Priority Marketing has been serving Southwest Florida with marketing solutions for nearly 20 years now, so there are very few questions we haven’t heard! Here are a few of the best questions to ask when evaluating a marketing firm and our answers.

If you have additional questions we don’t cover here, please leave a comment and we’ll be happy to respond with an answer.

How are You Different from Independent Contractors?
Thinking of starting your own agency? That’s pretty much what you’re taking on when you decide to employ sole proprietors, known as freelancers or independent contractors. There are many talented freelance designers, copywriters, website programmers, event planners and media relations experts out there. There are times when it is appropriate to use them. However, if you want a well-rounded strategic marketing effort and don’t have a dedicated full-time marketing director on staff to direct and coordinate the efforts of your independent contractors, that responsibility will fall on your shoulders. A true full-service agency has an established team of professionals dedicated to taking that burden off the client, including account managers who are adept at coordinating marketing efforts strategically and efficiently for optimum results. As a team, we can do things more quickly and more cost efficiently, and we are accountable every step of the way. Therefore, you are free to do what you do best – run your business!

Why Not Hire a Consultant?
Hiring a marketing consultant should provide you with the experienced manager you need to coordinate independent contractors, but what happens when an immediate need arises and your consultant is in a meeting, traveling or otherwise unavailable? No one person can be physically “on-call” all the time – but a team of people can be much more responsive and accommodating. When you hire a full-service agency, you hire an entire team of professionals who are experienced at working together to address long-range goals as well as unexpected situations. There are multiple people who are familiar with your account and can take the ball and run with it when necessary. Furthermore, the collective experiences, talents and connections of the team provide a greater depth of knowledge and value than one individual consultant can offer. Collectively, we’ve worked in almost every industry, and we rarely come across a situation someone on staff isn’t already experienced with.

What About That New Agency – Aren’t They Hungrier for My Business?
An agency values all of its clients, and an experienced, established firm can offer several things a new agency doesn’t. For example, the established agency has already established relationships in the marketing community, particular with vendors, the news media and advertising sales reps. We know who to rely on to provide quality printing, specialty items, catering, website programming and more. We know the editors and reporters we’re pitching your story to and enjoy a mutual respect that has been developed over many years of collaboration. We also negotiate with ad reps on a regular basis and enjoy the status of a preferred customer with many. Finally, if you’ve ever visited a restaurant on opening night, you already know the downside of working with a new business. Chances are the appetizers come out cold, the server doesn’t refill your drink, and the bill isn’t right. A year later, you may enjoy an amazing experience at the same place, but they just haven’t worked out the bugs yet.

Do You Practice What You Preach?
There’s an old adage that goes: “It’s the shoemaker’s children who go without shoes.” All too often it’s true for marketing firms, some of which don’t take the time to follow their own counsel. Our business has grown largely through the referrals of satisfied clients, it’s true, but we are dedicated to actively practicing what we preach. Think twice about hiring an agency that doesn’t have a blog but wants to create yours, hasn’t updated its website in five years and won’t tell you how they market themselves. Marketing our own business keeps us in touch with the client’s perspective and allows us to fine-tune emerging tactics so we are prepared to provide them to clients.

How Experienced Are You in Cutting Edge Media Marketing Tactics?
We believe we are one of the most innovative firms in Southwest Florida. The next question should be: “Will you stay that way?” Technology advances rapidly these days, and that has a huge impact on marketing. As a team, we make a coordinated effort to stay a step ahead of every new trend and advancement that affects our industry, including social media marketing, green marketing and cause marketing. Now, more than ever, it is important to understanding how social factors affect consumer decision making, and social influences can change just as rapidly as technological innovation. We are committed to ongoing professional development and applying our experience to strategically using new advancements to the client’s advantage.