What is a Marketing Development Agency?

A marketing development agency like Forbes Baxter Associates helps you develop your in-house marketing skills at the same time as we help you grow your business. In practice, this means two things:

  • When we work with you on a project, we show you how we make the improvements we make. After some coaching, you can do it yourself.
  • When you look at any of the tips on our website, you’ll always see instructions at the bottom of the page to help you do it yourself.
A marketing development agency develops your staff and skills while it improves your business.

A marketing development agency develops your staff and skills while it improves your business.

What’s good about a marketing development agency?

Just in case it isn’t obvious why this is so much better than a regular marketing agency, let’s spell it out:

  1. You save money. You don’t have to keep paying an agency (us) for marketing projects. You develop the skills to do them yourselves.
  2. You develop your staff. People like to know that their employer cares about their career development. They want to know you’re working to improve their department. This is how you demonstrate it.
  3. The development is relevant. Everything we do is 100% specific to your business because it’s about solving one of your business’ problems. We’ve all been on those training courses that teach you things you don’t need to know – this isn’t like that.
  4. No translation necessary. We show you how to achieve goals in your business with your tools. We don’t show you how to email with Mailchimp when you use Zoho. We don’t show you how to create pages on a website that looks nothing like yours.
  5. The training is immediately actionable. You can put what you learn straight into action. You’ve got the need – that’s what the project was all about. You’ve got the tools – we use them during the project. You’ve got the skills – that’s what we pass on. This is the opposite to those “I might use that one day” skills you learn on pre-packaged courses.

The concept was so good it featured in the September 2021 issue of Shropshire Business.


How does a marketing development agency work?

Being a marketing development agency doesn’t mean we do formal training courses with homework, course notes and handouts (unless you want them). It just means we work more collaboratively than a normal agency:

  • We screen-share what we do through video-conferencing. You watch every step of the way, with us explaining what we do, why we do it and what some alternatives are.
  • We join you on-site if a technique is better demonstrated face-to-face. There’s no extra charge for this alternative because it’s part of the project but we do charge travel expenses.
  • You join us for visits if we’re doing external meetings for case studies, market research, etc.
  • Everything we do is done using your software so you can replicate or develop it later.
  • If you’re just researching a technique and you’re not a Forbes Baxter Associates customer, you can still use the “DIY Route” instructions at the bottom of almost every page.

Whatever we do, you join us on the journey.


What does a marketing development agency cost?

Taking the marketing development option instead of using a standard agency doesn’t cost you anything extra. If we’re just talking you through what we do, explaining the pro’s and con’s, there’s no extra cost. It may be a little slower for us but it’s a lot more enjoyable than working in isolation.

If you want something extra – guidance notes, a formal training structure, etc. – we do charge for the extra time.


Are we mad?

This approach may look like commercial madness. Aren’t we depriving ourselves of future business? Some of our competitors certainly think so. But they’re wrong:

  1. There are so many topics in marketing that we don’t run out of skills to develop. Once you’ve taken over SEO and content creation we can move on to email marketing. Then strategy. Then marketing automation. Then events. Then…
  2. It’s rare that we show a technique to a client and they pick it up straight-away. It usually takes a while to learn enough to take over.
  3. You may need agency support because you don’t have time to do the work yourself, not because you don’t have the skills. Our goal is to make sure you have the skills so you have the choice between doing it in-house or through an agency.
  4. And finally, if we have shown you everything we know, there are plenty of other businesses to help. We like the excitement of working with new customers. And because we love marketing, improving marketing skills gives us a huge sense of satisfaction.