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  • Writer's pictureDeJuan Wright

Look For This When Hiring a Marketing Firm For Your Startup

Updated: Feb 10

After much consideration, you’ve come to the conclusion that it’s finally time for you to hire a marketing firm to help take your startup to the next level. But now what? As founder, you certainly already understand everything that there is to know about your company’s products or services.

Nevertheless, when it comes to the inner workings of marketing, that’s a horse of a totally different color. Don’t worry, in that regard—you’re definitely not alone. In fact, even the co-founder of one of the most iconic brands on the planet was also nescient the first time he hired a firm to help take his brand to the next level.

Yes, today, Nike is by far one of the most revered brands on earth. However, when Nike co-founder Phil Knight first met with Dan Wieden and David Kennedy, co-founders of the now world-renowned advertising agency Wieden+Kennedy, their initial interaction was pretty amusing.

“I walked in their rented space and saw four guys sitting around a card table. One of them stood up, ‘I’m Dan Wieden,’ to which I responded, ‘I’m Phil Knight, and I hate advertising.’” Knight shared in an article with Campaign US.

Knight eventually hired Wieden+Kennedy and the two entities would go on to change the landscape of marketing. Wieden+Kennedy also helped Nike create some of the most epic advertising campaigns of all time (it was Wieden+Kennedy who created Nike’s popular slogan ‘Just Do It’).

When hiring a marketing firm for your startup, in order to have the most successful outcome like Nike did—be sure that whichever firm you hire has the following attributes.

A clear and precise vision for your brand

It was Bernard Arnault, founder and CEO of LVMH, who once said that, “The goal of a startup is not to stay a startup. The goal of a startup is to grow and to become, if possible, a large company.”

And in order to grow your startup into a large company, a precise and clear vision for your brand is of vital importance.

Try to think of the marketing firm that you’ll hire for your startup as if you were a great golfer looking to hire a caddie. Regardless of how great a golfer may be, a great caddie would help raise their game to another level (as any professional golfer would attest).

That same sentiment applies towards your startup. While you already have a great vision for the future of your brand—the right marketing firm will provide all of the necessary tools to help you bring that vision to fruition. As well as the branding precision to help navigate your startup through any unforeseen obstacles.

An understanding of your brand’s audience

By far, one of the biggest mistakes that all brands—not just startups, make when hiring a marketing firm, is hiring a firm that doesn’t truly understand their target audience. Regardless of how creative, innovative, or tech savvy that a marketing firm is, at the end of the day—marketing is all about creating concepts to connect with consumers.

And when it comes to connecting with any audience—it is an absolute must that the firm you hire understands the people that your brand aims to appeal to.

“The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself .” Says author and management legend, the late Peter F. Drucker, in his book Management.

Before making the final decision on selecting which marketing firm you’re going to hire, make certain that firm has a thorough understanding of the audience that your brand aims to attract.

Cultural cognizance

When it comes to creating a successful marketing campaign, many brand executives often assume that by placing an emphasis on every feature that a product or service has to offer—prospects will be much more compelled to make a purchase.

But that isn’t how the human mind works. And what motivates most people to pay for a product or service aren’t features or perks—it’s the yearning for adulation or validation from their peer group. In other words, it’s all about being in sync with the consumer’s culture.

“Culture, by its very definition, isn’t the work of being right. It’s the work of being in sync. Culture is people like us do things like this.” Writes author and marketing guru Seth Godin, on his aptly titled, Seth’s Blog.

As Seth accurately stated, culture isn’t the work of being right. It’s the work of being aware of the lifestyle, needs, and aspirations of a particular group of people. And in order to articulate the best messaging to those people—it's essential that a marketing firm is both cognizant of—as well as congruent with their culture.

Let’s discuss the future of your startup

If you’re currently searching for a marketing firm to hire for your startup, at Decryption, we’ll provide all of the attributes above as well as an array of marketing services to help your startup advance. We'd love for you to contact us for a consultation to discuss just how we can help take your startup to another level.


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