South Jersey Small Businesses Need Marketing Help

South Jersey Small Businesses Need Marketing Help

In southern New Jersey there are approximately 189,621 nonfarm* and nonemployer** establishments, according to the 2010 census. From Burlington County down to Cape May County, you’ll find about 25% of the businesses in New Jersey.

Most of these business will require some type of design or marketing service regularly or periodically. From flyers to websites to social media, the marketing needs of a small business owner are many. A fortunate few have designers or marketing professionals on staff to handle their needs. But for the vast majority, they’ll need to find an outside marketing partner.

How to select a South Jersey marketing partner?

The predicament of selecting a marketing or design partner is not unique to just southern New Jersey businesses. But since South Jersey seems to have an abundance of family-owned businesses, as most suburban and regional areas do, the choice of who to trust is more important and personal.

Ask trusted sources for recommendations

One of the best ways to find someone you can rely on and trust is to ask someone you trust who they’re using. After all, if they’re happy with them and believe they’re doing a good job, that’s a good endorsement. If you don’t know anyone to ask - reach out to various regional associations, such as the Art Directors Club, The Graphic Arts Association, or your local Chamber or the South Jersey Chamber of Commerce. All of these organization can likely provide lists of reputable marketing and design firms, or can connect you with members who can provide recommendations.

What to look for in a marketing partner.

Partnering with a firm to help market your business is similar to dating and then getting married. Hopefully, you’ll find the right partner and it’ll lead to a long, prosperous outcome. But be prepared to ask difficult questions about their history and past dalliances. Avoid being swayed by fancy portfolios and awards; instead ask about the results they’ve achieved for their clients. Inquire about how they helped solve marketing and business problems, and what the outcome was.

Don’t be afraid to ask for references. Not that you’d do this with a fiancee, but usually, you’ll know the history of someone you plan to marry. So it’s OK to inquire about a prospective marketing firm’s current or past clients. Don’t hesitate to ask about bad breakups also - how someone handles a bad relationship or the ending of it can tell you a lot about their personalities and how they do business.

Date a little first, before you commit.

Depending on your situation or immediate needs you may be able to try out your preferred marketing firm on a few projects before you commit. Maybe you need a landing page for your website, or a new brochure, or even a simple banner for some upcoming event. When you’re discussing the project, pay attention to the questions they ask you. Avoid the order takers that simply ask what you want on the piece and how big - you’re both new to each other - so they should be asking you much different questions. Such as, why do you want this piece? Who is the audience? What are you trying to communicate? What will be the call to action or the desired outcome that gauges success? The latter questions will demonstrate a marketing acumen that’s focused on results for your business - not simply generating deliverable orders for theirs.

After you’re comfortable, commit, but keep it fresh

As with any marriage, each partner can come to take the other for granted. Sometimes you’ll need to voice your concerns if you’re disgruntled. Don’t let things fester or they’ll devolve quickly. As with marriage, you need to remind each other why you’re together and work to a common good. The reciprocal of this means you shouldn’t abuse your marketing partner either - a rush project every so often is fine, but daily or weekly crises can upset the relationship.

If you’re not happy with your choice or separate

Sometimes even the best of relationships eventually sour. Changes in management or direction or needs can mean you’re moving in different directions. It happens. So if you’re unhappy, or sense your marketing partner is, discuss it and decide whether the relationship is worth it. Sometimes it is, and your talk will rekindle the passion. Other times it’s simply time to move on. But be amicable and courteous when possible.

Hopefully, you’ll find the right marketing partner and you’ll live happily ever after. It does happen, even if it is rare. The partners at Nuvonium have had strong relationships with clients for decades - with many following us from previous firms or choosing us when they move to new companies. Hopefully, you’ll find a partner in whom you trust and that you can rely on. But if you can’t, you can always call us.

  • * Nonfarm establishment with a single physical location where business is conducted or serviced or industrial operations performed.
  • ** Nonemployer establishment is a business that has no paid employees, has an annual business receipts of $1000 or more, and is subject to federal income tax.

Jun 07, 2013

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