April 29, 2019
KNOW HOW

Four times marketing can save your business

Julia Becker Collins is the chief operating officer at the Westborough digital marketing agency Vision Advertising. She can be reached at julia@vision-advertising.com.

Every business needs advice, especially for matters outside its expertise. We've been helping clients for 20 years, and we've seen businesses thrive and die in New England due to how they handled marketing. Ignoring critical parts of marketing and brand management will hurt your business. Here are four times you should invest the time and money to consult with a marketing agency to avoid disaster.

1. Rebranding an established company

We've all seen a beloved national or local business in a botched rebranding, permanently scarring its reputation and causing customers to leave: Don't let it happen to you. It's essential to get an outside perspective and to ask the hard questions. It's important to understand how much strategy, work, and time a rebrand takes, from overhauling your image to cleaning up your digital footprint. Also, using a marketing agency's guidance on press releases and social media campaigns can be invaluable in promoting your rebrand with the community and the world.

2. Dealing with the fallout from a reputation blow

Scandal? Angry employees? Food poisoning? An online presence can cut both ways here. It's important to work with a professional to figure out the best course after a reputation hit to minimize damage to your brand and customer base. It's more than just public statements: It's about working on internal communications, policy and procedures, and troubleshooting the problem. Crafting an ongoing relationship with a marketing agency can help you be proactive in the future, monitor and get ahead of issues before they build into a bad reputation.

3. Breaking into social media marketing

Whether you're an established brand or looking to launch social media alongside your new company, you only have one chance to make a first impression. To avoid common social media gaffs, getting outside and experienced advice on the right voice, tone, platforms, and oversight needed for social media can be priceless. Same goes for managing reviews and negative comments – it's important to know how to handle it. Free advice: interns should not run your business' social media accounts. It takes experience to properly handle social media, and without it, you can see poor growth and/or potential clients drawn away by better executed social media presences.

4. Starting a business with heavy competition

From professional services to restaurants, your dream business might be sharing a busy playing field, both online and off. Getting a competitive analysis (standalone or as part of a full marketing plan) to scope out the competition can help you brand yourself apart from them. Knowing the strengths and weaknesses of those around you can help you find and exploit their missed opportunities instead of closing your doors early.

There are of course many, many more times a business can benefit from marketing consultation. Having an outside perspective from experts in the field won't only divert disaster, but they can help find missed opportunities and grow your digital presence. Before you start any major marketing programs, talk to a marketing firm. From consulting to full custom marketing plans, you'll be glad you did.

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