If you’re like many small business owners, you’ve worked with one or more digital marketing agencies promising
- 1st page rankings in 90 days for some huge keyword.
- A million leads in the first 30 days.
- The most dedicated, high level service ever.
And then by the 90 mark none of these things are happening and you feel frustrated how you got fooled again into trusting these people.
We hear it quite literally in every introductory strategy meeting we have, and frankly it bothers us too. If you’ve been burned before it’s hard to trust anyone else, and then you miss out on hiring the right people (like us). It makes our work harder, makes your life more stressful. Everyone loses.
So we’re going to help you find that trusting feeling again with these six questions to ask when hiring a marketing agency:
1. Do you have references I can call? – Just like a job interview, they should be able to give you the phone numbers of clients like you that have agreed to speak with you. A great agency should have such great partnerships with their clients that their clients should be willing to speak highly of them to you. If they won’t give you contact info, go through their social media for client mentions, look on their website for logos of clients, and call the companies yourself to get an accurate picture of what it’s like to work with them.
2. Do you have case studies I can look at? A marketing company with great results that are well documented should have a couple case studies for you to look at. They don’t have to be industry specific, but it should outline the types of tools and strategies they use to get results. Those tools and results should match what you’re looking for.
3. Can you walk me through the tools you use to get me results? Your marketing company should be transparent about the tools they use and how they use them. Essentially this should be a preview of what you’ll get if you were to sign up for them. Reporting, ads campaigns, tracking systems, etc. If they’re performing standard digital marketing services but saying something is proprietary… that is a red flag. Note: this is NOT the same as detailing strategy or their operations. A good marketing company has spent decades honing their processes and strategies, that is not something that can be detailed for free in a 1-hour proposal meeting.
4. Can you show me how I’ll know how our marketing is working without having to ask you? You should have the ability to see in real time how your marketing is working and your dollars are being spent. This should come in the form of a reporting dashboard, accessible by a login at any time.
5. Can you show me in the contract where it states that I get to keep everything if we were to part ways? In the past, marketing companies used to hold your data and website hostage because there wasn’t as much competition for what they did. Nowadays you have the power, and should choose a company that puts you in control of what is deservedly yours.
6. How will I know how much money I’m making from our marketing? This is why we’re doing this right? You may have multiple goals for your marketing efforts, but you should be able to track at least roughly what return you’re getting for your investment. This does require your participation, at the very least giving your marketing company a close to accurate Customer Lifetime Value (profit*how many times they pay).
After that, it’s all about unique fit and preferences. Maybe you want someone local. Maybe someone you could see yourself getting beers with. Maybe you want someone more design focused or analytical. Maybe you’re focused on how to find an SEO agency that will boost your search engine ranking. Totally up to you.
None of this can guarantee success though. There’s a million reasons marketing does and doesn’t work. Some of it is luck, hitting the right chord with your audience at the right time.
But if the agency you’re talking to can answer those six questions to your satisfaction, you should feel confident in hiring them.
Can your marketing agency answer these questions? If not, it might be time for a switch. Schedule a call with Marion to show you what you’ve been missing.