN’T GO WRONG WITH EXPERIENCE
When you’ve been “in the trenches” for 5, 10, 20, even 30+ years, you learn a thing or two. The staff here at Catalyst has something like 200 years combined experience working in almost every industry, in almost every situation, under almost every deadline. And, while we acknowledge we learn something new every day, there’s almost nothing clients can throw at us that we haven’t seen before. There’s also a huge advantage to your business knowing you’re working with people who have worked in almost every other industry out there. Sure, there are things very specific to your world, but there’s a lot of valuable, usable information from other industries that can directly benefit you. It’s this expertise that allows agencies like us to work faster and smarter, which affects the quality, quantity, and cost-effectiveness of what we deliver.
AGENCIES ARE ACCOUNTABLE
If we do a job right, sometimes clients praise us, other times they say nothing, because they automatically expect we will meet their requirements. It’s all good, our greatest reward is a job well done. But there’s an even greater value to clients when they know we stand behind our work. If we don’t follow instructions or fail to respect client parameters, or simply make an honest mistake, we remedy the situation and don’t ask clients to bear any financial burdens. It’s called accountability. And, even if we did everything right, if a client is displeased for any reason, we bend over backwards to make them happy. That’s called customer service.
PROS GET BETTER RESULTS
No mystery here, when you’re good at what you do, great results follow. But today, the measure of effective executions is all about helping clients increase revenues and market share. To be sure, creative awards are nice, and clients feel proud that their companies and their agencies have been so recognized. But there’s no replacement for a 20% sales increase this Quarter versus the same Quarter last year. Agencies who are on top of their game are sticklers for metrics. It’s not enough to say the campaign did well, we use sophisticated tools to prove it did.
THE RIGHT AGENCY IS A PROFIT CENTER FOR YOU
We believe in a simple formula here at Catalyst: great work + cost effectiveness = great ROI. Just ask clients we have collectively served over the years. One of the largest banks in the country invested $50,000 in a campaign and the return was $14 million in the first three or four months. We placed a video we produced on digital media for a long-standing client that manufactures access, safety and fire protection products and, when the video caught on virally, we produced a second video to capitalize on the sudden flurry of interest. The campaign generated 112 million views, directed 10,000 inquiries via Facebook to the client’s webpage in the first month alone and significantly increased the sales forecasted for the product. An ad campaign we developed for a third client, who makes window fixtures and hardware, got such a successful response that they had to stop taking orders for a while just to catch up. Agencies that know how to deliver these types of ROI are much more than vendors, they are strategic partners and off-site profit centers.
THE RIGHT AGENCY PARTNER FREES YOU UP
When you know you’re in the right hands, you can focus your attention on the 10 million other things you have to deal with. But we never allow ourselves to get complacent. We know we have to re-earn our clients’ respect every day. That’s the wonderful thing about reliability and consistency, which is why one client has been with us for over 20 years and another for over 18 years. They know that when they entrust an important campaign to us, we’re never going to let them down. You can’t put a price on that kind of reassurance.