What should I look for when searching for a product launch marketing firm?
So I'm building a great new mobile app. It's turning into a business, with investors, and great momentum. The development is being done locally (Kansas City) and that's fantastic. But when it's done, I have to get it in the hands of users. Throwing it out on an app store isn't going to do it alone. Any thoughts on how to hire a firm to help with marketing and strategy here? Thanks!
EXPERIENCE, EXPERIENCE, EXPERIENCE........ is the key word for me! We are actually IN Product Launches and Brand Building - and have found that a few success stories - together with performance facts and figures - sell our services to any new client. We found that if we are able to produce SOLID EXPERIENCE in say, 80% of the client needs - they are still happy to "risk" with you on the balance. Been doing this for 35 years. Also no harm in approaching 3 - 4 companies - give them a brief - request a proposed outline "pitch" from them. Good luck, Kind regards,
This is a critical stage for your firm and your investors.
There should be 2 key objectives here:
1) Find those firms who are willing to provide and live with specific, measurable outcomes; just like when you sourced a firm to develop your app I'm sure you used an SOW. It should be no different here.
Outcomes the firm is so confident in they are willing to tie a significant portion of THEIR compensation to, not just yours. If they are unwilling, hit the door. Why have confidence in them if they have no confidence in themselves.
These should only be outcomes they have total control over; web page ranking movement, web hits, CTR, conversions to presentations, etc..
2) Have them provide a COMPLETE list of clients, not just a few they cherry picked. CALL THEM to make sure what they stated was true.
EVERYONE is the world's greatest marketer during the sales pitch. Very few ever produce the results they state.
Good luck and congrats.
Many will show you their portfolios but it is results you are looking for. Find agencies who have sold art online, make sure they sold to the same market your art caters too, then see if they've built enough business so it is sustainable.
Many marketing firms are started by artist and not marketers so they create beautiful ads that get people to smile but not contact you. Look for the company that gets contacts for you.
Check our website out at: www.viralconceptsmedia.com.....you will see many tips and pointers....focus on the LEVEL of services and the PRICE fr that level.....are you getting personal services or is the service cold.....I would be glad to talk with you and go over some strategies and Ideas I would suggest to you.....we strive to give high level services that stay in the clients budget.
Viral Concepts Media
KVCM Internet Radio
Most mid to large size marketing agencies don't do all the work. They focus on the tasks that fit their expertise, and field the rest out to other agencies. You may be better off finding a small agency who will handle all of it. You would be a priority client and get most, if not all, of their attention. I'm in St. Louis if you want to chat.
Hi Brian , I recommend you to look in the market & prepare a list of the most ten or twenty famous mobile app. in your market , then begin to search for the agencies that marketed those apps. Finally contact them one by one till you reach to the most suitable agency for your budget & your plan . If you did that , you will build your choice on a real field result.
You will need to ask about :-
1- The basis of choosing their clients (are they doing segmentation or not)
2- The expected market share for your app.
3- If they are still working with any competitor company
4- Their tools in marketing
Hope this be helpful for you ..
Well the best way to find out would be by an analogy, you can either be an eager client who needs a marketing firm at the same time a fence sitter, who is a non-engaging passer by. Then announce your intention to hire a marketing firm and let them sell their marketing services, pay attention to their marketing skills, take not that brands are losing its juices markets nowadays don't often pay attention to a promising value proposition instead they are more to customer orientation and lovemark approach. Its practically about Crossing the Chasm. I have here in my blog some tips.
Hello Brian. I'm not sure what kind of potential investors you have, but they usually have a strong network of professional organisations or teams they could recommend. Look there first. Still ask the relevant questions. The challenge with a cold company is that most of them are well schooled in presentations and answering questions. They know more than you know. Look to strong recommendations from potential investors, they have a vested interest as well.
Brian ... You may want to look into http://www.agencyfinder.com. They can walk you through the process of looking for an agency to help you launch your app.
Their search engine has a lot of criteria (industry, size, location, services offered, etc.) you can use in help you search for an agency. There is no cost to you the client to conduct a search.
You'll need to register as a client. You'll input and describe what you are looking for and your budget among other things. You'll conduct an initial search and select some agencies you maybe interested in based on your search criteria.
Their representatives will follow up with you to help you further define your scope of work and the type of agency you are looking to hire. They'll also help you weed out prospective agencies.
From there you'll have a phone interview with a list of agencies. Those agencies will identify if they are interested in moving to the next phase of the selection process. You'll then arrange face-to-face meetings and then you'll select one to work with.
AgencyFinder.com conducts hundreds of searches every month.
I think you need to look at the following.
1.) History of the agency.
2.) Size of the agency.
3.) Biographies of the agency's main principles.
4.) What services they offer.
5.) Clients they've worked with.
6.) Review case studies.
7.) What is their agency-client philosophy. Meaning how do they work with a client.
8.) How do they work with long distant clients.
9.) What are the steps and processes used to identify the client's needs, goals, budget, etc.
Lastly, I know you are a start-up, but one thing I see on a daily basis with start-ups is they have totally unrealistic expectations as to what can be accomplished with the amount of money they have to work with. Meaning they have champagne dreams with a beer ... no soda/pop ... budget.
Because you are a start-up you need 10% of your projected annual revenue from all elements of sales and marketing, if not more since you probably need a comprehensive corporate identity developed among many other things.
While the rage is all about SEO today, that only goes so far for a company that has no brand awareness. So you are going to need public relations, display advertising, content marketing and other outbound tactics in order to help build that brand awareness that will cause your prospective clients to start searching for your product and company and inbound marketing become effective.
I believe you are going to need at least 6 months from the date an agency begins outbound marketing to begin seeing significant results. Prior to launch of any campaign you're going to need about 12-16 weeks (3-4 months) for conducting research, developing the appropriate strategy and plan and creating needed corporate materials, sales information and advertising and promotional materials.
Brian, the obvious is your customer base, A need for what you will produce. if you truly believe the app is revolutionary, contact Google Apps or another major firm in development.you may have to share the glory, shave a few points for the development team, but certainly they are the largest, app and developers in the market today. you must secure your app from theft as well, patent infringements, intellectual properties infringements and such. Be sure to control the rights of 55% or more.
As a couple of others have mentioned here, you may wish to consider looking outside of a launch agency partner scenario, and consider either a) traditional self promotion internet marketing, or b) finding a seasoned internet marketing JV partner who can shepherd the app into a highly successful affiliate supported launch scenario.
The two benefits here are maintaining more control and possibly a higher earning potential... plus the ability to develop future partnership in a big community of internet marketers for future launches.
Doing this correctly depends, of course, on the target audience, and potential upsell and/or side sell opportunities you might be able to offer alongside the app.
I'd be more than glad to connect directly to point you in the right direction on what I've outlined above, should it be of interest to explore.
When you surrender your market to any Agency whether for creation or as a franchise, then you remain only as producer and not Entrepreneur.
In my view, you should have a control in the Market thru a channel of franchise in various marketing expertise and you can remain a chief Coordinator. This will give you an established market for future products.
I am also going to put it out there and let you know that I would love to develop and execute a strategic marketing launch for you.. It is already happening in my head, actually!
I can help you on FB marketing and setting up your sales funnel.. you can skype me.. Adam Urban
In addition to a good marketing firm there are some automated marketing systems out there that could help you with launching your app. I have been using one for my business that has proven itself to be an excellent resource for leading a person to a end goal. I feel that you may be able to apply this in your situation. You can reach out to me for more details. Have a great day!
Congrats on the initial success, Brian. That's a great start. I'm assuming this is a consumer (and not business) app? Here's a couple tips:
1. I would highly recommend looking at smaller specialty shops that have demonstrated experience in launching consumer tech of any kind (apps, software, perhaps even hardware if you can't find the others) Mid to large size agencies probably won't be overly interested unless you have a sizable recurring budget, unless they are struggling for revenue, but even then you would probably get lower tier resources. In any case, let them know the realistic budget and length of time up front, you don't want to drag out the process if they aren't going to be interested in the long term.
2. The firms should specialize in not just social media, but also influencer identification/relation programs (you can also find some cheap or free to tools to do this yourself, but it can be time consuming). The resources should then have the right connections with tech and consumer influencers and media that can include your app in round-ups or dedicated articles and expose your product to their audiences.
3. Would also be good if they have social advertising, SEO and SEM experience. These will likely provide the most targeted and cost-effective solutions for scalable acquisition.
4. If your app is something that is meant to be something with longer term engagement, you should also find out what CRM and marketing automation experience they have.
5. If you don't have the product positioning and brand messages down just yet, ask them what experience they have in that as well.
Lastly, when you are ready, try a couple groups on LinkedIn (e.g. digital marketing) to post a short, but comprehensive ask for your needs. I'm sure you'll get some biz dev people tracking you down that way.
Consider holistic Internet marketing. Here is a mind map of all the critical elements that should be considered in the digital ~
You need a hybrid agency that can help you create and execute an inbound marketing strategy. You will need to create buyer personas and then a strategy that involves some traditional marketing, PR and inbound marketing.
As for the type of firm you hire, make sure that have a good mix of traditional advertising & PR experience but are very skilled at inbound marketing.
Your arrangement should be value and results based not based on billable hours. The agency should start with your goals and work on strategies and tactics to reach them.
I would definitely ask about the following specifics. I am not sure what the app is for or what your company is about, but here is a small guideline of what you should be looking for:
1. If the company specializes in digital marketing and mobile, do they provide geo-fencing for your apps?
2.Do they have a proven tracking system to geo-target customers and see how your app is performing as far as conversions, site visitors, etc?
3. Is there a plan for social media marketing and blogging to promote or include the app?
4. Are they using or are experts at SEO best practices? Would this be integrated as part of your website?
Hope this helps!