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What Privately Held Family B2B Companies Look for In a Marketing Firm

Privately held family b2b companies typically factor in their own unique set of needs when looking for an outsourced marketing partner. These wants and preferences are deeply rooted in their distinctive business structures, values, and long-term goals. Based on serving hundreds of family-governed organizations across my career, here are the aspects of the relationship that our clients value most:


1. UNDERSTANDING OF FAMILY BUSINESS DYNAMICS: Family businesses are often steeped in history and values developed over generations. A marketing agency that comprehends these unique dynamics can create strategies that respect the family’s legacy and maintain the brand’s authenticity. This involves crafting marketing efforts that not only resonate with the current goals of the business but also honor its past and vision for the future.


2. LONG-TERM RELATIONSHIP AND TRUST: These businesses typically seek more than a transactional relationship with a marketing agency. They value long-term partnerships with agencies that invest time in deeply understanding their business and are committed to its growth over time. Trust is a fundamental aspect, as family businesses often emphasize close, personal relationships in their business dealings.


3. A CUSTOMIZED AND FLEXIBLE APPROACH: Recognizing that family businesses have specific needs and priorities, which may differ from those of publicly owned corporations, is crucial. A marketing agency that offers customized and flexible solutions can ensure that strategies are both relevant and effective, adapting to the unique challenges and opportunities the business faces.


4. ALIGNMENT WITH BUSINESS VALUES AND CULTURE: The marketing agency needs to align with the core values, mission, and culture of the family business. This alignment ensures that the marketing strategies and messages are consistent with the business ethos and culture, thereby maintaining the integrity and reputation of the family brand.


5. MULTI-GENERATIONAL APPEAL: Family businesses often cater to a broad client base, including loyal customers across multiple generations. Marketing strategies should therefore be designed to appeal to this diverse customer base, balancing the appeal across different age groups, while maintaining the company’s legacy and appeal.


6. RESULTS-ORIENTED STRATEGIES: Like any business, family-owned companies seek tangible returns on their marketing investments. They prefer agencies that set clear, measurable goals and use data-driven strategies to demonstrate the impact of marketing efforts on key business objectives like sales, customer engagement, and brand awareness.


7. RELATED INDUSTRY EXPERIENCE: Agencies with specific industry experience are likely to be more attuned to the market dynamics, competitive landscape, and customer preferences of that sector. This knowledge and familiarity enable them to create more targeted and effective marketing strategies.


8. DISCRETION AND SENSITIVITY: The private nature of a family business and the involvement of family members often necessitate a higher level of discretion and sensitivity. Marketing agencies must be mindful of internal dynamics, confidentiality issues, and the personalized nature of the business.


9. INNOVATIVE YET PRAGMATIC SOLUTIONS: While innovation is important to keep pace with market trends, family businesses also appreciate practical and sustainable solutions that fit their business model. Balancing innovative ideas with pragmatic strategies is key to creating effective marketing campaigns for these businesses.


10. SUCCESSION PLANNING CONSIDERATIONS: Succession planning is an essential element of family businesses. Agencies that can assist in branding and marketing strategies that facilitate this process can be particularly valuable. This may involve shaping the brand narrative to incorporate future leadership changes and preserving the family values and legacy.


Privately held family b2b companies look for marketing firms that not only offer technical marketing expertise but also deeply understand the nuances of family businesses. They value agencies that focus on long-term partnerships and trust, align closely with their unique values and culture, and adapt their strategies to meet the specific needs and dynamics of the business.


Given our history with such organizations, plus the fact that we are a second-generation, privately held b2b company, Delia Associates is well-positioned to partner with family businesses and serve as a catalyst for next-generation growth through its unique brand-centric, growth-based marketing platform.

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