Changing Advertising Options & Marketing Firm Specializations
In just the last two decades, the business industry has changed in a way no one expected. Along with various processes of a business, there have been significant shifts in how a company markets itself to potential customers.
In the old days, traditional marketing and advertising methods required a business to go out of their way to attract clients with costly and inconvenient strategies like newspapers and local television ads. The game has changed, and this means that you need a digital marketing agency to partner with you to ensure your success.
Today, digital marketing has allowed businesses to conveniently place themselves online through paid advertisement and organic ranking methods at little to no cost whatsoever. Today’s digital age requires companies to build content around the needs of their customers. Instead of T.V. and radio ads, companies can engage in Content Marketing with different channels like:
- Building a social media presence to build a relationship with their customers.
- Create informative blog posts that show off thought leadership to potential clients.
- Develop a beautiful website to build a brand name.
- Boost sales through Organic Traffic with SEO marketing for sustained business growth.
- Rank at the top of Search Engines with PPC marketing.
The list of ways a small business can market itself is almost limitless. While the digital age has brought about lots of changes in your marketing strategy, it also means your in-house teams will have more pressure than ever before to get found with online marketing.
When Should You Hire A Marketing Firm?
Many in-house teams can get overwhelmed, and some small business owners may choose not to build their marketing efforts around in-house employees. While traditional teams work for some businesses, many companies have found they need to hire a digital marketing agency to fill in the gaps.
The only way to get the full benefits of digital marketing strategies requires a mix of creativity and patience. Inbound marketing requires a marketing team with a range of technical skills. It also requires specialists who excel in different channels to reach your business goals.
Some marketing channels like SEO and Pay-Per-Click management require a deep knowledge of different platforms. Some companies find that team members lack the expertise needed to execute day-to-day tactics.
Even with the necessary knowledge, some companies fall behind their competition since they can’t focus on other channels like social media marketing while still focusing on sales and product development.
Should You Outsource Your Marketing Efforts?
Whether you are a small business owner or the director of your department you have a lot on your plate. This is why more companies than ever before are outsourcing a firm to handle their marketing needs.
Since the needs of your business varies and the specialization of online marketing ranges, you need to be sure that you hire a good agency for your marketing needs.
This is where the importance of hiring an agency comes into play. Instead of dealing with the technicality and confusion of digital marketing yourself, hiring an agency can allow them to do the dirty work while you focus on other areas of your business that will lead to success.
As high as that sounds, keep in mind that hiring an unqualified marketing firm can do far more harm than you could if you do the marketing yourself.
Simply put, there is no need to rush the agency research process. As an overall rule, look for an agency that will match your needs and requirements at a price that is reasonable to you.
Now that we understand how important it is to avoid hiring a marketing firm that is unqualified let’s discuss some of the direct warning signs to look out for.
Here are eight red flags to watch for when hiring a marketing agency.
#1: Their Blog & Industry Leadership Is Outdated Or Nonexistent
Let’s be honest, in the digital marketing world, and talk is cheap. If a marketing agency doesn’t have their own blog or podcast to back up their claims, that’s simply a sign that they can’t help you.
At the very least, a marketing agency should show that they can test the latest marketing trends with their own sources as a way to show thorough leadership. As important as this is, not looking into these qualities is one of the most common mistakes that companies are looking for marketing agencies make.
Expect to work with a marketing agency that keeps an updated blog and leads the industry through it.
#2: They Are Not Willing To Provide Relevant Case Studies
Knowing how to hire marketing agency professionals doesn’t have to be as detailed as people make it out to be.
In some cases, it can be as simple as asking past clients about their experience to see if the agency isn’t faking a good job. A good example of this is to ask them if they are willing to provide case studies that are relevant to your current situation.
If they don’t, consider that a sign that they might have had a bad experience with a similar situation in the past.
At the very least, doing the due diligence of looking at referrals will give you a better understanding of what the agency excels at. As an overall rule, you should talk with two different past clients.
#3: They Don’t Provide Detailed Recommendations Or Direction
If a marketing agency doesn’t provide suggestions or detailed audits, save yourself as soon as possible, as that is one of the easiest red flags to spot.
With a marketing agency, you should receive concise reports that detail the performance of your campaigns monthly. Additionally, a good marketing agency will provide not only lots of suggestions but suggestions that can be implemented immediately.
I can’t tell you how many marketing agencies will send their clients a 13-page report that does not provide any input. Even worse than the large volume of pages, the report actually does even provide any insight or direction. You do not have to put up with a marketing agency that focuses more on fluff than they do actually marketing your business.
#4: They Don’t Have An Online Reputation
Similar to the case studies red flag, knowing how to hire marketing agency professionals can also be as simple as looking at their online reputation.
Doing so allows you to find patterns of problems that you can avoid. For this reason, if you find an agency that has no reviews, you can expect that they won’t deliver on what they promise to provide.
As far as what sources are the best, look into an agency’s Yelp, Google My Business, or any other similar source to see what people have to say about the agency and their abilities to deliver.
#5: The Marketing Agents Are Difficult To Get A Hold Of
Another proven tip to understand how to hire marketing agency professionals is to recognize that a lot of them are sales shops.
In other words, they only acquire leads and sell their services as a way to farm out the marketing to other low-level companies. Because of this, you should be able to talk with the people who will do the marketing work for you as a way to determine if the agency is legit.
A pro tip in mind to avoid this issue is to look into the email copy of their messages. If they are emailing you with acronyms such as “Sir” or “Kindly”, that might be a sign that they are oversea agents working under a different company.
#6: They Are Not Transparent About Their Pricing
Transparency from an agency is arguably the essential quality to look out for.
For this reason, if you find that an agency is padding their margins at your expense by hiding their management fees, consider cutting them immediately.
Also, make sure to ensure your marketing company sends you invoices that separate ad spends and their management fees as a way to avoid confusion.
You do not have to put up with an online marketing agency that hides costs from you. It’s your money and if you want to invest your money in marketing then you need a marketing agency that will share costs with you in a straight forward manner.
#7: They Can’t Market Themselves
The digital marketing industry makes it very easy for marketing agencies to claim that they are the leaders in it.
However, if a marketing agency is not able to market themselves, then how can you expect them to market your company correctly?
Not looking into an agency’s own marketing standings is yet another mistake that companies looking for marketing agencies make regularly. A simple online search can help you avoid this problem.
#8: They Don’t Ask Questions About Your Business
As far as strategies that companies looking for marketing agencies use quite often, asking lots of questions about an agency is one that never goes without using. However, the reverse of this strategy is just as important.
Overall, a good marketing agency is one that will ask lots of questions during the onboarding process and throughout the entirety of marketing campaigns. Keep in mind that it’s the job of the marketing agency to learn about your business so they can properly market it online.
This is simply impossible if they don’t ask enough of the right questions.
Making The Decision To Hire A Marketing Firm
You have a lot of responsibilities, and there is a lot riding on you hiring the right marketing firm. You should look out for the above eight red flags if you currently have a marketing agency or you are looking to outsource marketing efforts.
Contact us today if you are ready to work with the best digital marketing agency. Simply fill out the form below, and we will get in touch with you to start the process to get your business to the next level!