How to Get More Value From Marketing Suppliers

October 30, 2023

Importance of Marketing Suppliers to Businesses.

Marketing suppliers are the lifeblood of modern business. They bring expertise, resources, and specialised skills that can supercharge your brand's growth. These partners can be pivotal in reaching your target audience effectively, driving sales, and building your brand's reputation. Whether it's a digital marketing agency, graphic designer, or a content creator, their contributions are invaluable.

In a dynamic marketplace, where trends shift rapidly, marketing suppliers keep your strategies current. They bring fresh perspectives and industry insights that help you stay ahead of the curve. For most businesses, the ability to focus on core competencies while relying on marketing experts is a game-changer. A strong partnership with marketing suppliers can be a competitive advantage, ensuring that your business remains relevant and resonates with your target audience.

16 Examples of Marketing Suppliers.

Marketing suppliers offer a wide range of services and resources to help businesses effectively promote their products or services to their target audiences. The choice of supplier depends on the specific marketing needs and goals of the business. Here are 14 types of marketing supplier:

  1. Digital Marketing Agency: These agencies specialise in online marketing, including SEO, PPC, social media, remarketing, and content marketing.
  2. Graphic Designers: Graphic designers create visually appealing assets such as logos, banners, and infographics for marketing materials.
  3. Content Marketing Agency: These agencies provide content creation services, including blog posts, articles, videos, and other forms of content.
  4. Printers: For businesses that use print marketing materials, printers supply brochures, flyers, posters, and other printed items.
  5. Market Research Firms: They provide data and insights into market trends, consumer behavior, and competitor analysis.
  6. Public Relations (PR) Agencies: PR firms help with media relations, press releases, and reputation management.
  7. Event Management Companies: For businesses that organise events, event management companies can handle planning, promotion, and execution.
  8. Promotional Product Suppliers: These suppliers offer branded promotional products like pens, apparel, or giveaways for marketing campaigns.
  9. Media Buying Agencies: Specialising in purchasing ad space in various media, such as TV, radio, print, and digital.
  10. Photographers and Videographers: For businesses needing high-quality visual content for marketing purposes.
  11. Web Development and Design Agencies: These agencies create and maintain websites that align with a company's branding and marketing strategy.
  12. Influencer Marketing Agencies: Agencies that connect businesses with relevant influencers to promote their products or services.
  13. Direct Mail Services: Suppliers that handle direct mail campaigns, including design, printing, and mailing services.
  14. Marketplaces and Ad Networks: Platforms like Amazon, Google Ads, and Facebook Ads where businesses can advertise their products or services.
  15. Telemarketing Services: Firms that conduct phone-based marketing campaigns and lead generation.
  16. Copywriting Services: Writers who create persuasive and compelling marketing copy for various materials, including advertisements, websites, and brochures.

What Constitutes a Low-Performing Marketing Supplier?

A low-performing marketing supplier can be the Achilles' heel of your business, draining resources and hindering growth. Identifying one is the first step towards addressing this challenge. Signs of a subpar supplier include inconsistent results, missed deadlines, and a lack of innovation. They might not align with your brand's values and goals, leading to a disconnect in your marketing efforts.

A low-performing partner may also struggle to adapt to market changes or provide poor communication and customer service. To rise above the competition, your business needs marketing that shines and a low-performing agency can drag your business down and prevent you from reaching your full potential. It's essential to recognise the signs early and take action to rectify the situation.

How to Tell if Your Marketing Supplier Is Under-Performing?

Identifying an under-performing marketing supplier is essential for maintaining a thriving business. Signs of underperformance include:

  • Missed Targets: If your supplier consistently fails to meet set goals, it's a red flag.
  • Inconsistent Results: Fluctuating or declining performance is a clear sign of trouble.
  • Lack of Communication: Poor or infrequent communication can hinder your collaboration.
  • Unwillingness to Adapt: If your supplier resists change and innovation, they may be under-performing.
  • Stagnant Strategy: A failure to evolve with market trends is a critical concern.

Don't settle for mediocrity. Address these issues through open communication and set clear expectations. If the underperformance continues, consider seeking alternative suppliers who can better meet your business needs.

"Marketing suppliers are essential to modern business, providing expertise and resources to supercharge growth. Identifying an under-performing supplier and challenging them in the right way is crucial for success.

Paul Mills
CEO & Founder, VCMO

Key Steps in Creating Effective Marketing Supplier Relationships.

Building effective relationships with marketing suppliers is crucial for success. Here are some key steps:

  • Clear Expectations: Define roles, responsibilities, and goals upfront to avoid misunderstandings.
  • Open Communication: Foster transparent and regular communication to ensure alignment.
  • Mutual Trust: Build trust by delivering on promises and valuing your supplier's expertise.
  • Feedback Loop: Provide constructive feedback and encourage them to do the same for you.
  • Flexibility: Be open to adapting strategies and collaborating on creative solutions.
  • Long-term Perspective: View the relationship as a partnership, not a transaction.

By following these steps, you'll create a strong foundation for a productive, long-lasting partnership with your marketing supplier.

6 Factors to Consider When Challenging a Marketing Supplier’s Performance.

Challenging a marketing supplier's performance is a critical decision that should be approached methodically. Factors to consider include:

  1. Consistency of Underperformance: Is the problem recurring, or is it an isolated incident?
  2. Contractual Agreements: Review the terms of your contract and any service level agreements.
  3. Data and Metrics: Analyse performance data to validate claims of underperformance.
  4. Communication: Assess whether your concerns have been adequately communicated and addressed.
  5. Alternatives: Are there other suppliers available who might better meet your needs?
  6. Legal and Financial Implications: Consider the legal and financial repercussions of challenging the supplier.

Before taking action, communicate your concerns with the supplier and attempt to resolve the issues collaboratively. If this fails, you may need to explore alternative suppliers to ensure your marketing needs are met effectively and efficiently.

How VCMO Can Support You to Get More Value From Marketing Suppliers.

Our Fractional Marketing Executives can be hired to evaluate your marketing suppliers and get more value form them. We can act as a bridge between your business and your marketing suppliers, promoting a harmonious and efficient working partnership. Here are some examples of where we add value:

  • Supplier Selection: Assessing the business's marketing needs and objectives, then help identify and choose the right marketing suppliers tailored to those requirements.
  • Vendor Evaluation: Conducting thorough evaluations of potential marketing suppliers, considering factors like their track record, industry expertise, and compatibility with the business.
  • Contract Negotiation: Leveraging our expertise to negotiate favourable contracts, ensuring clear terms, performance metrics, and service level agreements are in place.
  • Performance Monitoring: Establish key performance indicators (KPIs) and regularly monitor supplier performance against these benchmarks, ensuring suppliers meet their commitments.
  • Conflict Resolution: In case of performance issues or disputes, mediating discussions and work towards resolutions that benefit both parties.
  • Alignment with Business Goals: Ensure that marketing suppliers understand and align their efforts with the overarching business goals and strategies.
  • Resource Allocation: Allocating resources effectively by managing the budget and ensuring that resources are allocated optimally among different marketing suppliers.
  • Communication and Collaboration: Facilitating open communication between the business and marketing suppliers, fostering collaboration and synergy among all parties.
  • Feedback Loop: Establishing a feedback loop where both the business and the marketing suppliers provide constructive feedback to continually improve strategies and performance.
  • Strategic Planning: Working with marketing suppliers to develop and execute comprehensive marketing strategies that address long-term business objectives.
  • Adaptation to Market Changes: Keeping an eye on market trends and changes and ensure that marketing suppliers adapt their strategies to remain effective in a dynamic environment.
  • Innovation and Creativity: Encouraging marketing suppliers to bring innovative and creative ideas to the table, staying ahead of competitors and engaging the target audience.

What to do next...

Explore our services below or get in touch to discuss how we can help you solve your marketing challenge.