Modern marketing is multi-faceted and increasingly specialised. It’s rare for an in-house team to be able to run the full gamut of branding, web design, SEO, digital marketing, PR, events, content and paid media without relying on some kind of outside support. Working with agencies, freelancers and consultants will help you tap into specialist skill sets that you otherwise wouldn’t have. They can also help you stay focussed on your core business while expanding your range of marketing activity. But finding the right partner isn’t always easy. Should you work with an individual or do you need a team? Do you want a specialist agency, or a full-service one? And once you’ve decided what kind of agency you’re after, how do you find the one that’s right for you? In this post, we’ll explore what your options are, how to create a shortlist of partners and how to manage the pitch process.
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When businesses wanted to buy software pre-internet, they would physically buy a CD-ROM, install it on everyone’s computer and pay a licensing fee. Like so many sectors, the rise of the web turned things on its head. Software as a Service (SaaS) is a way of delivering software online, paying a monthly subscription without installation costs. Since the rise of Salesforce in the late 90s, the SaaS market has exploded. Lower costs, greater access to cloud storage and increased speed have moved the market away from an enterprise-only concern to a space open to businesses of all sizes.
Introduction The world is full of myths, from fake news to faux facts. Mount Everest is not the world’s tallest mountain, The Great Wall of China can’t be seen from space, and the word “sushi” does not mean “raw fish”. (It’s the vinegared rice on which the fish was traditionally served, and it’s spread to mean the sour taste of the rice - so it describes the flavour of the dishes, not the dishes themselves.)
To sell anything effectively, it pays to understand the people who are likely to purchase it. If you’re trying to sell fish, for instance, the way you sell it to a Michelin-starred restaurant will be vastly different to the sales pitch to a zoo looking to feed their penguins. One is concerned with quality, the other is all about price (unless they have a particularly fussy Emperor in their enclosures). Building a business to sell is no different. To get maximum value, you need to know what a buyer wants and is willing to pay for it. The answer is multi-faceted: from positioning via industry benchmarks and perfecting your brand to attracting and retaining talent through your employer brand. In this series, we’ve previously discussed these areas and how marketing can help you build value, but one key element remains.