How to pick an agency? 6 things you’re not likely to hear in an agency pitch

Posted by Joel Goldstein

Apr 19, 2017 1:26:42 PM


analysis-680572_640.jpgIf you’re in the market for a marketing firm, you’ve probably read a dozen articles about how to select an agency. After a while, they all sound the same: “we’re experts in digital marketing, we know b-to-b, we specialize in your industry…”

Sounds like a broken record (if we still listened to records). I went for a run the other day, and it just started popping in my head: here are criteria you’ll never hear when hiring a marketing firm. It ties to the old marketing story about uncovering what people really want, by considering what people want when they’re shopping for a drill: people want to buy a hole, not the drill. Same thing for marketing firms: as a potential client, it’s nice to see the shelf full of awards or hear the presentations about the “creative process.” But, you really want to know how these guys are going to make you a star, and help you hit your revenue numbers.

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Topics: social media, advertising, digital marketing, 2017 Planning

Goldstein Group Communications Adds Kevin Hatgas to its Marketing Communications Team

Posted by Brandi McElhatten

Jan 13, 2017 2:49:50 PM

Goldstein Group Communications announced that it has added Kevin Hatgas as social media specialist to its team of marketing communications experts. Hatgas will focus on building client brand and industry exposure to generate leads and grow market share through social media and paid search. 

Hatgas’s career has been spent creating and executing multi-channel marketing plans with a specialization in social media, web, and email marketing. 

“We are excited to add Kevin to our team of marketing professionals,” said agency President Joel Goldstein.  “His expertise will continue our focus on social media and garner the results that our clients deserve.” 

Prior to joining Goldstein Group Communications, Hatgas worked in higher education where he was responsible for marketing communications efforts – both digital and print – for a university and its broad alumni base. 

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Topics: B2B, social media, Goldstein Group Communications

Top Secret B2B Marketing Fitness Program Revealed!

Posted by Loren Meck

Aug 4, 2015 2:06:00 PM

Disclaimer: Consult with your primary care physician before beginning any fitness program. The following recommendations are my own. Your results may vary. Oh, and your physician probably won’t have any valuable advice about your B2B marketing fitness. That’s where I come in.

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Topics: Marketing, B2B, social media, Inbound Marketing, content, podcasts

Blogs should be tools, not weapons

Posted by Tom Andel

Jun 8, 2015 10:49:00 AM

Blogs can be used as potent weapons, both offensive and defensive. This blog aspires to be neither. As a market content creator, Goldstein Group is devoted to helping clients build the reputation of their brands. If you’re using social media to play chicken with enemies attacking your brand reputation, it’ll be hard to look like a winner in that fight—even if you win.

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Topics: social media, Blogs, Goldstein Group Communications

Measuring Your Performance: Can You Beat IndyCar Racing With a Trip to Mars?

Posted by Joel Goldstein

Apr 24, 2014 1:27:00 PM

Our client Littelfuse faced an interesting challenge this past year when coming up with a campaign to replace its successful Speed2Design 2012 IndyCar promotion.  The company created a racing-themed promotion the year before to take engineers “behind the scenes” at four IndyCar races as a way to tie its circuit protection devices to high performance technology.  And you can’t get much more demanding in terms of engineering performance than IndyCar racing.

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Topics: Marketing, Littelfuse, social media, lead generation, brand building, advertising

Social Media Success: Sometimes Lightning Strikes Twice and for GOOD reasons

Posted by Loren Meck

Mar 26, 2014 2:42:00 PM

Congratulations to our client Littelfuse for being a finalist in the PR NEWS Social Media Icon
Awards
.  For the second year in a row, the Littelfuse Speed2Design campaign (www.speed2design.com) has distinguished itself from the masses of B2B social engagements.

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Topics: Littelfuse, social media, Goldstein Group Communications, Twitter

Marketing Budgets for 2014: Where to Spend, What Drives ROI

Posted by Joel Goldstein

Jan 16, 2014 4:25:00 PM

It’s the natural time of year to talk about how to spend marketing dollars.  As we make our plans for next year, it’s common to look for new concepts, new trends and directions, and to pay attention to what others are doing for clues about what’s working and what’s not.  That’s really the big challenge – marketing is so in-flux today, that the list of programs that always work is rapidly evolving and quite frankly different from company to company.  So we’re all paying close attention to what we can learn from others’ experiences and how to apply that to our own spending decisions.

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Topics: social media, email marketing, 2014 ad planning, mobile marketing, Goldstein Group Communications, business-to-business, content

B-to-B Marketing: 5th Idea for 2014

Posted by Joel Goldstein

Dec 17, 2013 2:37:00 PM

Conversations, not campaigns . We mentioned previously that response rates for bulk email blasts were declining. We also commented on the growth of social media for driving search. Those two concepts come together with savvy marketers who are using Twitter and email to create individual sales conversations rather than bulk blasts. We’re even developing the concept in our agency of the Twitter Salesperson – an individual in the sales department who reaches out to company followers with specific tips, advice and help based on their tweets, rather than relying on Twitter for blast messages about webcasts or trade shows that are sent to everyone at once. The speed of conversations in engineering-based marketing is important. When people are searching and researching products, they have a question NOW. Live chat or immediate response to emails isn’t creepy – it’s valued. So mindsets based on speed will become more critical.
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Topics: Marketing, social media, email marketing, business-to-business

B-to-B Marketing: 4th Way to Change Your Approach for 2014

Posted by Joel Goldstein

Dec 16, 2013 11:31:00 AM

It’s coming – social and mobile. No, wait, it’s already here. Mobile’s long been a play for consumer marketing, but now it’s relevant for B-to-B as well. In fact, our own B-to-B client base saw the portion of tablet and smartphone traffic to their sites just about double in the past 12 months, going from 5.2% in July 2012 to 9.2% one year later. At our agency, every new site today features “responsive design,” so the site automatically re-sizes whether it’s being viewed on a PC, table or phone. And, we’re experimenting with new CRM and lead tracking programs optimized for smartphones that are showing higher participation rates from salespeople, simply because it’s mobile and so much faster and easier to use.

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Topics: social media, marketing strategy, mobile marketing, business-to-business

Hire a Marketing Agency or Build an Internal Staff? Seven Reasons Why Hiring a Marketing Agency is a Better Strategy Spend

Posted by Joel Goldstein

Nov 8, 2013 8:29:00 AM

What can you do that I can’t do better for myself?

A salesperson for one of our clients came back from a sales call with that question ringing in her head.  She had a good answer, fortunately, but it’s a shocking question to hear from a customer.  It certainly applies to marketing agencies as well, of course, particularly today where everything changes so rapidly.  And we ask ourselves that every day to make sure we’re relevant, that we’re not old-school.

So what’s the role of an agency today?  Why hire an agency instead of building your own staff internally?  Good question.  Here’s some good answers:

  1. More efficient use of resources.  That may surprise some of you, since agencies aren’t known as being inexpensive. But we are.  When you hire a new marketing executive today, each hire had better bring to the table eleven specific skills to the job:
    • Writing capability
    • PR/media skills
    • Social media
    • Email
    • Paid Search
    • SEO
    • Graphic design
    • Web development
    • Trade shows
    • Video
    • Marketing strategy

    Hired anyone like that lately?  Of course not, and neither have I.  It’s impossible to find one person who brings all of those capabilities, so the agency model of bringing all that to the table with a team of “hyperspecialists” is particularly efficient.  As a corporation, you can duplicate that team by hiring 11 people, perhaps at $50K in salary, with a 12th as supervisor, and you’ve staffed a full service department for $600,000, conservatively.  Now, of course those people are available for you full time, while you’re only getting part of an agency’s time.  And that’s the point.  You only use what you need.  And the right agency brings you hyperspecialist capabilities that are hard to maintain on your staff.

  2. Focus and Accountability.  We’re hired to do one thing, or one area of tasks.  We’re not pulled by the president into a new project, or diverted over to help launch a new division or product.  Take PR:  I’m a PR guy from way back, and I’ve never seen a PR manager who has the time to work with media to generate as much coverage as an agency can.  The internal PR executive is pulled in too many different directions, and those story pitches can always be done tomorrow -- but tomorrow never comes.  Agencies don’t have that luxury.  We’d better have something to show in this current monthly report.  And we know that. 

  3. Best Practices.  Agencies work with a few dozen companies just like you.  They see inside so many organizations, and are in a prime position to bring you the ideas that work best (and keep you away from the ideas that fail).  You can't really do that with your own, in-house, marketing team (unless you spend all your free time networking with colleagues, time you can’t afford.)  The best agencies embrace best practices, harvest those ideas, and bring them to your door faster than if you had to travel to conferences and discover them yourself. 

  4. A View of What’s Next.  In our shop, we’ve realized that every 2 years our jobs will be different.  Marketing changes today that fast, so we’re constantly using and applying new technologies from last year’s Twitter initiative to today’s marketing automation to tomorrow’s WeChat (see Asia!) platforms that are starting to replace email.  Think you have it figured out?  Don’t get cocky -- next year, when Google Glass comes out, it will all change again.

  5. Freedom To Be Creative and Take a Risk. Risk-taking and creativity usually are sucked out of most corporate environments.  That’s not a fault, that’s just how they’re built and how executives are compensated.  And that’s why they need agencies, where we’re encouraged to bring creative ideas that just can’t grow in 99% of corporations. 

  6. Accelerated Learning Curves for Implementing New Ideas.  There’s no shortage of new ideas and programs to put in place.  And most agencies have done them a few times already.  You’ve done them once – or never.  Why learn on the fly when your agency can tell you the eight mistakes to avoid, or get you up and running with faster results in less time.  That new sales portal?  Hubspot Marketing Automation?  Remarketing banners?  Don’t waste time reinventing the wheel or learning from scratch.  You don’t have time.

  7. Objectivity.  A good agency tells you when you’re wrong.  And embraces that role.  There’s enough yes people in life.  An agency isn’t one of them.
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Topics: social media, SEO, paid search, marketing automation, advertising, PR, website, marketing strategy, Goldstein Group Communications, business-to-business

About Us and this Blog:

At Goldstein Group Communications, we believe passionately in the power of great ideas, coupled with the impact of measurable results. It’s a philosophy that delivers customers to the sales team, profits to the CFO, and sustainable growth to the CEO. Inspired ideas that are grounded in the real world demands of the market.

We call it Measurably Better Marketing. 

 

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