With so many agencies to choose from, finding the right field marketing team for your business is a difficult task. On paper at least, many agencies offer the same services – the crucial difference will be the standard of work they perform for your brand. Here are some ideas that will help you make the right choice.
Businesses have various reasons for adopting a field marketing agency, and different businesses often have different expectations of what can and should be achieved by such agencies. For example, ‘Business A’ with limited retail experience might learn that outsourcing all sales functions to a dedicated agency can provide a significant return on investment. Business A might want to outsource everything from the design to the implementation of a sales campaign due to its limited experience of sales.
By contrast, ‘Business B’ might learn that its experienced sales team could benefit from additional staff members in the approach to Christmas. Rather than employing new staff members who will become superfluous after the festive season, Business B might want to outsource sales to an agency whilst retaining its own experienced team. Unlike Business A, Business B has a strict budget and a strong understanding of sales processes; rather than leaving anything to chance it could provide the agency with detailed and specific instructions.
Although both example businesses have good reason to outsource sales, their reasons for doing so are very different. Many field marketing agencies would be able to accommodate both businesses, but some would perform better with Business A than Business B – and vice versa.
Once you have decided on your priorities and goals, you will be in a good position to conduct detailed research. It is sensible to start by asking trusted clients or colleagues whether they have any recommendations. If they do, note down the name of the agency (or agencies) and look at their web site, search for comments by their senior staff, read their testimonials, etc – even the most trusted clients are not infallible and it is never wise to make such an important decision on the basis of a recommendation alone. If nobody offers a name, forget about it and carry on regardless.
Read everything you can about the agencies you are giving serious thought. Most importantly of all, pay careful attention to their past and current clients. If the agency web site does not include a list of clients, you can drop that agency from your list – either for poor marketing skills or for having nothing to write home about. Remember that this is not just an exercise in name dropping. If possible, try to pick an agency with clients that are similar to your business, whether in terms of industry, or business model, or size, or level of experience. The most important similarities will depend on your priorities, but as a rule of thumb, look out for top businesses in the testimonials section. To take one example, Cosine field marketing agency lists Sainsbury’s and BT amongst its clients.