Tag Archives: Cincinnati public relations

Agency Advantage Series: More Experience, Less Overhead

Agency Advantage Series

By Rodger Roeser, CEO, The Eisen Agency

 

In our six part series that explains the many benefits of working with an agency rather than increasing overhead and staff in house to handle non-core, marketing related duties, we aim to educate businesses and brands, both large and small, as to the many advantages of having agency representation. Over the past decade, we have seen a fairly significant shift in businesses hiring more and more internal staff, verses outsourcing these tasks to an agency.

And, while we understand and appreciate why it may seem attractive to house all these folks internally, this series seeks to debunk a number of myths of internal placement, and give business owners and in house marketing executives a viable, and in our opinion better, alternative to additional internal hiring and the time and effort of that practice. The key to each of these is having a good, solid and trustworthy agency that fits and understands your business – not a vendor, but a trusted and valued partner in success.

 

  1. More Experience, Lower Cost

What if your business could hire someone for literally any marketing position you have available, and you would be accessing or working with someone that has 20 + years of experience? No matter which piece of the puzzle you feel you need, you would get executive level, senior level experience, expertise and know how. And, accessing that level of expertise would actually be tens of thousands of dollars LESS than the average entry level salary of a marketing person. Does that sound too good to be true? Absolutely not, that’s how an agency partnership works.

Hiring a firm gives you access to a vast group of the right professionals that in many cases, have decades of experience each. And the right firm will afford you access to this level of experience, yet it’s still significantly less cost than adding even entry level staff internally – which is about $30K annually plus benefits. So, hiring an agency, you CAN afford to hire experienced, expert people to manage and execute marketing tasks.

In addition, there are no benefits to have to pay out. No sick days, no office supplies and a host of other benefits typically offered by businesses that make low salaries add up. And, if you’re looking for senior level expertise and experience, $30K/annually isn’t going to cut it – now you can expect to pay on average $70K for director level and into six figures for executive level. You can have executive level for less than the price of entry level when you work with the right agency partner. And, when you don’t need that level of expertise, the agency has entry, junior, and mid-level practitioners each with expertise in varied areas of marketing.

No ONE person is going to possess all of the key and core expertise you need (not to mention, there’s only so much time in the week), and continuing to hire more and more folks as the marketing industry continues to get even more specialized is, very simply, not a good investment. With the right agency, clients pay for exactly what they need. Salaries and increasing overhead are a killer for businesses, which is why in most cases, when cuts are made those cuts are made to the marketing staff and marketing budgets. And, as if this weren’t enough, the average internal marketing person is actually working on productive core marketing activities slightly less than 50 percent of the time, so even that entry level practitioner that is costing $30K is actually only working the equivalent of $15K.

At the very least, you owe it to your business to consider outsourcing marketing and marketing communications activities – not just for big ideas or big projects, but rather for the day to day marketing of your business. In most cases, the cost savings are significant, and the ability to afford exception talent is within your grasp.

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Own an Accounting Firm? Here’s Something YOU Need to Review Before Year End

As Your Accounting Practice Approaches Year End, Five Signs You Need An Agency

By Rodger Roeser, CEO, The Eisen Agency

As we approach the end of another business year, it’s an excellent time to look back at your year and see how you did, where you may be able to improve and maybe be a tad more innovative in your approach to success. After all, who doesn’t want to improve or be more innovative, right? But sometimes I’m reminded of that great cartoon meme where two cavemen are pushing a cart with square wheels. Another caveman walks up to them with a round wheel and says “I can help,” and the two cavemen reply, “No thanks, we’re too busy.”

This mindset, of course is dangerous in business but sadly, quite common. We are so busy doing what we do, we fail oftentimes to take a step back and see areas of opportunity and improvement. It’s the basics and yet the bane of virtually every business development officer who genuinely can look at a prospect and say, we can help! Yet the business simply doesn’t invest the time in seeing if a given solution would actually improve the business. So, to that end, here are five very simple signs that a marketing agency would be of benefit to your organization, because we do believe every business — regardless of size – should at the very least have some type of marketing agency representation and support to either augment or be your marketing team.

  1. You don’t really do a lot of marketing.

This is a very good indicator that you’re either spending too much money on internal staff salaries, or you have folks that likely shouldn’t be doing “marketing” doing “marketing” — such as the business development person, administrative assistant, HR or worse — you. If you average out most agency fees at between $50 – $150/hour (fees vary) it’s pretty simple to gauge how much time is actually being invested in actual marketing activities. Knowing that the average salary of ENTRY LEVEL marketing professionals is about $35,000/annually plus benefits, for most businesses, particularly small ones, agency is simply significantly less expensive while also gaining far more experience and expertise than an in house, entry level professional. So, if your marketing is pretty basic, you just need a few things here and there (perhaps some website updates, some social media work, a press release here and there, some presentations developed, maybe a few ads) agency is likely a far more fiscally sound choice, and most certainly, you’ll get more experience. An agency professional can also assist you in laying out a proactive plan, so instead of knee jerk or reactive work, you can actually endeavor toward the achievement of core business goals.

  1. Your marketing staff seems constantly overwhelmed.

So, on the other side of the coin of the business that does mainly basic marketing activity, the flip side is the internal team that is so busy all the time they are struggling simply to maintain a tactical work flow. And, when large projects come in that need to be completed, an already overwhelmed staff is no longer even treading water. Constantly working late (or overtime) or the overly demanding boss frowning on folks that actually have a life, is the top reason most in house marketing professionals stay at their job for less than 12 months (actually, research shows the average in house person in marketing changes/leaves/gets fired every nine months — that’s bad). And, if you have a team that is constantly working at a fever pace, there’s no time to actually step back and look at ways to improve or update or be strategic — it’s simply get it done and move on to the next task. The big fallacy is that in house teams should be able to do everything, and that having an agency is just another expense. Not true. A good agency is simply there to assist when the work just becomes too much. You don’t need to be on a monthly retainer — call an agency when you need some help on a project or contract basis. Most are happy to help. Use them when you need them, and don’t when you don’t.

  1. You’ve been doing the same old same old, and is there anything else out there?

Well, of course there is! A sure fire sign that you need an agency is when you feel you’re not getting fresh ideas or concepts. Or, your internal team seems to be doing okay, but are generally just pushing the rock up the hill and doing it again tomorrow and the next day. You have good programs. You have good people, but you may just need to interject some fresh ideas or look at some strategically and tactically superior ways to go about something — after all, you stopped using your fax machine didn’t you? And, that VCR has been replaced, right? Just like old technology in your everyday life, there are constantly new things available to marketers to allow them to perform their job more efficiently or do something differently. Good agencies know these tools, work with them and know what would and what probably would not work for your specific business or business challenge. And, look at it this way, an agency doesn’t “sell” solutions so if a given piece of software may work better, the agency can be objective in sharing that — rather than the software salesperson. That objectivity and the ability to put the right pieces together is a tremendous advantage, and you’d be amazed at how an internal team can be energized by some fresh thinking or a new campaign.

  1. Your internal marketing team constantly turns over.

This is and has been a big challenge for business. As mentioned, research shows the average in house marketing professional will work for your company for about nine months — then leave for a number of reasons. Often times, the hiring company simply doesn’t know what it needs when hiring a marketing professional. More times than not, the internal hire discovers the reality of the gig to not quite be what they signed on for. With a good agency (that understands your needs and your business) you have a genuine partner that is objectively there working toward your success (admit it, you can’t say that about every in house hire) and can put together the perfect pieces of the agency for the constantly varying needs of the marketing of a business. Why would you hire a social media professional when this person will likely only work (or should work) on your social media for a couple hours/week. So, pretty soon, the social media specialist is planning events, writing power point presentations, doing new business — oops, you lost another one. Hire what you need, and use what you need when you need it.

  1. And the number one sign? Your numbers are down.

It’s most obvious, yet all too often ignored aspect of marketing. You did benchmark all your important KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) from the previous year and have been reviewing KPI performance each month and each quarter right? And from that review, tweaking and revising work, right? If you look at the myriad of analytics (which you should review with your marketing team at least monthly) look at the trends. Are you media placements going up? Web and social media traffic? Sales numbers and trial establishment? Whatever is critical to the performance of your business, it must be measured and managed. After all, how can you manage something you can’t measure? But gee, my marketing team is so nice and fun, and we did bagel Tuesday yesterday. That’s great, and personality and culture is important, but you have to look at numbers, too. If things are not trending or going the way you wish, it is time to bring in a professional (that understands your type of industry or business) and have them do a quick review. In most instances, I can spot from a mile away areas of opportunity and improvement. How many in house folks will say to you: “Boss, I’m just not doing a very good job for you but I don’t actually know what I’m doing or how I can improve.” That would be none, so it is critical for you and the health of your business to be able to rely upon folks that can objectively advise and provide not only counsel but direction. If you haven’t work with any agency ever, or in the past two or three years, do yourself a favor and bring one in to at least take a look under the hood. Just like you when you see a doctor or dentist, a little preventative care goes a long way.

 

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Own a Spa or Salon? How about some marketing tips from the pros to help spur growth in 2017?

Proud to be featured in FitSmallBusiness today sharing sound marketing ideas and tips for a spa and salon owner: http://fitsmallbusiness.com/spa-marketing-ideas/

 

 

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Five Signs Your Health Care Practice Needs to Outsource Your Marketing

As Your Healthcare Practice Approaches Year End, Something You May Be Doing In House is Hurting Your Practice

By Rodger Roeser, CEO, The Eisen Agency

As we approach the end of another business year, it’s an excellent time to look back at your year and see how you did, where you may be able to improve and maybe be a tad more innovative in your approach to success. After all, who doesn’t want to improve or be more innovative, right? But sometimes I’m reminded of that great cartoon meme where two cavemen are pushing a cart with square wheels. Another caveman walks up to them with a round wheel and says “I can help,” and the two cavemen reply, “No thanks, we’re too busy.”

This mindset, of course is dangerous in business but sadly, quite common. We are so busy doing what we do we fail oftentimes to take a step back and see areas of opportunity and improvement. It’s the basics and yet the bane of virtually every business development officer who genuinely can look at a prospect and say, we can help! Yet the business simply doesn’t invest the time in seeing if a given solution would actually improve the business. So, to that end, here are five very simple signs that a marketing agency would be of benefit to your organization, because we do believe every business — regardless of size – should at the very least have some type of marketing agency representation and support to either augment or be your marketing team.

  1. You don’t really do a lot of marketing.

This is a very good indicator that you’re either spending too much money on internal staff salaries, or you have folks that likely shouldn’t be doing “marketing” doing “marketing” — such as the business development person, administrative assistant, HR or worse — you. If you average out most agency fees at between $50 – $150/hour (fees vary) it’s pretty simple to gauge how much time is actually being invested in actual marketing activities. Knowing that the average salary of ENTRY LEVEL marketing professionals is about $35,000/annually plus benefits, for most businesses, particularly small ones, agency is simply significantly less expensive while also gaining far more experience and expertise than an in house, entry level professional. So, if your marketing is pretty basic, you just need a few things here and there (perhaps some website updates, some social media work, a press release here and there, some presentations developed, maybe a few ads) agency is likely a far more fiscally sound choice, and most certainly, you’ll get more experience. An agency professional can also assist you in laying out a proactive plan, so instead of knee jerk or reactive work, you can actually endeavor toward the achievement of core business goals.

  1. Your marketing staff seems constantly overwhelmed.

So, on the other side of the coin of the business that does mainly basic marketing activity, the flip side is the internal team that is so busy all the time they are struggling simply to maintain a tactical work flow. And, when large projects come in that need to be completed, an already overwhelmed staff is no longer even treading water. Constantly working late (or overtime) or the overly demanding boss frowning on folks that actually have a life, is the top reason most in house marketing professionals stay at their job for less than 12 months (actually, research shows the average in house person in marketing changes/leaves/gets fired every nine months — that’s bad). And, if you have a team that is constantly working and a fever pace, there’s no time to actually step back and look at ways to improve or update or be strategic — it’s simply get it done and move on to the next task. The big fallacy is that in house teams should be able to do everything, and that having an agency is just another expense. Not true. A good agency is simply there to assist when the work just becomes too much. You don’t need to be on a monthly retainer — call an agency when you need some help on a project or contact basis. Most are happy to help. Use them when you need them, and don’t when you don’t.

  1. You’ve been doing the same old same old, and is there anything else out there?

Well, of course there is! A sure fire sign that you need an agency is when you feel you’re not getting fresh ideas or concepts. Or, your internal team seems to be doing okay, but are generally just pushing the rock up the hill and doing it again tomorrow and the next day. You have good programs. You have good people, but you may just need to interject some fresh ideas or look at some strategically and tactically superior ways to go about something — after all, you stopped using your fax machine didn’t you? And, that VCR has been replaced, right? Just like old technology in your everyday life, there are constantly new things available to marketers to allow them to perform their job more efficiently or do something differently. Good agencies know these tools, work with them and know what would and what probably would not work for your specific business or business challenge. And, look at it this way, an agency doesn’t “sell” solutions so if a given piece of software may work better, the agency can be objective in sharing that — rather than the software salesperson. That objectivity and the ability to put the right pieces together is a tremendous advantage, and you’d be amazed at how an internal team can be energized by some fresh thinking or a new campaign.

  1. Your internal marketing team constantly turns over.

This is and has been a big challenge for business. As mentioned, research shows the average in house marketing professional will work for your company for about nine months — then leave for a number of reasons. Often times, the hiring company simply doesn’t know what it needs when hiring a marketing professional. More times than not, the internal hire discovers the reality of the gig to not quite be what they signed on for. With a good agency (that understands your needs and your business) you have a genuine partner that is objectively there working toward your success (admit it, you can’t say that about every in house hire) and can put together the perfect pieces of the agency for the constantly varying needs of the marketing of a business. Why would you hire a social media professional when this person will likely only work (or should work) on your social media for a couple hours/week. So, pretty soon, the social media specialist is planning events, writing power point presentations, doing new business — oops, you lost another one. Hire what you need, and use what you need when you need it.

  1. And the number one sign? Your numbers are down.

It’s most obvious, yet all too often ignored aspect of marketing. You did benchmark all your important KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) from the previous year and have been reviewing KPI performance each month and each quarter right? And from that review, tweaking and revising work, right? If you look at the myriad of analytics (which you should review with your marketing team at least monthly) look at the trends. Are you media placements going up? Web and social media traffic? Sales numbers and trial establishment? Whatever is critical to the performance of your business, it must be measured and managed. After all, how can you manage something you can’t measure? But gee, my marketing team is so nice and fun, and we did bagel Tuesday yesterday. That’s great, and personality and culture is important, but you have to look at numbers, too. If things are not trending or going the way you wish, it is time to bring in a professional (that understands your type of industry or business) and have them do a quick review. In most instances, I can spot from a mile away areas of opportunity and improvement. How many in house folks will say to you: “Boss, I’m just not doing a very good job for you but I don’t actually know what I’m doing or how I can improve.” That would be none, so it is critical for you and the health of your business to be able to rely upon folks that can objectively advise and provide not only counsel but direction. If you haven’t work with any agency ever, or in the past two or three years, do yourself a favor and bring one in to at least take a look under the hood. Just like you when you see a doctor or dentist, a little preventative care goes a long way.

 

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Why HR Should Hire a PR Firm

 

HR & PR, What Human Resources Needs to Know About Public Relations & Marketing

By Rodger Roeser, CEO, The Eisen Agency

As a human resources executive, you are at the heart of any organization. After all, it is you and your position that are, in large part, responsible for the success or failure of that organization. And, the way your position interacts and works with many other positions inside and outside of the enterprise will mean the difference between long-term success or failure. Unfortunately for many HR executives, their success can largely be determined by the actions (or inactions) of others around them in their own business, and understanding how to navigate that and adroitly traverse the “internal mine field” is critical.

Human resources is at the center of attracting and retaining talent, communicating internally to all members of any successful organization regarding policies and programs, as well as training, planning events and a host of additional responsibilities. The challenge is that many of these core responsibilities also fall into other camps and internal disciplines, such as marketing, public relations, community relations, operations and legal. After all, if your brand has a bad reputation, attracting talent is going to be that much more challenging. If you don’t have a strong, well-communicated corporate culture, it’s difficult to retain talent who may lack understanding of the direction of the boat. If operational policies are unclear, and office politics tend to rule the day, confusion and consternation lead to that ever-revolving door of talent, and the need to constantly retrain. This costs time. This costs money.

Which is why working with these folks – either internally or outsourced through a professional firm – is increasingly more important. Human resources professionals are increasingly tasked with doing more for less, it seems. In some small businesses, HR IS the PR department as well. The need to stay current on communications, legal and operational issues. Plus, strategies and best practices is a never ending battle, compounded by the fact that most internally-staffed communications teams tend be constantly changing and largely unaffected by corporate retention policies. And, I would argue that HR, when hiring for communications positions, are largely ignoring the expertise, experience and cost savings that would be gained by looking at a communications agency partner rather than simply the latest in-house hire.

Why? Not sure. But it seems that each time the “boss” needs a new hire, the immediate knee jerk reaction is to dust off the last job opening post and put it out there again (the average in house marketing person stays on the job less than 12 months). When instead, we would suggest that while looking at in-house candidates, also consider the option of hiring a professional firm or freelancer with likely a much more expansive skill set, already in possession of the necessary tools and expertise, all the necessary staff to accomplish virtually anything, and the ability to provide the most senior counsel as well as tactical support – something simply not realistic in any single new hire. And yet, in many cases, this is significantly less costly than even entry level in-house hires. As a side note, if you are insistent on hiring in house, have an agency review the job posting to make sure the job description is up to date and accurate with what would be needed – I can’t tell you how many times I’ve reviewed job descriptions for a marketing communications position that is clearly years out of date – which in marketing, is eons.

With the right agency, you have no overhead. The business can use what it needs, when it’s needed. No downtime, and no need to retrain each time the last hire leaves. In fact, most agency partners that have had a long tenure with a business client know more about the business than the folks that actually work there – after all, they’re the ones who have been consistently and systematically communicating about the company to both external and internal audiences for years. If I was the CEO of a business, I’d at the very least, want the stability and objectivity of a professional agency with specific industry knowledge, expertise and experience that offers that high-level strategy, as well as the ability to seamlessly execute with the most contemporary and proven techniques and tactics.

The ability to properly communicate a brand to both internal and external audiences makes attracting and retaining talent that much easier as well. Few folks want to work for a company they’ve never heard of, or worse, one with a bad reputation. If your business has very little in the way of external communications, a dated website, no community relations program, or a poor social media presence, attracting the best and brightest is just that much more difficult. Easy to fix with a firm – you give them the assignment. However, more challenging when dealing with folks in house (how many meetings would that take?).

And, when communicating internally, do you have all the tools and the time to most effectively create and disseminate these messages. Are the messages correct and clear? Could you use a little help, even if it’s just some basic logistics and project management assistance? Perhaps there are some needed connections that the agency has to help you plan that perfect event or develop a corporate sponsorship or cause marketing program – or just someone dedicated to sending your team information on possibilities and options. Perhaps you need someone to expertly write something for the myriad of items HR is now tasked with managing and executing. Let an agency lift some burdens and, in fact, suggest that the next time the boss wants to add overhead to the company and more work in training and recruiting for you.

The bottom line is that agency is not perfect, but the perfect agency for ‘you’ is indeed out there, with expertise in your industry and all the skills necessary to competently and consistently help to communicate your brand messages both internally and externally. You owe it your business, your boss and your bottom line to, at the very least, consider an agency partner for some, a little, all, of your communications rather than the constant revolving door, which is particularly an acute problem in the marketing field. And is so troublesome to the successful HR professional.

So, the next time the boss says “hey, will you put an ad out for a PR or marketing or design or website person?” just suggest that you may have a better option or at least an option that could save the business money, and offer more expertise and 100 percent objectively committed to the success of the business. You might just get a raise for being so smart.

About the Author

Roeser is the founder, owner and president of Greater Cleveland and Greater Cincinnati premier brand marketing communications agency, The Eisen Agency. Named Cincinnati PRSA Large Agency of the Year in 2013, his firm has twice been named a Cincinnati Business Courier Fast 55 (#3 in 2009, #9 in 2011) and twice named a Cincinnati Business Courier Best Places to Work. In 2010, his firm earned a TriState Success Award as one of Cincinnati’s 35 Most Successful Businesses. His firm was twice named an Emerging 30 Business by the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce. In 2010, Roeser was named PR Professional of the Year by the Greater Cincinnati PRSA Chapter where he served as president in 2005. His firm earned Inc. 5000 honors in 2012 as one of the 5000 fastest growing small businesses in the US. Roeser was also awarded a prestigious C-Suite Award by Lead Magazine in 2014, and in 2013 was honored as a top social media expert by Cleveland’s SmartBusiness Magazine and their SoMe Impact Award and is currently a member of the Cleveland PRSA.

 

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Client Spavia Day Spa Featured in CincyChic

Looking forward to big grand opening coming in just a few weeks. Meantime, here’s a little appetizer from our great publicity team: http://www.cincychic.com/beauty/spavia-day-spas-new-location-in-hyde-park

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Cincinnati Media and Marketing Firm Teams with Cincinnati PR Agency

CINCINNATI, OH – August 27, 2015—Premier public relations and marketing firm The Eisen Agency has been tapped to direct the local and national media relations and public relations for leading Cincinnati based marketing and media buying firm Platinum Marketing Group.

The Eisen Agency will help Platinum Marketing Group increase their local and national brand awareness, and help position and place the firm in key industry based trade publications, and local and national media outlets. Platinum Marketing Group president Kim Wiest says she is constantly looking to develop strategies that will help grow her business, and help to share their story. “We look forward to this strategic partnership with a firm that has tremendous experience in directing the PR efforts of media and advertising agencies across the country. As a fellow agency owner, I am familiar with the work and success Eisen brings, and I am confident they will bring my objectives to life through innovative ideas and hard work.”

Eisen CEO and owner Rodger Roeser says, “The Eisen Agency is pleased to be directing the marketing communications for such a well led and smart group. They are like the majority of our clients, professional services, just that we may have a tad more insight in this industry than some of the others we serve. This is a great, synergistic relationship and we are excited to deliver.”

Roeser added that the outsourcing marketing activities is what agencies preach, yet so often, they attempt to undertake non-core competencies themselves or continue to hire a revolving door of in house PR folks to help them, which ultimately erodes their business and their brand. Roeser said Wiest sets an excellent example of leadership and focus.

Platinum Marketing Group was founded in 2002 by Wiest. The company is based in Cincinnati, Ohio and provides strategic media planning and buying services on a national and local level and represents such businesses as AE Door & Window, Penn Station Inc., Premier Health, Miami University, Germain Motor Company, The Cincinnati Zoo and many others. More information can be accessed at http://www.ThinkPMG.com.

About The Eisen Agency

The Eisen Agency is an award winning branding and branded communications firm, with offices in Cincinnati, Cleveland and Northern Kentucky. The agency works with organizations to assist them in creating a smoother and more predictable path to success, and as one of the nation’s foremost innovators in public relations and social media, The Eisen Agency develops, implements and manages the growth and reputation of brands in the retail, restaurant, automotive, manufacturing, legal, financial, real estate, healthcare, construction, industrial, and professional service sectors. More information can be accessed at http://www.TheEisenAgency.com or by calling 859.291.4302.

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