It seems when it comes to marketing and advertising; it’s the first thing most businesses try to take into their own hands. That’s understandable, you’ve got things to pay for, money to make, why spend money on things you can do yourself? Well let me be the first to tell you why you shouldn’t do that and why you should invest in a professional.
1. They know the market.
It’s easy to assume that you know what is going on in the market, but do you monitor daily and keep up with what is happening with current trends and technology? If you do, that’s seriously awesome, music to my ears, but I can tell you in most instances a lot don’t. In a forever-changing environment, it’s important to know how to reach your target market.
- Who is your target market?
- How old are they?
- What are they buying?
- Where can you find them?
- Where do they live?
- How do you communicate to them?
- What language are you using?
- Are they female or male predominant?
- Do they want price or quality?
These are standard questions that you should know the answers to, because if you don’t know these answers then your marketing isn’t going to succeed.
2. They put advertising to market that will get you a good ROI.
It’s all about communication and communicating your messaging effectively that’s important. They know how to sell… well if they’re good they should, and they know how to connect with your audience. It’s easy for you, as a business owner, to become emotionally attached to your product or service when going to market. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, though sometimes businesses can get carried away. Instead of talking about why your product or service is so good, the professional will switch perspective and talk about how your product or service can change the lives of the potential customer; well that’s what you want them to know anyway.
3. They know where to advertise
What’s the point of spending your money if the ad isn’t seen? Exactly, it isn’t. It’s about the right type of exposure and they’ll know the right avenues to take that will lead you to your audience; whether that’s social media, a bus shelter or the local pinboard, they know where to find them. Plus there are a lot of perks they’ve learnt that will attract your target market the right way. It’s about building trust with your brand, and letting your audience know that you are the one for them.
4. They have connections
If they’ve been part of the industry for a while, they will have connections across a lot of different channels. For instance I know animators, web developers, printers, copywriters and researchers to name a few, and trust me, knowing these people can help you as much as it helps me. When you enter a market blind, it’s good to know you have like-minded individuals working together to make sure that the final product is as best as it can be. Just like what you would do in your own business, it’s all about finding the right person for the job as opposed to finding someone who is a jack of all trades, because specialists in the industry are always going to be better at what they do.
5. Finding someone good
Now this is where research is your best friend:
• Ask for recommendations off friends and family
• Look for online reviews
• Ask for samples of their work
• Ask for their work history
• Ask for qualifications
• Speak to them in person and see if you can get along
• Read their terms and conditions, if they don’t have any make sure you have an understanding of what you are getting
• Ask them how they can help you
There are people out there to make a quick buck, and back away from anyone that says, “I’m not a designer, but I can use the programs’. Though in most instances, I can guarantee you that there are more people out there as passionate about their job as you are, and will go above and beyond to help you.
See how I used the word value and not cost? That’s because value is different from cost. Just because they’re the cheapest does not mean they are the best; that I can guarantee. Think of how you go to purchase anything in life, would I buy the cheapest car? Probably not, because it screams that something is missing or something is wrong with it.
Just like the above questions I suggested to ask, it applies here:
- How long have they been in the industry?
- Who have they done work for?
- Where have they worked?
- Have they had agency experience?
As a designer, there are multiple skill levels:
Junior Designer – 1-3 years experience. Entry level and usually fresh out of college. Need direction from a more senior designer to help them learn and grow.
Mid-weight – 3-5 years experience. Still require supervision, but have the ability to manage a project and complete tasks.
Senior Designer – 5+ years is considered senior. Someone with a solid understanding of the industry, and has a firm understanding of all levels of production. The ability to not only design the project, but to liaise with the client as well.
Art Director – Is a leader and creative manager. They create and direct an idea to pass on to the designers to create. They have experience in both written content as well as visual and mediate between copywriters and designers. They also help influence, teach and motivate those within their team.
This gives you a foundation on what you can expect to pay a designer. Generally those with agency experience are paid more than those without it, as they have had experience in dealing with high-end clients, the pressure of screw ups, last minute briefings with a deadline of yesterday, and have had experience in dealing with a magnitude of projects. In addition, anyone with added knowledge or experience would obviously have more to offer, though generally at a higher price as you are paying for a better product.
7. We know the law
Unfortunately you can’t just take something off the internet and print it like it was your own; that’s called copyright infringement (read my blog on Copyright Infringement here). Things like fonts, image usage, what you can and cannot say or claim according to the ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission), so you don’t get sued. There are a vast range of things you need to adhere to within the market and we need to be across these laws as they are changing constantly now that social media is a big player. Misleading information is a big one, along with minimum font sizes for legibility in terms and conditions and so on. Better safe than sorry right?
At the end of the day, it is your choice as to how you invest your marketing money. Though, as professionals, it’s our job to help you make sure you get the most out of it. Would you rather spend $100 and no one see your ad, or $500 and get 20 new customers? That’s your choice to make.