How Your Marketing Firm Should be Like IKEA

I went to IKEA recently and started taking pictures as I shopped…not of the merchandise, but of the messaging.

I realized walking through, this was exactly how a client should feel going to a marketing firm.

Here’s what I mean.

You go to IKEA because you want furniture that fits your needs. And as soon as you walk in, they have your entire experience planned out, down to a science.

You walk in and a sign tells you to grab a cart. I, not liking someone telling me what to do, did not. And I immediately regretted it!

They told you to grab a pencil and paper, and then they direct you onto the right path.

With that in mind, here’s how your marketing firm should be like IKEA.


The Possibilities:


They don’t just show you furniture, they help you visualize exactly what you need in the space you have to work.

Throughout the store they set up rooms of all different dimensions to show you how these products work together, not only aesthetically, but functionally.

A marketing firm should focus on helping the client see the benefit and reason for each tactic. You may come in saying you need a video.

Your marketing firm shouldn’t say, “Ok, we can do that.”

They should instead ask, “Do you know why?”

It’s possible you really do need a video. But to determine if the video is the right direction, there’s a few steps to go through first.

The firm should examine your goals, research and then show you the possibilities of what marketing done well can do for your organization.

Needs Anticipated:

As you walk through IKEA, they anticipate your needs. Childcare is provided for parents who just need to focus on shopping and not their child getting lost in the masses.

Half way through the building you’ll find a cafeteria. They recognize you’re probably overloaded with information and just need a physical and mental rest.

Then you can carry on and begin making your final decisions.

Even as you leave, they place a clearly visible sign acknowledging you’ve just made a big purchase. A decision that may not work out.

How do they reassure you?

By telling you it’s okay to bring a product back…with a giant heart and outstretched arms right beside it.

The entire purchasing process is laid out, guiding you through the best path for you to easily make decisions based on your personal needs.

Working with the right marketing firm you will have much the same experience.

They’ll guide you through each step in a timely manner, explaining the benefits moving forward. Their knowledge of your business and customers allow them to understand your current needs and anticipate what marketing tactics you’ll need down the road.

A New Direction:

My favorite thing… well I should say, the thing that made me buy more than I really needed, was their four-wheeled carts.

Now, this may be unintentional, but those wheels seemed to have a mind of their own, keeping  me moving to aisles I didn’t know I needed to go down.

But then, I ended up buying a table and chairs for our balcony at work! The team loves it!

Team Lunch

You’ve probably discovered finding the right direction to take your marketing can be tricky. But, a marketing team who understands your customers and your goals, won’t be finicky like those carts at IKEA.

If they do steer you in a new direction, it should be because the research has indicated it’s needed.  

The Right Marketing Experience


Clearly I enjoyed my IKEA experience, but what I’m trying to get across is this: your experience with a marketing firm should feel this way.

You know marketing needs to be a part of your business, but you don’t always know where to start or where to move next.

Your firm should guide you through the marketing cycle.

The team should be creative and founded in research; steering clients in the direction that makes sense for their business.