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How to Think Like a GM When Choosing a Marketing Company

This is a guest post by Dmitriy Gmarnik

Watching the NBA draft last week, I couldn’t help but think about the pressure GMs have when deciding on which players to choose and when. Of course, before any decisions are made, GM’s factor in a myriad of variables and are forced to answer a lot of questions to help make a choice that often makes or breaks the franchise.

Similarly, your business is your franchise and if you’re looking for a franchise player (or entire team!) to help round out your marketing efforts, you need to ask plenty of difficult questions.  Although any marketing company you’re thinking of hiring might not be trying to win a championship, your championship goals of generating more revenue could depend on their skills and efforts.

It is an important decision.

Business owners should become like GMs when evaluating possible companies to hire. Here is a list of questions to help you get started.

What are their core services?

GMs place a lot of weight on a player’s skills. They grade their offensive, defensive, rebounding, conditioning, etc. A business owner should do the same when it comes to examining the core services of the company. Check if the company is capable of handling an entire project from start to finish.

For example, if you are in need of an ecommerce design project, make sure the company has the knowledge to plan, to design, to develop and market the project. A GM would not pass over a player who is skilled in both offensive and defensive for a player who only excels in defensive. And neither should a business owner when choosing a company that can handle the entire project compared to one that only can handle a part of the project.

What are their credentials or qualifications?

GM’s tend to look at a players entire body of work. They are interested to see whether a player lead his conference in points scored or steals. A business owner should do the same. Make sure the company you are handing off the project to is respected in their industry. Check whether they are speaking at events, published in publications, seen as industry leaders, and have special credentials.

How do they measure results?

It is well documented that Kobe Bryant is competitive and driven. Starting with his young career he always measured success only by winning an NBA title. And when the Lakers came up short Kobe Bryant would measure the season as a failure and be even more driven for the next season. GMs look for those types of players when drafting.

An agency should have that same type of mentality: always striving to do the best possible work for a client. They should also be able to set, measure, and show results to the client. Check whether their results are published and are verified.

What is their track record?

GMs want players that are reliable, that know how to win big games, and prove they can make the big shot.   The company that you are choosing should also be reliable and proven to produce the best results. You should feel comfortable giving them your business and feel good that you will receive a return on your investment.

What does their operations look like?

GMs know that statistics will not tell them anything about the player’s personality and characteristics. Only way to know is to meet with the player face to face and spend some time with them one on one. Before signing a contract, the business owner should make sure to check out the company’s office and meet the people who will be responsible for their project. This will give him/her a sense whether the company is professional, trustworthy and whether the people on the project are skilled enough to get the job done correctly.




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2 Responses to How to Think Like a GM When Choosing a Marketing Company

  1. Ar-LenaRichardson July 3, 2011 at 10:25 pm #

    Lewis, you written an interesting, valid, and useful post. The GM analogy is genius and it worked for me. Thank you.

  2. Ar-LenaRichardson July 3, 2011 at 10:26 pm #

    Lewis, you have written an interesting, valid, and useful post. The GM analogy is genius and it worked for me. Thank you

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