Marketing Proposal Tips When Hiring a Marketing Agency

You own a small or mid-size company and you’ve grown the company steadily. As a budding entrepreneur, you probably were a jack of all trades, including the role of Marketing Director.

Then you hired a sales team and thought that would be sufficient to maintain your growth. But now the sales manager is insisting the team needs qualified leads. And the sale staff wants glossy collateral material to present to prospects.  What should you do?

If you are truly successful, your company should eventually outgrow your ability to carry it on your back. If you’ve reached that point, you deserve big-time kudos, because 80% of businesses close within the first 18 months, according to contributor Eric T. Wagner.

Consider an Outside Marketing Agency… but Which Type?

When your corporate growth demands the help of an outside agency to generate leads and create marketing material – from brochures to websites to social media campaigns to advertising – you need to decide which of the many types of agencies to hire, based on the advantages and disadvantages inherent with each type.

Unless you have a huge marketing budget and can afford to partner with a global marketing conglomerate that does it all, you will probably need to hire an agency that specializes in one or just a few areas. The many types of specialized marketing companies to choose from include:

  • Branding / Identity
  • Traditional Advertising
  • Interactive / Digital
  • Public Relations
  • Social Media
  • and many more sub-specialty agencies

Their Marketing Proposal Should Cover 5 Essential Areas

After you’ve whittled down the many agencies available to a few you feel will best meet the needs of your company, you then need to hire one after submitting your RFP to each. To help you make that important decision, look for 5 things their marketing proposals should include, so you know that they know how to actually take your company to the next level:

1. Their Content Strategy

The proposal should address the various types of content the agency will create and deploy for you, from print to digital to video to social, as well as a rough draft of the schedule they will use to effectively deliver the right message to the right target audience at the right time.

2. What They Need From You to be Successful

The proposal should spell out the level and type of involvement your internal team will need to provide the agency with the material and data it will need, including how often your team will need to meet with their team to keep your marketing campaigns on track.

3. How They Will Measure Results

The proposal should clearly outline the metrics that will be assessed to determine the success of your campaigns, along with a schedule of when those metrics will be delivered to you.

4. Their People, Process, and Products

The proposal should specifically mention who will be working on your various campaigns and projects, along with their experience levels, so you know whether you are receiving work from experienced high-level professionals or from entry-level staff fresh out of school. Likewise, you need to know the methods being deployed to create the work and the specific tactical deliverables that will form the essence of the marketing strategy you will present to your target markets.

5. Why You Should Select Them to Represent Your Company

The proposal should clearly illustrate the differential advantage the agency provides compared to the competition, which will help you understand what they truly offer and how they see themselves within the big picture of your agency options.

Be Cautious of Self-Serving Hype

The odds are that the proposals you receive will include most of the elements described above, but you may find that each agency believes its chosen specialty is exactly what you need. This can lead you to believe that no matter which vendor you choose, you’ll be missing out on a service you need – unless you can afford the biggest, most-expensive global agencies that cater to the Fortune 500.

So how do you select the best agency for your company?

Consider an Alternative Marketing Model

To select the marketing vendor that will be best for your company, you should look for an agency with:

  • A proven set of comprehensive skills and processes
  • A track record of success
  • A trustworthy account executive who will focus on long-term relationship-building and your true needs

Finding a single agency that has a staff that can deliver all of the high-level skills required for effective marketing and lead generation will probably require a very large annual budget. However, if you consider an agency that offers an Outsourced Marketing Department Model (OMDM), you will be able to receive everything you need without spending a fortune.

Don’t Pay for What Your Don’t Need

A marketing agency the features an OMDM will focus on creating a strategic marketing plan that accomplishes all of your goals, without focusing on the specific skills the agency features.


Instead of keeping a large staff on board, an OMDM agency outsources projects and tasks to the best and most-appropriate talent, based on your unbiased marketing plan. You therefore don’t pay to support talents you don’t need. You only pay for what you actually do need.

Assess Your Needs; Spend Wisely to Meet Them

To help you determine if you need assistance with your company’s marketing efforts, we have put together a free 10-Minute Marketing Assessment that covers the areas a good marketing proposal should address, such as market research and planning, along with tools, activities and reporting.

Access All of the Resources and Tools You Need

If you determine that your company does need some help, keep in mind that in today’s complicated business environment successful marketing requires many types of experienced professionals with high-level skills.

Investing in the traditional agency model rather than an agency that features an OMDM can waste your money and leave you without the resources and tools you need to effectively bring your strategic marketing plan to life. To avoid a lack of results and no return on your marketing budget, perhaps it is time to consider an agency that features an Outsourced Marketing Department Model.

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