3 Characteristics of a Healthy Marketing Partner for Your Online Business

by | Price & Process

When you’re considering businesses to work with, the word “healthy” doesn’t necessarily come to mind.

We think that it should.

The health of a business is a huge factor in whether or not you can expect results from your efforts—and frankly, whether or not you have a good time in the process.

Nobody wants to work with a nightmare company.

By choosing a healthy company to work with, you’ll be well on your way to an experience that is impactful both for you and your customers.

So, then, what does a healthy marketing business look like?

At NorthMac, we define that with three very powerful words: Engaging, Clear, and Insightful.

1. Engaging

Here’s a sample of the different businesses we’re working with right now:

  1. A building manufacturer
  2. A mobile wedding and events DJ
  3. A PT/Chiropractic front office training firm

These are entirely different businesses with entirely different needs, markets, revenue models, customer bases, and sales cycles.

As you can imagine, that makes for a wild ride in understanding customer behavior and activity!

But you know what? It’s interesting!

How cool to think that on any given day, we’re thinking about how to get inside the heads of these different types of people so we can know how to get the right message in front of them.

Is it challenging? Absolutely. And that’s part of what makes it so exciting.

But it won’t happen if your marketing company is not engaged. It takes a willingness and desire to get to the bottom of the target market and understand the customer to move along sales.

Around here, we’re just plain interested in how people make decisions, use websites, and research companies before they purchase.

Sometimes, it takes a while to get that dialed in.

Other times, it comes fairly easily.

Regardless, it is fun—and engaging! We think that a playful attitude of fun and excitement to see what makes customers tick is vital to making things happen.

2. Clear

This one probably deserves its own blog post. (Noting that for the future…)

Is there anything worse than working with a company where there is no clarity around process, expectations, expertise, execution, etc?

This is one of the primary reasons we decided not to become an “Oh yeah, we do that too!” kind of company.

Look if that’s your jam, cool.

For us, we wanted to have a system and a process with fairly predictable outcomes that we could execute over and over again.

It’s why we developed our CREST process:

  • C – Conversion-Based Website (the foundation)
  • R – Review & Reputation Management (capture word of mouth)
  • E – Email Newsletter (retain and create repeat business)
  • S – Search Optimized Content (attract new customers)
  • T – Tracking and Testing (A/B) (optimize for results)

Notice, this is not a willy-nilly splattering of services that we do just because we’re a marketing company.

This is a well-defined process that is easily adaptable to both local and web businesses.

As I mentioned, it is also important to be clear not only about the process but the expectations.

For example, you might have noticed that our process does not include paid advertising. Why?

Because we don’t do paid advertising.

We work with fulfillment partners who can do this work, and they integrate nicely with our system.

But strictly speaking, CREST is an inbound/organic marketing strategy. It is designed to carry a business forward into the 3-5 year position of influence in their space.

And, it can often take 6 months to a year before we see any results. It’s not the sexiest sales pitch.

But it’s an investment in the right stuff. That’s how we position ourselves, and that creates the right expectations.

We don’t want to work with you if you need results in three weeks or even three months. Not because we don’t like you—but because you won’t like us!

If your business is in that position, we’re just not the right fit yet. And that’s okay.

Do you see how much more confident of a position that is? For everyone involved!

You now know whether or not we’re a good fit, when we might be a good fit, and what we can do to help once you’re there. That’s what I mean by clarity.

Side note: It’s not as though there is zero hope of immediate results. For example, a business with a strong past customer list can really benefit immediately from an email newsletter and review and reputation management. We’re just super careful about what we promise.

Let’s have a chat if you want to discuss more.

3. Insightful

Finally, a healthy marketing partner will be insightful.

This word is chosen very carefully. It sits between two extremes we’ve seen, both of which are disconcerting:

  1. An obsession with numbers over emotional intelligence
  2. An obsession with emotional intelligence over numbers

The first business always says, “Well, the numbers show…” while the second one always says “Well, we know people do…”

Here’s the reality: Numbers are often indicative of what humans do……and humans are also incredibly unpredictable.

A healthy marketing partner, we think, will be insightful. Not obsessed with either extreme. It will look at the data and remember that behind each number is a person who made a decision.

That decision—whether positive or negative with respect to your company—mattered to them. Even if for a moment. So it should matter to you, too.

Insightful marketing will make decisions with the heart of your customer in mind. We know that people buy emotionally. It’s hard to imagine something less emotional than numbers.

And yet, by working with both of those as markers to our decision-making, we can create something is comprehensive and adjust within your business for the long term.


Are we the right marketing partner for you? I don’t know.

What I do know is that engaging, clear, and insightful marketing companies are who you should be aiming to work with. After all, the alternatives are:

  1. Disengaged
  2. Muddy
  3. Obtuse

I can certainly say that doesn’t sound like a winning combination.

It’s important you know that we’re not casting shade here. Companies that fit the above description are rare…but perhaps not as rare as you might think.

At the end of the day, perhaps you should go with your gut.

If a marketing company is making outrageous promises, treating people as those as they are nothing more than numbers, and seems more interested in what they’re making from you instead of what you could do for your customers, you should consider a different option.

If you’d like to learn more about our process and see if it’d be a great fit for your company, please don’t hesitate to schedule a free discovery call with us.

Thanks for reading!



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