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How to find the best contractor

by Trevor Punt

Trevor Punt, director TBG Group, outlines the pitfalls to avoid when appointing a marketing contractor.

With the continuing advent of technology and new marketing tactics it can be almost impossible for organisers to stay on top of the latest trends, which makes picking the right contractor a decision not to be taken lightly.

Don’t ignore research

Before you start looking for a contractor carry out thorough background research. A good marketer should have a good understanding of their industry, their customers, who the buyers are, the best channels to reach them and what marketing messages they’re likely to respond to. 

Don’t think telepathy works

A phone call can convey expected capabilities, iron out any issues, get to know the team and discover any personality clashes which could be detrimental to the success of your marketing.  

Don’t be vague

Send out a detailed ‘request for proposal’ (RFP). An RFP will help determine the company that best meets your criteria and budget. Detail will make the search for the best marketing option so much easier.

Don’t think big means best

Speed, quality, excellence, innovation and reliability may be better from a smaller supplier

Don’t choose wacky over strategy

Creativity is important, but a strategy led solution will deliver results such as leads generated, website visitors and conversion.

Don’t expect them to know what they’re doing

Most marketers are probably well-versed in a specific discipline or two but probably not so well versed in all of them.

Don’t expect a contractor to be working on your project every day

Your project is a big deal to you, but for your contractor it’s just another job. Contractors juggle jobs, which means that they’re almost definitely NOT going to be there every day. 

Don’t tell a contractor your budget 

Tell a contractor the budget is £20k and they’ll find a way to make their bid £20k. Get proposals from several contractors so you can compare costs and services.

Don’t tell a contractor that you’re not in a hurry

Communicate timelines, weekly expectations and let the contractor know that they will lose money if the job is not completed within a reasonable timeframe.

Don’t Agree to a “Gentleman’s Agreement”

A contract signed by both parties will ensure that everyone knows and agrees terms otherwise your project may become one big profanity-laced tirade. 

These might seem like simple guidelines, but they’re a lot more difficult to practice in real life. Everyone tries to take shortcuts. Don’t take shortcuts with contractors or you will regret it. 

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