An insanely important factor when hiring a marketing agency is determining if they are a great culture fit. Many businesses want to hire the big shiny agency because they think that will automatically ensure success. This could be true if the agency's brand culture is aligned with your industry, but what if it's not?
Culture begins with aligned core values
First and foremost, any seasoned company has developed a set of core values. Core values are an essential piece of the puzzle for a good culture fit. If your core values conflict with a partnering entity like a marketing agency, it could breed disaster.
What happens with a bad culture fit
The short version? You lose customers. Your advertising might give your customers an incorrect view of your business, and you could lose out to a competitor. One of the fundamental truths in the marketing world is consumers are looking for REAL companies. People know BS when they see it, and it's an immediate turn-off.
Speaking of turn-offs, how about: core values that don't have meaning behind them.
Any 5th grader with a thesaurus can come up with some awe-inspiring terms. But what happens when these words don't reflect the brand?
Guess whose core value this is:
"Strive to earn the respect and trust of our customers."
Well, only one of the most hated companies in America, that's who — Comcast. Back in 2015, more ISP complaints were filed against Comcast than the next three largest ISP providers (AT&T, Verizon, and Time Warner Cable) combined. It doesn't sound like their customers really respect or trust them.
Now imagine the reverse: you have a great brand and company culture, but your marketing doesn't reflect it and sends an entirely wrong message. If you and your marketing agency can't get on the same page, how will you attract your right audience?
Hire FOR culture
It's a no-brainer that if you are looking to hire a partner, they should reflect the same commitment to excellence that you have for your business. When applied to hiring a marketing agency, remember these people will be creating the first impression of your company. Your marketing materials must emulate exactly what, how, and why you do what you do.
Take some time to vet an agency and figure out if they represent values that you believe in. We try only to work with companies who are a culture fit, and that begins with like-minded beliefs and values.
How we learned the hard way
Back when SIX was just getting started, we would take any work that came our way. Big mistake. We had some clients ask us to implement shady tactics like Black Hat SEO and enlisting bad competitor reviews. We stopped working with them almost immediately.
They didn't represent our beliefs and compromised our commitment to running an honorable business. No money in the world is worth your brand's reputation.
Our SIX core values
Not every company has developed core values; it took us some serious time to figure out our own. If you are looking for some examples, below is a list of ours. We aren't saying ours are perfect, but they are us and that's what's important.
We believe in honest communication, complete transparency, and utmost respect when addressing clients and team members alike.
Every day, we try to help someone. This could be a business solution or a team member with a personal problem. We promote family because we treat one another as such. It’s important to us to give back what we can, when we can.
We are a team of calculated risk-takers. No company ever succeeded by doing what everyone else does. A logical approach with unique strategy prevails with amazing results.
SIX believes that creativity is the major differentiator among marketing agencies. We produce unique, innovative, and never-before-seen approaches to common problems.
STRIVE FOR 1%
A fundamental component of SIX is to strive for continuous improvement. We believe in continually learning toward establishing towering competence. Every day, we try to learn something more about our craft, improve upon it, and execute it the next day. Our clients succeed because of our unbridled passion to never settle for the status quo.
Your Next Marketing Agency
If our core values just made you think "Boom, that's exactly us," then give us a holler. If not, still give us a call because we may be able to help you find the perfect marketing agency for your business.
And remember, don't be a Comcast!