Tips to Help You Find a Reputable Marketing Firm
Handling your own marketing for your business can be overwhelming. Not only do you have to take on the daily responsibilities of running your business, but you also need to plan and execute your marketing strategy. Not only that, but you may have found that doing marketing may be a bit harder than you realized. That is where a marketing firm can help take the pressure off of you and help run a meaningful marketing campaign that gets real results.
But what makes for a great marketing firm?
Who can you trust?
And what are some of the warning signs I should watch out for?
Whether you are hiring a marketing firm for the first time or you are wondering if you should switch marketing firms, you’ll find the answers to these questions very helpful.
First Things First
First, it is important to know what you should consider or think about before hiring a marketing firm.
Know what you wish to accomplish: Even though you’ll be hiring someone else to do the legwork for you, you will still need to play a part in what you want your marketing campaign to accomplish. Lay out your thoughts on these so that you can guide your marketing campaign.
Research: Do your research on the firms you are considering. Learn about the services they provide, take a look at their portfolio and check out reviews on the firm.
Now, let’s dive into some of the warning signs that a marketing firm may not be as reputable as they may seem.
There is that old adage “you get what you pay for.” Don’t be fooled by companies offering low priced packages. But at the same time, don’t think that you need to pay $9,000 a month to have a fantastic marketing campaign. Make sure you take the time to really compare each firm’s pricing compared to the services you are getting. If something seems too good to be true or outlandishly expensive, trust your gut and avoid those companies.
Size + Time
Just because a company is larger, that doesn’t mean your account will get the time and attention it deserves. Sometimes these large companies will have one person handling 80 accounts. That means your account may only get 2 hours of attention each month at best. Your business deserves more than that. Make sure that you ask how many accounts firm employees are in charge of to gauge whether or not your account will get the time and attention it deserves.
Lack of Transparency
A reputable marketing firm that gets results won’t be afraid to show off their numbers and the data that backs it up. So if you don’t see case studies on their website or receive any after asking for some, it’s best to steer clear of that firm.
You also want transparency on pricing. This means they should be upfront about their management fees. Ask what those fees are before hiring any marketing firm. Also ask if the firm sends out line item invoices that show a breakdown of all the different ad spends, fees and more. And avoid companies that don’t have contracts that lay out exactly what you are getting.
Their Online Presence is Outdated or Nonexistent
A marketing firm should be able to practice what they preach. If a marketing firm can’t even bother with an online presence or keep up with it, can they really handle your online marketing presence? A professional and reputable marketing firm should have a blog or podcast of their own that backs up their claims and shows industry leadership. They should also have a good social media presence and an up-to-date website. Beyond that, a good marketing firm should be able to market themselves. Look at their online presence to see how they are marketing themselves and do an online search to see what turns up in Google. Don’t be afraid to ask firms questions before hiring them about how they handle social media marketing campaigns, SEO and PPC ads. If their answers are vague, be wary.
Shiny Objects + Promises
Getting on page one of Google isn’t easy, so don’t be fooled by promises of attaining shiny objects such as these. Creating quality content takes time and nothing is guaranteed when it comes to digital marketing. Avoid companies that make crazy promises. Good SEO can take 6 months to 2 years; optimizing PPC campaigns can take several months as well, though each business is different.
They Don’t Ask Questions
It is important that a marketing firm gets to know and understands the brands and businesses they are marketing. So if they aren’t asking you lots of questions about your company, they won’t be able to really market your brand well at all. It’s literally their job to get to know your business so they can market it. And don’t think that the questions should end after the onboarding process. They should be checking in with you and asking questions throughout the entirety of any marketing campaign.
By following these tips, you’ll be more confident in the marketing firm you eventually hire. There may be a few bumps along the road in the beginning as the firm gets to know you and your business and you get to know them even more. And remember, if it ends up not being a good match, it’s okay to switch firms.