You may have noticed that the business world has recently been suffering under an epidemic of marketing techniques aimed at getting a laugh or grabbing the attention spotlight. This is accomplished largely by putting together garish Superhero costumes, utilizing cartoonish characters to expound on their company’s virtues, and filming silly videos portraying the company staff as friendly buffoons that are showcased at tradeshow booths and circulated in social media outlets.
Why do some companies feel the need to portray themselves in such a light? One could argue that this is a technique to grab a potential client’s attention in a sea of fierce competition for their marketing dollars. On the other hand, this type of ploy marketing is extremely effective at cloaking the company’s shortcomings in razzle-dazzle clouds of smoke and glitter. For many clients that sign with these companies, they soon realize that being funny or silly doesn’t do them any good in terms of what they really need. Results.
Ideally, the perfect marketing company could do both—be witty in order to separate themselves from the pack, and be results driven so that they service their clients in a way that leads to a long term, trust based relationship. How can one be sure that they found a company that can truly do both? Take the risk out of it as much as possible from your end. Ask for client references, and contact information so that you can speak to their clients about the service they have received. Have them show you real case studies and success stories, and what their contracts and terms of service looks like. Examine their website and social media profiles to get a feel for their company culture, how they interact with clients and referral partners, and how others view them. Also, before you decide to move forward with a marketing company, such as an Internet marketing firm, ask them to provide you with a list of placements on the search engines so that you can see their expertise first hand, as well as clear outline of what they will be providing. Finally, make sure that they clearly state what the price is, and if it will go up at any point in time, and for what reason. If you do your due diligence, and the marketing company you are considering is both results driven and acts silly simply to draw attention to themselves, you have found a good match for your needs.
Having characters represent our company doesn’t fit our needs—we like to keep it simple, and focus on providing excellent customer service and lead generation for our clients. Nothing fancy…but we like it that way.