The United States presidential race is the greatest quadrennial marketing blitz in the world. Every four years we are bombarded with radio ads, television ads, email campaigns, posters, bumper stickers, news stories and more all in the quest to get your vote. Every candidate shows off flashy websites, tells wonderful success stories, and promises that your life will be better if you choose them.

Choosing a B2B marketing agency can often feel the same way. What lessons can we learn from this year’s presidential race that will help guide us to the right decision?

Do They Understand Your Business?

If a presidential candidate does not understand which constituents he/she should be targeting in their campaign, there is a very high likelihood of failure. Jim Webb, whose campaign failed early in the process, was a Democratic nominee whose message seemed to resonate more with Republicans than Democrats. Failed Republican candidate Marco Rubio, who was popular with his constituents for staying above the fray and on message, admitted that it was a mistake to attack Donald Trump’s hand size.

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(Image: Reuters/Jim Young)

When it comes to your business, choosing a B2B marketing agency that doesn’t understand your target buyer persona and doesn’t have a deep understanding of your customer’s buyer journey will cost you money. Many agencies focus on specific industries or sectors, like healthcare or manufacturing, and may have valuable experience marketing to your customers. Being able to leverage their experience may help you get your marketing campaign up and running more quickly and effectively.

What Makes Them Special?

Like many B2B marketing agencies, most presidential candidates have a certain specialty that sets them apart from their competitors. Donald Trump’s campaign slogan “Make America Great Again!” is widely praised for its branding value, though some would argue that his content strategy is lacking. Bernie Sanders has been lapping the field with his ability to generate money online, while Hillary Clinton’s strength with female voters has helped carry her to the lead. Interestingly, John Kasich, who does many things well but lacks a true specialty, is struggling in the polls.

Whether you are looking for help with developing a content strategy, designing a new website, or improving your SEO, it is important to understand what makes your prospective agency special. Do you want an agency that provides one or two services exceedingly well? Or do you want an agency that can provide decent service across a broad range of specialties? This is often dictated by the size and scope of an agency. In most cases, an agency cannot be all things to all clients. Identify your needs, and then identify the agency that best serves those needs.

How Will They Measure Success?

Are you choosing Donald Trump because you want him to stop illegal immigration? Are you choosing Bernie Sanders because you want him to fight Wall Street? Are you choosing Ted Cruz because you want to reaffirm religious values in this country? Regardless of who you choose, how will you determine the successfulness of your candidate at the end of his/her term? Success in politics, like marketing, can often be difficult to quantify.

When choosing a B2B marketing agency, you want to ensure that you can measure your ROI at the end of a campaign. Whether your goal is gaining more web traffic, generating more leads or converting leads at a higher rate, be sure to communicate your expected deliverables to your agency. Ask what marketing automation software they typically use to track results and monitor the progress of their campaigns. Without this information, you will not be able to measure the success or failure of your marketing efforts.

Do you need more help determining how to pick the best agency for you? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.

All marketing tactics should be thought of as part of a larger whole, rather than separate pieces. By strategically integrating all marketing tactics, the marketing programs become more effective and cost efficient. As a B2B agency, we developed B2B 360 Integrated Digital Marketing to meet this improved performance need. To learn more about B2B 360 and how it will benefit your business, download our free eBook: B2B Top-Tier Tech Marketing.

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Rich CarangoCarango_color is president of Schubert Communications. Starting at Schubert in 1994, Rich now heads the agency in creating effective IMC campaigns, PR campaigns, advertising, brochures, direct mail, logos, websites, multimedia and content. Rich holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in design from American University. When Rich is not in the office he enjoys spending time with his wife and children and is a huge history buff.

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