Just What Is a Marketing Partner?
As a former staffing entrepreneur and executive and now the CEO of a company providing marketing solutions to a wide variety of clients, I know — in painful detail — the difference between a vendor and a partner. A vendor is no better than their last quote. A partner, on the other hand, is someone with whom you have become strategically linked for a common good (a true win-win).
Stated another way, if a client sees us only as someone that costs them money, then we’re simply another vendor. But if a client views what we do as adding to their sales and profits, we’ve become a partner. It comes down to a matter of client perception. Partners are a valuable investment in future growth.
The following points are the essence of how Villing+Company becomes your trusted marketing partner. These points are a part of our culture and are non-negotiable.
A marketing partner …
- Is involved in the client’s strategic marketing planning process. Even if Villing did not develop the plan, we look for opportunities to contribute to its evolution over time. We believe it’s much easier to be considered a true partner if we contribute to strategy rather than simply execution.
- Is deep into the client’s sales process. Many problems our clients have are not necessarily related to their marketing plan. Sometimes it is the sales process that does not effectively handle the results being generated by their marketing efforts. Villing is involved in the sales process and pipeline as well as the creative process.
- Is organic. A true marketing partner understands all aspects of the client’s business and creates a strategy that is consistent, whole, and fully representative of the overall organization and its strengths.
- Is integrated. All marketing tactics are deeply embedded in the client’s business model and work in harmony with that model and not in opposition.
We believe that an organization assessing its own marketing needs is like attempting a personal evaluation. It is all too easy to fail to assess a critical strength or weakness because you are too close to the topic and often unable to be impartial. The best input generally comes from a friend or trusted advisor who can offer insights without any bias. A great marketing partner does the very same thing for its client. They make intelligent observations and offer sage advice because they’re not hampered by paradigms or corporate politics.
There are always a variety of techniques and tools that a marketer can use to accomplish objectives, and a partner knows which ones will drive the client’s desired results. That is what it means to be a true marketing partner and not just a vendor and that is what Villing+Company strives to be to each and every client.
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