Marketing is an art and a science. It takes time and expertise to master. Outsourcing your marketing, especially if you don’t know a lot about it, or don’t have the time is a good idea.
What you need is an agency that can deliver the results you’re looking for in a way that leaves enough profit on the table to make it worthwhile. You need the agency to understand your company, products, and services.
You’ll want your agency to adapt to any changes that occur, and you want to be able to communicate effectively with the people in charge of your account.
An agency must deliver results that lead to increased sales. For example, if you are running an online ad campaign where you’re getting thousands of clicks a day but no sales, there is something wrong. It could be your ad, sales pitch, click fraud, or no one wants what you have to offer, the people you’re targeting can’t afford your product, and the list goes on. You need a company that can help you reach your goal, not show a lot of activity and no sales.
There are many considerations in finding a good marketing company. It’s a big step and needs preparation. In the resources section of this post, you’ll find a collection of articles, each written by a different author giving you a broad perspective of the steps needed to choose a marketing company.
Before you get to the resources, I’d like to share a few issues I feel are essential when selecting a marketing agency.
Figuring Out What You Want
Define Your Goals
It’s essential that you understand your needs and goals. Don’t depend on the marketing company to tell you what you need. They may try to sell you on something you can’t afford or a marketing strategy that doesn’t match your goals. It’s up to you to know what you want, and then you can listen to their ideas.
Will You Focus On Brand Marketing?
Brand marketing consists of bringing awareness to your product. This type of marketing takes a long time to see results, and it’s costly because to bring awareness, you have to use repetition to keep your brand in people’s minds. An example of brand advertising is TV and radio commercials that repeatedly run for an extended period. Magazine ads and billboards are also a form of brand advertising.
Will You Focus on Direct Response Marketing?
Direct response marketing is controlled marketing and offers trackable results because the prospect is responding directly to the advertisement. Examples include flyers, direct mail marketing, Facebook ads, Google ads, Banner ads, Infomercials, etc.
Define The Service You Want
What’s important to you when dealing with a marketing agency? Do you want the company to create reports? Do you want a dedicated account representative? Do you want quick campaigns created? Do you want posts going out on a schedule? Define what you need before you start searching for a company.
Details To Look Into
Contracts And Cancellations:
What is the cancellation process? Are their fees involved if you do cancel? Do you get to keep the ad and campaign designs, or are they the property of the marketing agency?
How Do You Pay For Services?
Fees based on a percentage of the media spend?
Many agency fees are a percentage of the amount of advertising spent. On average ranging from 8% – 20% depending on what’s included, such as artwork.
Using the above percentages, if you spend $10,000 on a campaign, the agency will get between $800 and $2,000.
Monthly fees are popular with social media and online campaigns. The first step is to create the campaign, and then it’s maintained by the agency. Many of these companies offer different sized packages that allow you to get started and test the results. Once you get the results you want, you can expand to a larger package that offers more of what you’re getting.
Some companies offer a flat fee that covers, setting up your campaign, creating the ads and artwork, placing the advertising, etc.
You may find a company that charges an hourly fee for creating and maintaining your marketing campaigns, which on average, is from $100 to $175 per hour, depending on the work involved.
Checking Out A Company
Check Their Portfolio:
You’ll want to check the company’s portfolio to identify the style success and type of clients they have.
How Does the Company Promote Themselves?
Have a look at how the company handles it’s own marketing campaigns? Is it something that meets your approval? Is this the type of representation you want for your company?
Client Retention Rate
Do some research and find out the retention rate of their clients. Do clients stay with the company for long or short periods? A company with a high retention rate indicates satisfied clients. A company with low retention rates show that clients are trying them out but not getting results.
Contact Previous Clients
Try and contact previous clients to get an overview of their experience with the company. You may include some of the following questions:
- What do you like about the company
- How long did you work with them?
- What were the challenges of working with this company?
- Is there any hidden cost?
- Did you have a dedicated account representative?
- Did you get the results you were expecting?
- Is there any advice you can give me about working with this company?
What To Watch out for, When Choosing a Marketing Agency
Watch out for marketing companies that offer claims that seem too good to be true. E.g., We increase sales for one client by 12,000 percent in two weeks.
Let’s do the math. Before the company came in, the client had one sale. The agency ran a Google ads campaign for $3,500 over two weeks and generated 120 sales. Multiply 1×12,000%, and you get your 120 sales.
Is the marketing company being truthful? Yes, sales are up by 12,000%. Was it profitable, costing $3500 for 120 sales? Maybe, maybe not.
It’s not a great achievement when you break it down if you averaged paying 50 cents per ad clicked that means you had 7,000 people to make 120 sales or 1.2%
So you need to look deep into the matter when it comes to claims that seem outstanding.
If the company your considering is offering a secret formula, then your better off looking elsewhere.
Ask yourself this question. If I had a secret formula to get swarms of people to purchase products, would I offer this secret for a few thousand dollars? Or would I keep this formula and market my products and make ten times the amount?
If you are after search engine marketing, you need links from authority sites pointing to your page, you need to have good content, you need on-page optimization, and you need to know what pages you’re competing against.
Don’t fall prey to the Guaranteed 1st page on Google, claim. It could happen if you’re targeting a longtail keyword with no competition.
There are too many variables, and companies can’t guarantee such a claim. Tell the company that you want to be on page one of Google for the keyword “Real Estate.” And see what they say. (By the way Real Estate is a highly competitive keyword)
When it comes to marketing, there are no guarantees of the results you’ll receive. Any company offering guaranteed results is a red flag and should be avoided. The only credible guarantee the company can offer is the number of ads they can run, the publications where your ads are shown, and the type of work they will do, other than that forget about guaranteed results.
Offering a Flood of Traffic or Thousands of Likes and Followers Within a Few Days
Offers of thousands of new visitors to your website or thousands of new likes and followers to appear within a short time is a red flag.
Don’t fall into the trap of promises of thousands of new people swarming to your business, website, or social media page.
Thousands of whatever in a short period usually indicate fake accounts and automated bots.
Unique Resources to Choose a Small Business Marketing Company
How To Choose A Small Business Marketing Company
What To Avoid When Choosing A Marketing Company
Small Business Marketing Costs
How To Choose A Small Business Marketing Consultant
Marketing Companies For Small Business
What You Must Know About Marketing A Business
DIY Marketing VS Using A Marketing Company
The Latest about Small Business Marketing
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