“What do marketing companies really do?” This is a pretty loaded question. Even people who have worked with a marketing company—or marketing companies—before might have trouble providing a concrete answer. The problem with answering this question is that modern marketing has become insanely diverse.
Of course, diversity is a good thing. Unfortunately, that also means that we could give a dozen different answers to the aforementioned question and they all could be considered technically true.
That being said, we’ve broken it down to the best of our ability.
A BRIEF DEFINITION
“Marketing,” loosely refers to the practice of promoting or endorsing a business’s products and/or services in the hope of achieving one (or all) of three things:
- Raise brand awareness
- Improve sales
- Establish brand authority and credibility
Going off of this definition, it’s safe to say that a marketing company, then, is an establishment that can help a business owner or business entity achieve any of these three goals.
Of course, it’s not that simple.
TYPES OF MARKETING COMPANIES
There are different ways to approach these goals and achieve the intended objectives. That’s why there are different types of marketing and—by extension—different types of marketing companies.
Below are three of the more common ones:
Digital Marketing Company
As the name suggests, a digital marketing company uses digital means to help you achieve your marketing goals. This typically means using internet-based platforms like websites, search engines, and social media as a means to spread your intended message.
Digital marketing is by far one of the more favored types of marketing today—mainly because of its accessibility and cost-efficiency. Many marketing approaches using digital means can perform under a fairly tight budget, making it ideal for small businesses and fresh startups.
A digital marketing agency can help you achieve your marketing goals by:
- Designing/developing a high-converting website
- Establishing your online presence through content
- Establishing your online presence through social media platforms
- Establishing your industry authority through digital content (i.e., blogs, images, videos, etc.)
- Increasing organic traffic flow to your website to spread brand awareness
- Improving brand-consumer relationship through digital communication channels
Some digital marketing services:
- Website Design/Website Development
- SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and SEM (Search Engine Marketing)
- Social Media Management
- Content Creation
- Email Marketing Campaigns
- PPC (Pay-Per-Click) Advertising
Related Content: The Beginner’s Guide to Working with an Online Marketing Company
Direct Marketing Company
Direct marketing is a fairly older approach to traditional marketing, but it has proven—time and again—to be quite effective (which is why it’s still in practice).
Direct marketing boosts brand awareness by spreading the brand’s message or advocacy through direct, in-person mediums. It’s also typically associated with referral marketing (or “word-of-mouth” marketing) and direct mail marketing campaigns.
The beauty of direct marketing is that it’s simple and straightforward. Whereas digital marketing is quite diverse in the sense that it has multiple platforms, channels, and mediums to choose from, direct marketing technically has only one “direct” approach (again; hence the name).
A direct marketing company would be able to help you:
- Create, implement, and manage direct mail campaigns
- Build direct mailing lists that match your target market
- Create worthwhile content for direct mail pieces and items (i.e., letters, leaflets, catalogs, etc.)
- Manually mail out these content pieces on your behalf
- Monitor responses to your direct mail campaigns
Communications Marketing Company
Perhaps the most popular form of traditional marketing, communications marketing makes use of traditional, non-digital communication channels to connect with the audience. Although not as cost-efficient, accessible, or new-business-friendly as digital marketing, communications marketing is a tried-and-true direct marketing approach that never fails to deliver results.
The communication channel of choice for most communications marketing agencies is print media. We’re fairly certain you’re familiar with these formats:
- Billboard Ads
- Magazine/Newspaper Ads
- Television/Radio Ads
A communications marketing company can help you use these channels to:
- Develop a solid marketing plan using traditional mediums
- Craft compelling content for print and/or publication
- Improve existing communications marketing campaigns by providing expert writing, design, and production services
- Create new communication marketing campaigns for you through regular consultation
So, what do marketing companies really do?
The whole “it depends” answer may feel like a cop-out at this point, but it’s the truth. Because there are so many approaches to marketing, it makes sense for marketing companies to try and narrow their spectrum to just one or several distinct marketing services. But in a nutshell, general marketing companies are there to spread, endorse and advocate your brand to the right people using the right approach.