Authentic Transport Fine Art Services may be making big waves in the NYC art handling scene, but that doesn’t mean they don’t feel the same strains as other small businesses. CMO and Executive Client Manager, Robert Lopez, reminds us that all small businesses have to make the most of their investments – both monetary and manpower. To show real value, marketing partners have to be ready to get scrappy.

I caught up with him (full disclosure: he’s my brother-in-law) to talk about how marketers can best show progress and ROI to small business owners. 

What are the core hurdles for a small business to engage with a marketing agency? Why do small businesses outsource their content marketing?

Running a marketing strategy from scratch can be a really hard task that involves time, money, marketing tools, and of course the know-how. Most small businesses don’t have these things in spades. They know they need help, but are likely to have a limited budget, which means they can only afford limited help.

When a company hires a marketing agency to work on its content, the expectation is simple: help drive sales conversion. According to Neil Patel, “brands need to make sure that they’re creating and distributing the right information.” Here are the core barriers:

  • Limited budget (money and time) = limited service. Small businesses don’t know how to do it themselves, but they can’t afford to pay someone to do it all for them, either. This can mean they end up with a piecemeal relationship with the agency which, in the end, doesn’t meet their one expectation (driving sales).
  • Zero leads: if money and time are limited, that can also mean a lack of key information sharing with the agency (e.g. brand guidelines, persona, and target consumer, etc.). So, the agency output could be amazing, yet, is missing the mark for the small business and not helping to drive sales.
  • No engagement = no traffic, no social media interactions, no sales conversion = frustration, and did I mention, no sales?

What kind of ROI (return on investment) would you need to see to make that investment?

Parting from the fact that “digital marketing content costs 62% less than traditional marketing,” according to Demand Metric, and relying on sales-lead quality to keep track of performance, I would expect to boast a ROI in hundreds of percentage points.


With a small team, how do you prioritize marketing materials (e.g. Are physical materials more important than the website? Is social more important than emails?)

Over one-third of CMOs believe that digital will account for 75% of marketing spend in the next five years.

According to a content marketing infographic by Demand Metric:

  • 80% of US internet users interact with social media sites and blogs.
  • 68% of people spend time reading about brands that interest them.
  • 20% of internet user’s online-time is spent on content.

The world is constantly changing and largely influenced by technology trends. Companies must adapt and make changes of strategic importance to keep up. As a new business in the market, I would want to see a strong digital marketing approach, ranked as the core brand management scheme within the marketing strategy. This would prioritize all the digital marketing techniques and its channels, keep track of ROI in real-time, and adapt quickly to results.

Visual Capitalist

What could a marketing agency do for you that you would find most valuable? What do you wish someone else could take off your plate?

To echo the above, an agency would need to develop tailored content strategy based on extended research of my target audience and the business core values. They need to tell me what I should be saying and where I should be saying it. Basically, if I can’t afford for you to drive me to success, at least give me the road map.

Another annoyance that I would “throw money at” would be an automated platform that gathers all the marketing tools (automation, content design, SEO, analytics, CRM, website hosting) needed to run a high-impact and efficient marketing strategy that makes it impossible for me to mess it up. Essentially, take everything I’ve mentioned above and put it in one place for me to analyze, review and revise as necessary so I can better (say it with me now) drive sales conversions!

Robert Lopez is the CMO and Executive Client Manager for Authentic Transport, NY. Educated in Colombia, Australia and China, Robert advocates for a global approach to marketing and advertising. A true believer that “the world is flat,” Robert also understands that award-winning marketing and customer service go hand-in-hand. Every client interaction is one-to-one marketing in action.  Authentic Transport Fine Art Services is a New York based company offering handling, installation, relocation and storage of fine art and antiques across the U.S. and around the globe.