Selling a service is much harder than selling a product that customers can touch and feel. Marketing companies are constantly working to prove their value to potential customers. To attract new business to the firm, a marketing company can take advantage of many tools to find, contact and retain customers.
With the number of social media services available online, it is easier than ever for marketing companies to find new business. Online networking can be as simple as setting up a Facebook fan page or finding potential contacts through LinkedIn. Companies participating in online media should regularly monitor key phrases like "need marketing help" or "need to grow my business." Additionally, marketing company representatives should join online groups where they can participate in forums and share their expertise with potential customers looking for marketing services.
One of the strongest ways to find new business is through referral networking. There are countless local referral networking groups throughout the U.S., where each group has representation from one business per category. Groups such as Business Networking International (BNI) require members to share leads. Marketing companies should always ask current clients for referrals because most people prefer to work with someone they know or someone who comes highly recommended.
Sponsorships can be a wise investment for marketing companies looking to expand their client base. Choose events that you feel will be well-attended by potential leads. Sponsoring a chamber of commerce event or local community event is an effective way to let businesses know about your services. Additionally, sponsoring the marketing efforts for a nonprofit often leads to paid work with other businesses that support the charity.
Bidding on RFPs
Marketing companies that want to gain new business in the large corporate sector or government sector should bid on Requests for Proposals (RFPs). RFPs typically outline a specific project and request several marketing companies to bid for the work. Although the competition for jobs is high, typically the rewards are great. By creating boilerplate RFP responses, and customizing when necessary, marketing companies can bid on hundreds of projects a year. If their pricing and service offerings are a match, the process is a win-win for both parties.
Creating partnerships with businesses that are tangent to the services you provide is a smart way to find new clients. For instance, a print production company and a marketing company make a strong partnership. Within the partnership agreement, each tries to cross-sell its current customers on the additional services the partner company provides.
Based in Miami, Kristen Bennett has been writing for business and pleasure since 1999. Bennett's work has appeared online at MarketWatch, The Motley Fool and in several internal company publications. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in economics from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.