The good news for small businesses looking to improve their marketing is that you don’t need a million dollars to work with a marketing agency (not this one, at least!). Yet we’ve noticed there can still be some haziness as to what kind of service you can expect from a marketing agency at your price point.
At Simple Machines Marketing, our clients are small businesses with budgets of varying sizes. To help you figure out how far your marketing dollars will take you, we’re sharing some insight into how we accommodate clients at different investment levels.
Our Service Levels
Our clients’ marketing plans typically fall into one of three categories:
These levels correspond to budget and project scope size, with accelerate clients having the largest marketing investments.
It’s important to note that we don’t offer “one-size-fits-all” marketing packages. We develop tailored marketing plans that are strategically designed to make sure marketing budgets are used in the most effective manner possible. What works for Client A may not for Client B, even if they’re both within the same service level.
That being said, here’s what each of our service level clients generally look like and examples of the marketing help we provide them.
Small Budgets: Build
Our “build” clients are typically working with smaller budgets but understand the importance of investing in marketing.
While their industries may vary, a commonality among them is that they know they need to be more visible to their target audiences if they want to succeed. Here’s what a couple of our build clients’ retainers look like:
- Client A’s marketing services focus on optimizing their budget to drive conversions during their busy season, primarily through digital campaigns and SEO. We also use email marketing to keep current customers coming back year after year.
- Because Client B relies heavily on being found in search results, we manage PPC campaigns with Google AdWords and Bing Ads and increase their visibility by focusing on on-site and local SEO efforts.
Build clients often come to us having done little (if any) coordinated marketing. To make the most of their budgets, we’ll focus heavily on providing a strong foundation for them to increase the number of leads they receive and be in good shape to ramp up marketing in the future.
Some marketing services frequently provided for our build clients include:
- Search engine optimization
- Website conversion optimization
- PPC advertising management, like Google AdWords and Bing Ads
- Link building
- Website copy updates
We recommend these types of services for clients with a limited budget because they’re the minimum requirements that need to be met to realistically compete for a larger market share and awareness. Once these requirements are met, businesses will also be prepared to move into their next phase of marketing.
Mid-size Budgets: Grow
Our “grow” clients have a bit more wiggle room in their budgets.
At this budget level, you can expect to expand upon the foundational “build” tactics. After providing a strong baseline for marketing, we’ll introduce new ways to drive traffic and conversions to increase the speed and rate at which new leads are generated, as well as nurture leads to turn them into customers.
Grow clients frequently come to us when they realize that their goals, while reasonable, aren’t achievable without help. These goals can vary but are often focused around reaching one to three year financial goals or successfully introducing new services or products. Here’s what a few of our grow clients look like:
- Client C cares about staying top-of-mind among B2B leads and customers, so we developed strategic email nurturing campaigns that directly resulted in increases in sales. In addition, we developed blog content that increased their website traffic and improved their website’s organic visibility.
- Client D wanted to better engage their large email list. We overhauled their email strategy, developing a new look for communications and an editorial calendar to dictate what messages we send to their email list and when they should be sent, resulting in an immediate increase in open and click through rates.
Some typical marketing services offered to our grow clients include:
- Email marketing, including automation and drip campaigns
- More Blogging
- Content offer development
- Social media advertising
- Sales and marketing collateral development
- Lead nurturing
These types of tactics, many falling under the inbound marketing umbrella, aren’t just used to drive the right people to our client’s websites, but to turn them into leads who we can continue to market to. Some of our grow clients have long sales cycles — leads may need days, weeks or even months before they can make a purchasing decision. The grow tactics make sure leads are nurtured properly so they can confidently choose to become a customer.
Large Budgets: Accelerate
Of our three client categories, our “accelerate” clients have the largest budgets and biggest goals .
In addition to receiving the foundational and conversion-focused marketing tactics offered to our “build” and “grow” clients, accelerate clients turn things up a notch by focusing on generating demand and increasing brand awareness among their key audiences.
Accelerate clients have often seen traction with their previous marketing efforts but need help getting to the next level. Some have a strong foundation in place, while others need help overhauling their entire brand. Here’s what some of our accelerate clients look like:
- We’ve helped Client E grow their revenue by taking an account-based marketing (ABM) approach to promote their products to specific target organizations. In addition to direct mail and sales enablement activities for the ABM campaign, we’ve helped them make a splash at trade shows, with pre- and post-show digital marketing and day-of-event printed collateral.
- Client F needed a brand overhaul, so we redesigned their website, updated their print collateral, product photos and branded videos. In addition to updating their brand aesthetic, we created blog, social and infographic content to help increase their reach.
Some typical marketing services offered to our accelerate clients include:
- Account-based marketing (ABM)
- Content syndication
- Trade show and event marketing
- Traditional advertising, including radio, billboard and print
- Direct mail
These services take our build and grow marketing efforts to the next level. Whether by using a laser-focused approach, like with ABM and event marketing, or by introducing or reinforcing a brand through a broad-stroke awareness campaign, like with traditional advertising efforts, these approaches can only succeed with the proper foundation to support them.
Whether you’re looking to build, grow or accelerate, we can help you make the most of your marketing dollars. If you’re unsure where you should start, it usually makes sense for businesses that have never marketed before to take a crawl-walk-run approach. This allows you to begin with a “build” plan where you create the foundation for your marketing, then move into a “grow” phase once you’ve started to see some success and are best optimized for future success. Note, there are exceptions to this strategy (if you’re at a well-funded startup, for example, you might be ready to blaze through to the next phase) but we find this works best for most small businesses with modest budgets.If you’d like to learn how we can help your business achieve its goals, you can reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.