Pretty simply, actually.  Many years of agency experience has taught us a few things.  We use them all the time:
1. Know your business. We spend time with you.  We ask questions.  We look at your business from a marketing perspective. 
 We want to know:  What makes your business special?  What do you do well?  What can you improve?
2. Know your brand. What does your brand promise?  How does your brand promise it?
3. Know your competition. Who is it?  How do they market?  What makes them better–or not as good?
4. Know your Customer.  Who are they?  Why do they use your products?  Are they loyal to your brand?  Why?
5. Know your problem.  Most marketing issues are problems that need solving.
If we connect on these things, then we are ready to help you solve your marketing problems.