Why a “Full-Service” Marketing Firm is Important to You


Why a “Full-Service” Marketing Firm is Important to You

You may know what it is like: You meet with someone from a “marketing” firm who tries to push their product on you, instead of listening to your needs — and then you find out that the firm really isn’t full-service but actually just sells a limited range of marketing services.  How frustrating!

I can totally relate — when I was Director of Marketing at Deloitte & Touche in Orange County, California, I had the opportunity to interview the “best” public relations and advertising firms in the area.  No matter whom we interviewed, when we asked them a general question, such as “What is the best way to build our image in the marketplace?” invariably their answer always came back to the product/service that they sold. They were just trying to pitch their product, not serve our needs! In other words, the advertising agencies’ answer was always “advertising!” and the PR firms’ answer was always “public relations!”

So, I saw a huge need for a full-service marketing firm that truly understood the needs of CPAs, lawyers and other professionals. My firm was formed in 1991 to do so and we continue as a full-service marketing firm to this day.

What a full-service marketing firm can do for you
Since marketing is the broadest business discipline, there are numerous techniques available. Each has its own attributes and drawbacks.   So, which is best for your situation?  So, which is best for your needs?  You need to work with a firm that can guide you in selecting what is best and expertly provide the highest quality across a broad range of services.

Even if your need may be limited to a project, such as website development, you will be far better off working with a professional that understands marketing strategy (so that your website incorporates effective branding, targeted marketing, etc.).

At Kevin Brown Marketing & Consulting, we offer virtually every marketing service that your firm might need, including: Outsourcing of Marketing Projects, Advertising, Public Relations, Marketing Materials, Strategic Business Advisory Services and our unique “Part-Time Director of Marketing™”.  All services are directed by Kevin W. Brown, M.B.A., a nationally-recognized expert with over 25 years of experience.

How to select a full-service marketing firm
First of all, a truly full-service firm will have the credentials to offer those services.  Are they truly marketing consultants or are they no more than a public relations firm or advertising agency or website development company?  Most qualified marketing professionals have degrees in marketing, not communications, and many have graduate degrees such as an M.B.A.. They should also have experience in all areas of marketing, which enables them to select and integrate those marketing components that will work best for your needs.

Watch out for the PR and advertising agencies that call themselves “full service” and may even list a range of marketing services.  Around 99% of the time they are staffed by “journalism” and “communications” majors, not business or marketing majors.  So they didn’t really understand how a business runs and how to help it, much less a professional services practice.

Second, the firm needs to have a track record of providing full-service capabilities.  Check out the firm’s reputation. Ask them what they have done for similar firms, including strategies and results. Then check with these clients and ask for their impressions.

Third, the firm needs to understand strategic planning and to be able to provide valuable guidance.  Ask whether they create strategies, implement them, or both.  Singular marketing activities are most effective when they are part of an overall strategic plan. Yet a great plan is less useful unless a knowledgeable person actively implements it. The most valuable consultants are able to properly analyze your business and market, develop an appropriate plan with objectives and strategies,

Fourth, the firm’s services should not only be a full-range but also of the highest quality.  Ask for examples of all the services that you may need.  The firm’s reputation and length of time in business will be a great testimony to its ability to provide a full range of services.  For example, my firm’s “Part-Time Director of Marketing™” service, which was the first in the U.S.A. to offer this service, is built upon the foundation of being able to fully provide a complete range of marketing expertise.

Fifth, choose a firm that specializes in marketing for professionals (lawyers, CPA, financial services, etc.).  Why pay for a generalist when you can have someone who truly understands your market and how to motivate potential clients?  From the outset of my firm, I developed the slogans “The Specialists in Professional Services Marketing™” and “The Specialists in Law Firm Marketing™”. We feel that we can serve those markets as well or better than anyone.