Hiring a Marketing Partner to Update Your Brand

The right plan for a successful process.

Guest Author Barb Fraley 1.06.2015

Updating a company’s brand requires careful planning and a commitment by the organization to dedicate the appropriate resources.

A successful project will be driven by trusted decision makers who have a clear vision of the organization’s goals, the authority to determine the scope of the project, and the tenacity to keep the project focused on the goals once they have been approved and the marketing partner has been hired. The scope of the work will drive the type of company you hire, the budget, and the timing.

Create an internal team

Identify one individual who will be responsible for coordinating the project from beginning to end. They will manage the timing, budget, and administrative details and be a key point of contact for the marketing partner.

Select one or a very small number of decision makers who will drive the project on behalf of the organization. Ensure that they have the authority to hire the marketing partner, give direction, and approve the work. Each person must commit to attend every meeting with the marketing partner or be prepared to delegate authority to the other decision makers should they not be available. It is crucial that the project not be derailed because someone misses a meeting.

If you are planning to update your website or create a new one, be prepared to allocate budget and staff to ongoing maintenance once the project is complete. Websites need regular content management updates to remain fresh and relevant to the search engines and your customers. If you commit to social media including Facebook, Twitter, or a blog, new content will need to be planned, written, and posted regularly and someone will need to be prepared to interact with customers and potential customers in a timely manner.

Write a plan

Determine at a high level what you want to accomplish (your objectives), your estimated budget, and your ideal timing parameters. Write it down and get it approved by everyone who will want or need to provide input. This written plan will be crucial for helping potential partners determine whether your project is a good fit for their organization and their skill set. It will also help guide you in asking the right questions of them. You can’t start a successful search for the right partner without basic parameters around scope, budget, and timing.

Some key questions to ask when writing the plan

  • What do we want to do? Why?
  • What happens if we do nothing?
  • Who is our target audience? (If you have more than one, prioritize them.)
  • Who is our competition? What are they doing, if anything, that is driving our action? Are we being reactive, proactive, or both?
  • What differentiates us from our competition?
  • Do we have anything new we want to get credit for?
  • What does success look like?
  • How will we measure our success?

Once you have hired a partner it will be crucial that you maintain focus on the objectives and not change direction. Your partner will help you refine your scope by reviewing your current marketing assets, and evaluating your competition, your target audience, and your industry. While you might learn things along the way that drive changes to the scope, the original objectives should not change.

Barb Fraley consults on marketing, branding, and communications with nonprofits and companies of all sizes. Barb_Fraley@hotmail.com

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