Written by Adam Polaszewski

Creative marketing agencies are complex organizations.  You know that.  We know that.  And potential clients know that.  Presenting your agency capabilities as a simple solution for small businesses is no easy task.   Small businesses require big solutions, and they generally know what they want. But what will benefit them most is a marketing agency to combine what they want with what they actually need.

By linking cohesive strategies with results driven marketing initiatives, agencies can entice even the most cautious small business client.   Below you will find the top ways to differentiate your agency and appeal to prospective clients.

Go the extra mile.

From the second you step through the door, you need to be well aligned with your clients’ business.  Spend as much time as possible learning about their history, their audience, and their goals.  Whether your information comes from reading up on the company through their own website, interviewing current employees, or researching their executive board, the more you know, the better connected they will feel with you and your agency.

Don’t just talk the talk.

Hashtags, CRM, mobile marketing, conversions, SEO, and the list goes on.  While listing the strengths of the agency is essential during a presentation, bringing ideas and examples to the table in addition to the buzzwords demonstrates your value and highlights your strengths.  It is possible to provide a clear concise picture of successful marketing initiatives without giving away any of your top-secret techniques, and small businesses want to hear these success stories.

Innovate instead of duplicate.

Sure, you have tried and true approaches and procedures that may line up with multiple clients. However you don’t want to appear too structured and process-driven in the client’s eyes.  Make sure your potential small business clients realize they will not be receiving a one size fits all solution, because it usually isn’t that great of a fit. Forward thinking ideas and setting expectations in the beginning will gain trust and set the tone for a positive and progressive working relationship.

Results, results, and more results.

In today’s marketing atmosphere, everything is measurable.  Click-through rates, metrics, SEO rankings, traffic data, and more can be tracked and verified.  Small businesses need to see results right away.  With streamlined processes and the sophisticated marketing analytics currently available, be sure to communicate what clients can expect in return for their investment.  Better yet, show them.  From data ranging from KPI’s to keyword reports, bring an example of the type of reporting they can expect to see from you and make sure they understand it.

Introduce the experts.  Not those experts.

Introductions are an obvious part of any meeting, but small businesses want to know exactly who they will be working with, not just the agency VP presenting.  Making the proper introductions and giving the people working on the day-to-day activities on the account a voice during these initial meetings will allow the client to get a feel for the type of interactions they will have and who the force behind their brand will really be.

Don’t forget about SEO.

SEO is one of the most important actions for a small business, however it is the most likely to take a backseat to other marketing initiatives as marketing managers focus on CRM, social media and other daily tasks. While SEO is a hot topic and can define a company’s digital presence, it can be intimidating.  Providing guidance and communicating your SEO plan will not only show that you are focused on the big picture and offer full service solutions, but will reiterate your commitment to current innovative methods.

Making the decision to hire a creative marketing agency is an important one whether you are a large company or a small one.  Agencies that can break free from the mold and prove their value will give potential clients confidence that they can represent their brand effectively.