After reading many articles in January, listening to the uproar about communication and marketing companies with their outrageous billing methods and fees one would wonder if marketing can be cost effective and captivate simultaneously?

In tough economic times, losing profit due to load shedding and conceptualizing the future of business – companies (big or small) often speculate the necessity of having a branding/marketing company on board.

Can companies afford to pay a retainer for marketing and brand activations not knowing if their brand will grow through their “captivating” campaigns?

Many campaigns look graphically captivating and exciting, but does it show a return in investment, growth in sales or bring new business on-board?

How true is your marketing company to your brand messaging? Is your branding/marketing company involved in the activation and execution of the campaign, launch or event?

Just a pretty face – or does it stick and stand for captivity with diverse routes that can analyze and boost the importance of your brand.

Marketing and Branding can be both cost-effective and captivating if there is more captivating content than just a graphically Photoshop face.

Businesses (big or small) need marketing companies that can excite, excel and prosper from conceptualizing through to execution without sub-contracting or delegating any part of the process.

That is why we established FOUR KEY questions any company can use to analyze their BRANDING and MARKETING company performance or necessity for being cost-effective and captivating.

#1   Maybe graphically captivating and exciting, but does it show return in investment, growth in sales or bring new business on-board?

New Media research reveals that the consumer has an average of 8 second concentration span which is 1 second lower than a goldfish. The reason for this being the impact of technological devices used since 2008. Therefore striking graphics would definitely play a part in consumer attraction, as many branding and marketing companies would stipulate and present.

However, the mistake these branding and marketing agencies often make is spending too many hours (you are billed for) on the graphically outline and image rather than the concept and idea regarding the content that will be captivating for any person having a 8 second concentration span. The content should expose your passion to your client.

The ability to educate a consumer in 8 seconds to show interest in the brand – although he or she is living in a world of no brand loyalty – needs to be the focus. If your marketing and branding company therefore spends more time on conceptualizing than designing, your bill would be a lot less and much more effective, and most definitely more rewarding, regarding growth in sales or getting new business on-board.

Having captivating marketing therefore shifts more to CONTENT than ADOBE!

#2  How true is your marketing company to your brand messaging?

There is a huge difference in living and marketing a brand message. If your marketing/branding company is living your brand message, you would never have thoughts of cutting their budget or even slowly getting out of a contract with them. Your company must be able to rely fully on your marketing company, feeling comfortable with their professional image and representation.

“Feeling comfortable” implies the willingness to discuss different types of problems or solutions with them, relying on their corporate input without a sense of them billing or logging you for extra consulting hours.

They must be your strongest team member! It is so often I realize the distinction between the company and its branding or marketing input.

You see it in branding or advertising where the brand message disappears between the template graphically highlights, standard content and lack of emotion – easy explained to you as the “new trend in marketing”.

Branding and Marketing companies will be cost-effective and captivating if your marketing solutions are tailor madetrue and if they are your best team member.

#3   Is your branding/marketing company involved in the activation and  execution of the campaign, launch or event?

This is one of the biggest game deciders when you analyze your marketing or branding agency. The most branding and marketing agencies are very eager to design and conceptualize but raise the bill extensively (quote not based on known financial system) with marketing roll-out and brand activation – which make them definitely not cost effective.

They sub-contract your activation easily to an events specialist or promotion agency with a generous mark-up included in your quote/bill.

The captivating concepts turn into something less passionate when it is sub-contracted due to the event specialist or promotion agency not being part of the conceptualizing process and you get half of what you have bargained for.

Make therefore sure that your marketing or branding company has the expertise to activate your brand or will be able to personally roll-out your marketing campaigns. You will then be sure of no mark-up, 100% pure engagement and more value than you have bargained for.

#4   The depth of the roots structure will indicate the possibility of captivity and  cost effectiveness.

Most trees (branding and marketing companies) require soil with adequate nutrients and soil. Trees that have evolved to produce a deep taproot (companies with a diverse experience) can withstand soil conditions that other trees often fail in. They can tolerate drought and will survive in locations that other tree types (specialized outlook) often perish in. The taproot grows deep and strong. It does not always grow straight down but may grow in varying directions.

The marketing or branding company that can supply you a diverse background will be more cost-effective and captivating with your brand than the one-track specialized company that cannot adapt or withstand with the changing corporate environment (soil conditions).

Branding and marketing companies with a corporate, economic, events and educational background will be able to tolerate drought and adapt strategies to ensure your brand being marketed cost-effectively and with captivity. The more diverse experience, the more creative due to different dots to connect painting a bigger and better image.

If your business is making use of a marketing or branding agency, the time has come to analyze their depth, their bill and their attitude.