How NOT to Appoint A Marketing Contractor

With event organisers typically spending an average of 22% of their annual revenue on marketing; getting external contractors to provide marketing services can be financially advantageous. However, with the continuing advent of technology and new marketing tactics it can be nigh-on impossible for organisers to stay on top of the latest trends which makes picking the right contractor a decision not to be taken lightly.

Don’t ignore research

Before you start looking for a contractor carry out thorough background research. A good marketer should have a good understanding of your industry, your customers, who the likely buyers are, the best channels to reach them and what marketing messages they’re likely to respond to.

Don’t think telepathy works

Pick up the phone and explain what you need. Marketers don’t want to put themselves forward to pitch until they know what the prize is.

A phone call can convey expected capabilities, iron out any issues, get to know the team and discover any personality clashes which could be detrimental to the success of your marketing. 

Don’t be vague.

Be specific about what areas of marketing you are looking for and what the scope of work entails. Send out a detailed ‘request for proposal’ (RFP). An RFP will help determine the company that best meets your criteria and budget. Detail will make the search for the best marketing option so much easier.

Don’t think big means best

Big doesn’t mean best; your budget may be going to paying overheads. Speed, quality, excellence, innovation and reliability may be better from a smaller supplier

Don’t choose wacky over strategy

Wacky isn’t what marketing is about. Creativity is important, but a strategy led solution will deliver results such as leads generated, website visitors and conversion.

Don’t expect them to know what they’re doing

Lots of marketers are a Jack of All Trades — but a master of none.  That’s when they hire subcontractors and you can run into problems. You’re talking about a skill set. Most marketers are probably well-versed in a specific discipline or two but probably not so well versed in all of them.

Don’t expect a contractor to be working on your project every day

Your project is a big deal to you, but for your contractor it’s just another job. This is a fact, it’s part of the equation. Contractors juggle jobs to stay afloat which means that they’re almost definitely NOT going to be there every day.

Don’t tell a contractor your budget – they’ll rob you blind

Don’t ever tell a contractor your budget. It gives them too much power. Tell a contractor the budget is £20,000 and they’ll find a way to make their bid £20,000. Get proposals from several contractors so you can compare costs and services to make an informed decision.

Don’t screw over your contractor

It is very important that the people you hire make a profit. 

Don’t tell a contractor that you aren’t in a hurry

Tell a contractor that there’s no rush and your job will become the lowest priority possible. Communicate timelines, weekly expectations and let the contractor know that they will lose money if the job is not completed within a reasonable timeframe.

Don’t Agree to a “Gentleman’s Agreement”

Always, always put your agreement in writing. A contract signed by both parties will ensure that everyone knows and agrees terms otherwise your project may become one big profanity-laced tirade.

These might seem like pretty simple guidelines, but they’re a lot more difficult to practice in real life. Everyone tries to take shortcuts. Don’t take shortcuts with contractors or you will regret it.

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