Are You Ready to Work with a Marketing Agency? Part 2

Are You Ready to Work with a Marketing Agency? Part 2

When you are ready to work with a marketing agency, it’s important to find a partner who is looking out for your best interests. By working with an agency that focuses on strategy and has experience working with companies on a long-term basis, you can start to see results from your marketing. What makes this a better option than hiring another employee?

1

Hiring and retaining are difficult in today’s market. Working with an agency gives you consistency in your marketing efforts when employees come and go.

2

Pay for what you need. Instead of hiring another employee, you can keep your current department intact while accessing a team of specialists that just work on what you need.

3

Creative geniuses bring depth. Agency teams need to deliver great work as efficiently as possible, and they do it every day for multiple organizations. Plus, they likely work in several industries and have a more diverse portfolio of work than a single employee.

4

Creative geniuses bring expertise. Marketing is changing regularly, so it’s extremely difficult to find a single employee that has the expertise and up-to-date best practices in all areas. Many marketing agencies ensure their employees are engaged in continued education so they can bring their clients the best service.

5

An outside perspective. Many times, companies get tunnel vision and only focus on what they like or what they think. Strategic marketing agencies can bring a fresh set of eyes to your challenges. An agency should be audience-focused, and by bringing that perspective to you can help you identify where you might be going wrong.

6

Capacity for creativity. Your employees are limited to 40 hours per week. When you add in meetings, planning, important conversations, and day-to-day urgencies, it can be difficult for them to deliver necessary creative deliverables when needed. Agencies can solve this capacity problem and often do it for less than adding a new employee.

7

Transition Risk-Reduction. It should be easy to hire – or fire- your marketing agency. If you choose well, your marketing agency should never hold your website or accounts captive, handcuff you to their services, or withhold knowledge of your technology.

Effective agencies help bridge the gap for you.

If it’s the right time to start looking for a marketing agency to partner with, here are some things to look for:

  • Will you have an account manager that is trained in brand and marketing strategy?
  • Can you meet the people you will work with before you sign a contract?
  • What kinds of inputs will the agency need from us to do their best work?
  • Do we have someone with the capacity to work closely with the agency and provide timely feedback?
  • Do they have experience working with clients monthly and what kind of things are they delivering?

Working with the right agency can be a game changer for your company.

Here are some ways our clients describe the impact of their relationship with an agency:

A Creative Partner
“I have been in Marketing and Graphic Design for over 25 years, and it is hard to find the right agency that “checks off all the boxes” of what you need. They have “checked off all the boxes” for us and if there is something that might not be their specialty, they help guide us in the right direction. With the uncertainty of today’s world, it is such a comfort to know that I have a very creative team that will always be there for us!”
–Pam Mills, Marketing Manager | Uckele Health & Nutrition

Lightening the Load
“Hands down, having Hoyden handling our marketing has been the best business decision we’ve made on this project. To the ease of communication with their team, their writing skills, design work and creativity they take care of everything for us. Working with them has taken a huge burden off my shoulders and allows me to focus on the business more.”
–Laura Wanke, General Manager | Chaloner & Co.

A Goal-Centered Approach
“They are always looking out for us and our goals–they take care of the things we need and adapt to what we want to accomplish. We’re looking forward to our continued partnership which has already proven to be extremely successful!”
–Joe Brookstein, Owner | The Hardscape Exchange

Keeping You Focused
“They all are easy to work with and they’re very timely. They help us stay on schedule and have made it very easy for us to focus on what we need to. They run with execution and I can’t imagine what more anyone would want or expect from a marketing team.”
–Eric Blackhurst, VP of Sales and Marketing | Planewave Instruments

Thoughtful and Purposeful Strategies
“I needed a marketing team that understood my audience, primarily C-suite and investors, and how to best interact with them. Their down-to-earth, insightful approach gave me confidence and has helped me go from almost no marketing to a solid, thoughtful, and appropriately scaled plan. It has helped me efficiently and effectively add value to current and prospective clients.”
–Katrina Johnson |  KCJ Consulting

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It’s easy to schedule a discovery call with us to see if we might be the right solution to your branding or marketing challenges. We promise we’ll steer you in the right direction and do our best to help you find the perfect solution for your unique situation.

Are You Ready to Work with a Marketing Agency? Part 1

Are You Ready to Work with a Marketing Agency? Part 1

When a company is growing, the needs of the marketing department change. So how do you know if you are ready to work with a marketing agency?

Startup Stage

When a company is preparing for launch, it may decide to hire an agency on a project basis to develop its brand identity (logo and brand guidelines), design a website, or create marketing materials. Working with an agency at this point is likely to be a stretch for the startup’s budget, but it can also help boost initial perceptions of the brand and influence awareness.

Growth Stage

The company now employs about 50 people and has grown by word-of-mouth and by the seat of its pants. The company’s branding is likely inconsistent, with a different look for the website, tradeshow booth, and marketing materials. There is inconsistent messaging, and the employees aren’t excited about the brand. Most companies at this stage have someone assigned to marketing as part of their role, but it’s not their main focus. They may outsource projects (a new website, digital advertising, etc.) but likely are working with multiple vendors and still struggling with finding the right strategy.

Established

The company has at least one to two full-time people that are dedicated to marketing. Now, the challenges circle around aligning the sales and marketing team with the company’s goals. Consistency in brand messaging and style becomes more important and the team may struggle to keep up with all the marketing needs of the organization. They are having a hard time adding more staff to the department or keeping their current staff. It’s getting harder to manage all the vendors they are outsourcing to so they will start to look for a fully integrated marketing agency to partner with instead.

What are the warning signs that you should watch for that signal it’s time to consider working with an agency?

There are key marketing activities that are not being addressed.
For instance, no one has touched your social media for a month. Your website hasn’t been updated in the past few months. The tradeshow booth needs to be updated. Sales materials don’t match the changes that have been made in the company. How we look doesn’t match who we are now.

The employee assigned to marketing doesn’t have time to work on the deliverables.
When employees don’t have time to work on the projects that will move the company forward it’s not only frustrating for management but also for the marketing employee. They may also struggle with not having the expertise needed to effectively complete the project. Marketing any company now requires a very diverse skill set and it’s no possible for one person to know all the nuances of digital marketing, websites, graphic design, social media strategy, SEO, video and photography, and writing. They need a partner agency that can support them in their role.

There is regular, repeatable work to be done.
Certain marketing activities – blogging, social media, social video, digital ads – are ideal for outsourcing to an agency. These activities are often the first to be set aside when a company gets busy, but consistency in these areas is crucial for the long-term success of an organization. These are also the most logical to outsource monthly and with the best ability to monitor progress thanks to lots of available data.

There is a lack of strategy or direction.
Often an outside perspective and a strategy can be the motivator for change in a company. Why? Because sometimes it takes someone that knows little about the company to ask the right questions. Strategy work reveals the true challenges and opportunities so you can align the marketing efforts with the business goals. By partnering with an agency that has strategic processes, it can bring fresh perspectives that elevate the marketing efforts and positively influence the long-term success of the company. 

When you find the right marketing agency, they should be your partner who is looking out for your best interests. They aren’t trying to replace you or take your job. They aren’t trying to sell you something they think you need…they are asking good questions to uncover what you really need. Ready to learn more?

The importance of digital marketing in 2022

The importance of digital marketing in 2022

hands holding phone

When you think of traditional marketing tactics, you might imagine billboards, TV and radio commercials, and paper handouts — which are great for some businesses, but can be expensive and not reach a very wide audience.

Chances are if your brand or business has any kind of marketing strategy, you’re already incorporating digital marketing of some kind. Digital marketing is everywhere, but knowing how to strategically incorporate it into your marketing strategy will be the key to reaching your marketing goals this year.

Here are some of the key digital marketing tools that your business should be using in 2022:

Web-based advertising

Businesses can run advertisements on platforms like Google and Facebook, which can be more attention-grabbing and reach a much wider audience than traditional advertisements on a billboard or in a newspaper. The ads can be specifically targeted to your desired audience and will link directly back to your social media or website, offering an efficient pipeline for interested potential customers to find out more about your business.

Email newsletters

Email newsletter marketing is a great tool to reach your customers at regular intervals with business or product updates, critical information, or engaging content. Most email marketing platforms can offer you an insight into new customer leads and outline what content is being clicked on by readers.

Social media

Social media is key to a successful digital marketing strategy and can be used to accomplish many different marketing goals. You can use social media platforms to get new information to your customers, reach new audiences, network, and promote your business’ style.

Using social media from a business marketing standpoint also offers helpful analytics and insights that you don’t see on your personal social media accounts. You can see how many people viewed your post, how they’re interacting, and what time you should post in order to best reach your target audience.

Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is all about ensuring your website is found by users looking for information through search engines. Search engines use keywords and phrases from web pages to offer users relevant information and results.

Optimizing your content for search engines shouldn’t be a guessing game. With tools like Google keywords, SEMRush, and others, you can uncover how to angle your website’s pages towards potential future customers.

If it sounds like your business would thrive with some new digital marketing tools and tactics, it’s time to revamp your marketing strategy with professional help. Our marketing team puts strategy at the forefront of all we do, and we can help your business find even greater success in 2022.

In Strategy We Trust

Marketing resolutions you should adopt in 2022

Marketing resolutions you should adopt in 2022

On the eve of every new year, we make resolutions that will drive us towards our goals in the months to come. While many of us may give up on our promises to only eat salad early on in the year, keeping your promises to your business can make the difference between growth and decline this year.

 Many businesses throw marketing to the wayside and don’t understand how strategic marketing resolutions can truly propel your brand’s success. Whether it’s January first or the middle of August, it’s never too late to adopt a marketing resolution so we’ve rounded up some common goals and the resolutions you can adopt to make 2022 your brand’s best year yet.

Goal: Gain a social media following
Resolution: Stay consistent with social media

The secret to a top-tier social media strategy is no secret: it’s all about consistency. This means interacting consistently, posting regularly, and taking the time to create unique and memorable content for your audience. It can be time consuming, but the increase in engagement and conversions is worth it.

Goal: Get your brand recognize
Resolution: Maintain brand consistency

Brand recognition takes time, effort, and- you guessed it- consistency. It’s important to know your brand’s identity inside and out so you can build upon a solid foundation. Keeping your logo, brand colors, and style the same while you build your brand will help your audience build recognition.

Goal: Spend marketing dollars more wisely
Resolution: Set a marketing budget

While you can do all your marketing yourself, it can be a time-consuming endeavor if you already have a full schedule running your business. Your marketing dollars can be spent on social media management tools like Hootsuite or Sprout, improving your ad visibility on Google and Facebook, and/or hiring an outside marketing team to help you meet all your marketing goals.

Goal: Increase conversion rate
Resolution: Regularly analyze marketing data

To increase your conversion rate, start by collecting as much marketing data as you can so you can analyze your strengths and weaknesses. If you understand where your website visitors are clicking on your website, you can learn where they are when they decide to leave your website and focus on creating new content, landing pages, and calls to action that keep them interested. Make sure that you’re collecting enough data to make informed decisions — 10 page views or a week of social media engagement is not enough.

Goal: Generate new content
Resolution: Start a blog

Starting a blog for your business’s website can have numerous benefits for your brand. A blog offers your audience a glimpse into who you are, your expertise, and can act as a conversation between you and your audience. You gain credibility with your audience by writing about your products and services. Plus, blogs are a wealth of content that you can share over time on your social media accounts.

Whatever marketing resolutions you choose, sticking to them all year round is the key to helping your brand grow and reaching your goals. With consultation services, marketing campaign assistance, outsourced marketing, and so much more, the marketing professionals at Hoyden are always here to support your marketing goals and help your brand have its best year ever.

2021 Marketing Roundup

2021 Marketing Roundup

The Most Memorable Marketing Moments of 2021

Every brand has different marketing goals and strategies. All year long, we watch our favorite brands try out new marketing strategies and now we’ve rounded up some of the biggest, best, and most notable marketing moments from 2021:

Duolingo’s Mascot Keeps Going Viral

Duolingo saw a 1,900% increase in Tik Tok followers in just one month when a knowledgeable new hire took charge of their Tik Tok social media strategy.

WeTransfer Gets Rude

WeTransfer is a file-sharing company that created a campaign called “Please Leave”. With this message, it encourages users to go out into the real world- away from screens- and discover new images, experiences, and content that they can later come back and share through their products and services.

Ryan Reynolds Makes A Unique Cocktail

2021 saw the 40th anniversary of the McRib and to celebrate, Ryan Reynolds created a McRib companion cocktail using his own Aviation Gin.

Ikea Makes A Meatball Candle

This summer, IKEA released a limited-edition “IKEA Store in a Box” in celebration of the 10th anniversary of their loyalty program. Though the box is no longer available, we can still pine after the best item: a HUVUDROLL meatball scented candle.

Facebook’s Huge Rebranding
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard of the Facebook company’s rebranding to “Meta”, or at least seen the Grade A memes that have come out of Mark Zuckerberg’s announcement video (looking at you, random bottle of Sweet Baby Rays).
Nike Shifts Focus to Mental Health
In November, Nike launched the Mind Sets platform, which focuses its new, curated content on mental health. From guided workouts to tips for better recovery and sleep, Nike is hoping to help normalize the conversation about mental health as more professional athletes begin to speak up about their own personal challenges.

Dunkin’s Influencer-Marketing Strategy

As the fight for commercial advertising gets more and more competitive, Dunkin Donuts switched their strategy to focus on influencer marketing. From nano-influencers to the TikTok queen Charlie D’Amelio herself, Dunkin’ has earned a viral reputation that has significantly boosted their sales.

Popeyes Trolls Taco Bell’s Marketing
After Taco Bell entered the chicken sandwich race with their sandwich-like chicken taco, Popeyes responded with a TikTok video, offering a step-by-step guide for turning their coveted chicken sandwich into two tacos.
Back to Basics: The 4 P’s of Marketing

Back to Basics: The 4 P’s of Marketing

The 4 P’s of Marketing

Product

Price

Place

Promotion

At Hoyden, we like to say that marketing doesn’t have to be complicated… But it should be strategic, smart, and intentional.

Complex marketing tactics implemented by an inexperienced team can lead to jumbled messaging, confused customers, and low brand awareness. If your team is bogged down with overly complicated marketing, it might be time to get back to the basics.

Simple marketing begins with the 4 P’s, which come from the “Marketing Mix”— a model businesses use to capture their unique selling points in order to create a strategic marketing plan.

Product

What do you sell?

 

“Product” doesn’t always mean a physical object that you sell. For many businesses, your products are your services, your information, or yourself.

A product is a solution to a problem. It meets the needs of a potential customer, whether that need is software development or information about local real estate properties for sale.

You know your product like the back of your hand but you also need to know what makes your product unique so you can tell potential customers not only why they should buy it, but why they should invest their time to learn about it. You need to be able to explain why your product should be chosen over every other product like it.

Price

How much do
you charge?

While “price” may seem like the simplest marketing “P”, determining the right price for your product or service can be tricky and may fluctuate as your business grows and evolves. You want to attract buyers who may already be using your product from a different business but you still want to make a reasonable profit and give your business the opportunity to grow in the future.

When deciding the price of your product, you should assess supply costs, competitor pricing, and how much profit you need to make to sustain your business and potentially grow in the future. You should also consider how much you would be able to offer for a discount during future seasonal or promotional periods. If your initial price is too low, you won’t be able to generate excitement with discounts.

Place

Where can your customers go to find
your product?

 

Unfortunately, your customers aren’t going to come to you, begging to give you money. Understanding the unique facets and niches of your target market is the first step to reaching them.

Here is what you should know about your audience:

      • Age range
      • Gender
      • Geographical location
      • Education level
      • Interests/hobbies
      • Unique qualities that make your product of interest to them

“Place” will be where and how this target audience can get your product. Many products and services are completely advertised and purchased online, and thus require a strong digital presence with social media, an impressive website, and eye-catching advertisements. Others have storefronts and must consider display design and in-person sales teams.

Promotion

How do your customers find out about you?

 

Effectively promoting your product is often where businesses struggle. Your promotion should reach potential customers and tell them not only why they need your product, but why they should buy it from you. This is where every piece of your marketing puzzle comes together.

Your promotion should be strategic and thoughtful. It should reach your target audience, tell them the problem your product will solve, and explain exactly how to get it while working in the confines of your budget and advertising space.

Why does this matter?

Marketing strategies can often get complicated with intricate plans, ambitious timelines, and complex advertising schemes. At the end of the day, a great marketing plan requires a simple but strategic approach with a deep understanding of the basics.

If you’re looking to get back to basics with your marketing or need a hand as you launch your new brand, the brand strategists at Hoyden are here to help. We offer a unique and in-depth discovery session that will help you discover your brand’s strengths, weaknesses, target audience, competitors, and so much more.

In Strategy We Trust