Marketing is an increasingly powerful tool that is more important than ever in helping companies attract and retain new customers. A well-managed marketing strategy also helps refine your brand’s voice and differentiate it from competitors in your industry. Directing this strategy requires skill and expertise, which is why many companies use a white-label marketing service to ensure quality, minimize costs, and focus on running their core business.
What Is White-Label Marketing?
White-label marketing, also known as private-label marketing, refers to when a company hires an outside agency or service to provide various digital and other marketing services. The campaigns and content that the white-label marketing service provides are then published or distributed under the actual purchasing company’s brand, such that the white-label marketing provider is effectively “invisible” in the process.
This is similar to a carton of milk that bears the brand name of the grocery store that sells it rather than that of the dairy farm that produced it. White-label marketing firms provide numerous services that can effectively reduce your marketing costs while maximizing your return on investment. By essentially outsourcing these activities, you’ll benefit from the expertise of skilled marketing professionals and allow team members to focus on core operations.
What Kinds of Services Do They Provide?
Before you begin evaluating different white-label marketing providers, it’s important to sit down with your company leaders and identify exactly which services you need. An e-commerce website has very different marketing needs than an entertainment company that sells physical experiences. Carefully consider questions such as how important social media activity is for your business.
Content creation is a critical piece of modern marketing strategy for companies in almost every industry, so be sure to assess a potential partner’s ability to produce creative content on a consistent basis. Ask about their search engine optimization (SEO) strategies and tactics, as these will ensure that your content and website maintain consistently high rankings in search engine results.
Quality of Offerings
A marketing service provider should be willing to share past projects to illustrate how effectively they can deliver the results you seek. Ask about what problems other clients have hired them to help solve and evaluate the strategic solutions they came up with to address them. Once you have a strong sense of how they plan and think, you can analyze the marketing content they ended up producing to see how well it executes the larger plan.
For instance, let’s say a past client hired them to create content that would extend their brand reach to a younger target demographic. You can then evaluate the marketing content they produced to see how successful they were. Did they use the right tone and language, and did they publish it on the right channels? What were the project’s key performance indicators, and how well did they measure up?
Do They Help You Focus on Running Your Business?
Once you have a wish list of all the marketing services you need to reach your potential, assess that list in terms of the things you’re already doing and those that you’re not. For those marketing activities that you’re already engaged in, analyze how much they’re costing you in terms of manpower and hours spent. If your salespeople are engaged in writing articles for your company website, is it hampering their efforts to make sales?
There are two drawbacks to having your employees perform marketing tasks they may not be suited for. First, their marketing work will likely be poor, as this is a specialized skill that requires talent and experience. Second, the time they spend on marketing takes away from the energy spent on the core tasks that you’re paying them to do. A white-label marketing service should let your team focus on doing what they do best.
Are Your Beliefs Aligned?
As you evaluate marketing service candidates, try to get a sense of how well their company values and beliefs align with your own. Pay particular attention to how they define excellent service in terms of quality and responsiveness. Their standards should meet or exceed your own, as they will conduct marketing activities in your company’s name. Do you trust them to communicate with your clients using the same level of care and responsibility that you would?
Evaluating trust takes time, and can be difficult to assess in any relationship. Consider asking a potential marketing service provider to collaborate on a trial project or campaign. This will allow you to see how well they communicate with you in forming a plan and gives great insight into their core beliefs and operational standards. Armed with this knowledge, you’ll have a much stronger sense of whether you can continue working together.
How Well Do Their Cost Options Suit You?
White-label marketing services have different price plans, so you’ll want to spend time discussing this with each service you’re considering. Remember, the idea behind working with a marketing service provider is that it should improve your marketing output quality while reducing the costs of having to manage this on your own. The right partner will ask smart questions about what you’re trying to achieve and provide you with options according to your budget.
Consider other questions, too, such as whether you’d rather be billed hourly, monthly, or on a milestone delivery basis. Are their payment terms flexible enough to meet your needs? Also, make sure to ask which services are included and which they charge extra for. Some marketing service providers require additional payment for things like in-person meetings, so be sure to get a clear understanding of all cost variables from the beginning.
Can Your Marketing Service Partner Scale Up When You Need Them To?
Scalability is an important factor in any strategic discussion, so you’ll want a strong sense of whether a potential marketing service partner can handle extra demand as your company grows. Successful marketing efforts introduce your brand to new customer segments, and capturing a share of this new market in turn increases demand for creative marketing activities. Can your prospective marketing provider demonstrate their ability to meet these demands?
Apart from needing to communicate with new customers, you may develop a new product or service that needs its own marketing campaign. Does your prospective partner have the capacity to jump on these projects as needed? Do they operate in a scalable fashion, using technological tools that allow them to quickly expand bandwidth? The last thing you want is to waste time evaluating a new marketing agency in the heat of operations.
Can They Keep Up With the Latest Trends?
Marketing is an incredibly fluid field where the rules of the game are constantly evolving. This is especially true in the digital marketing space, where search engine algorithms and SEO tactics require constant attention and innovation. In the most general sense, marketing trends are shaped by shifting consumer demands that must be tracked on a consistent basis. The tools that marketers use to track these trends are increasingly complex.
A good marketing service provider should demonstrate their commitment to using the latest tools and technology to keep their clients ahead of competitors. Try to familiarize yourself with the latest trends in things like SEO, content marketing, and social media management. Take notes on what your competitors are doing and document examples of successful marketing campaigns you’ve seen in other industries. Can your partner deliver something similar?
Communication Is Critical
Clear and effective communication is important in maintaining any relationship, and working with a white label marketing partner is no exception. Pay close attention to how well they communicate goals and vision with you, especially in the early stages. Do they ask questions aimed at achieving the results you desire? When you give them feedback, do they demonstrate how well they listen by incorporating your guidance in subsequent projects and interaction?
Responsiveness is a key aspect of effective communication as well, so take note of how timely and effectively they respond to your concerns. This is particularly important in the early stages of your engagement – if they are unresponsive when things are calm, how bad will it be when project deadlines and the pressure to deliver come into play?
Transparency Is Important
Transparency is somewhat related to communication in that you’ll want open and consistent access to how your marketing partner operates. They are effectively acting as an extension of your company, so they should establish a system that makes it easy for you to track project progress. Beyond simple communication, transparency allows you to track things like whether your partner has adequate staff to handle demand as your company continues to grow.
Try to come to an agreement on which key performance indicators will be used, and expect your partner to be open in demonstrating how well they’re doing. Another important aspect of transparency is the ability and willingness to communicate when project scope may be outside their area of expertise. They should be honest about their firm’s capabilities from the very beginning to avoid delivering poor results.
Consider How Important Location Is to You
In-person meetings are less and less important with today’s sophisticated virtual communication tools, especially for outsourced solutions such as white label marketing. However, there are other factors related to physical location that you may want to consider. Time zone is a potentially important factor, as it’s easier to align project delivery timelines and schedule conference calls if your provider is not on the other side of the world.
There are other benefits for US-based companies that choose to work with US-based marketing service providers. One is avoiding the language barrier that comes with outsourcing marketing to other nations. While companies in places such as Asia and the UK may speak English, you will run into issues with culture and terminology. In addition, sharing information with outside nations may subject you to unwanted security risks that require special attention.
Check Their References
As with any company you’re considering working with, ask for references of clients they’ve worked with in the past. As part of your due diligence, call these references and ask about their experience working with the marketing service you’re considering. How easy were they to work with, and did they deliver the results they promised in a timely fashion? Have they continued working with them, or would they work with them again in the future?
Use These Tips to Choose Your Partner
A white-label marketing provider can help save time and money while giving your company a tremendous competitive advantage. Choosing the right service is important, so use these tips as you consider which partner is right for you. Contact SteadyContent to learn more about our marketing service offerings and receive 50% off your first order.