We’ve been sharing the differences between partners and vendors all month. If you missed any of the previous blog posts, I highly recommend reading them.

If you’ve reached the point in your journey where you are ready to seek help for your marketing, congratulations! You only have one decision left to make.

Who do you want to work with: a partner or a vendor? It sounds like a simple decision, but making that sort of commitment isn’t easy. The decision boils down to two questions.

  1. Do you want real marketing experts advising you on today’s consumer behaviors, or do you want someone who will just do what you ask of them?
  2. Do you want someone who will tell you “no” when it is for your own good, or do you want to always hear “yes?”

Deciding how much oversight you prefer is a critical step to finding the right marketing support. Vendors can provide a ready-made marketing plan, but will not adapt to your precise needs, study latest trends, or make recommendations based on your goals or position in the industry. A partner will learn the ins and outs of your business, strategize a plan, analyze results, and give advice based on your best interest. This isn’t to say that you are left out of the decisions, but that you trust your marketing partner to recommend best practices that you can approve or alter.

So, here is my challenge for you: Ask yourself if you’d trust a plumber to do his job and if you’d trust an accountant to do hers. Then, ask yourself if you could extend that same type of trust to your marketing team. If you answered “yes,” then you are ready to find a marketing partner.