I’ve never been part of a marketing team that didn’t have to create literature, usually design through to print. It still amazes me how many Marketing Teams don’t have all their vendors in place though. Sure you’ve got that guy that you usually go to for your printing. But what about when the timelines are really short? (Like last minute events or stunts) Or when your in-house team is overloaded and you need to send work out to a contractor?
I’ve built relationships with a set of vendors, so that just in case everything’s in a mess, I’ve got a list of go to people (with contract rates) ready to hand. It’s something I’d strongly recommend you create. You can get updated pricing every couple of months, which is a great opportunity for you to keep in touch with them – even if you’re not sending any work their way at the moment.
Here’s a few of the different marketing vendors that I try to keep relationships with:
- Copywriters; we have our in-house writer and use an external agency (Godot) when there’s excessive load
- Graphic designers ; we have internal designers, and have contract rates with 3 freelance graphic designers that we use for specific projects
- Video creators; this is new for us, previously we used to create videos internally, but we’re increasingly relying on external vendors given the volume of time taken (and resource used) to finish video projects
- Printers (regular); everyone needs to have a regular printer, nothing special here
- Printers (last minute); this is where we go when things are getting tight. They charge a premium but can get things done overnight and work really well under time pressure
- Web designers; we have an agency on contract that we use for majority of our work, but there are 2 freelancers that support us when we need custom pages & quick project work
Even if you’ve got in-house teams to cover these, it’s always good to keep your fall-backs ready. If you’ve got the budget, it can be worthwhile to send work out to them on occasion instead of in-sourcing it. It’ll give you practical experience of working with your vendors, so you’ll understand their process and their idiosyncrasies when crunch time comes.
Having a few good marketing vendors on tap has saved projects for me in the past.