Choosing the right marketing firm for your business can be a lengthily and sometimes expensive process. With thousands of different marketing firms available worldwide, who all offer great design and a wide variety of digital marketing services, choosing the wrong partner can be very expensive and can hurt your brand. You have to research your options and make sure that the firm is the right fit for you, your brand, and your business goals.
Here are 8 questions that will help you make the right decision
Do they practice what they preach?
You wouldn’t trust a dentist with bad teeth or a skinny chef, would you? When you are researching marketing firms check their website, social media pages, and online search ranking. Most marketing firms will display their top capabilities on their own website. Make sure that the site is mobile friendly and research the quality of their content. For social media, if one firm has 400 Facebook likes and the other has over 3,000 Facebook likes, it is clear who will be the better partner. See how often they post, what type of content they share, and how much engagement there is. Also google search for marketing firms in the area, if they are on the bottom of the page or even on the second page, they probably are not a good firm to handle your online search ranking.
Who are their clients?
Depending on what type of business that you have, you want to make sure that the marketing firm can handle all your needs, but also can give you the attention that you require. When a firm only has big national brands, they will most likely focus on larger clients and might not spend the time needed to build up a business. On the other hand, when a firm has mostly smaller clients, you might wonder how far they can take you. A good balance of large clients and smaller clients is recommended. If you compete in a certain industry, it helps if the firm has previous experience in the sector.
Are they forward thinking?
The marketing industry moves fast. What worked 2 years ago, might already be replaced by something completely new. You want to make sure that the marketing firm understands the most current marketing strategies. Check out their blog to see how often they post and how current their content is. A good marketing firm understands that it is their job to be your trusted marketing partner and keep you up to date on the latest marketing techniques and development to ensure you reach the highest return on investment.
Do they understand digital?
Every business needs an online strategy. With new online marketing solutions such as inbound marketing, social media marketing, and search engine optimization, it is key that your marketing firm understands the most current digital marketing strategies. Digital marketing is all about sending qualified prospects to your website and improving your conversion rate. Many businesses have increased their digital marketing spend, and this will only continue to grow. To make sure that your digital brand messaging is in sync with your traditional brand messaging, a full service marketing firm with a strong digital departments that can handle all your communication needs is the better choice.
How do they gain insight into your customers and prospects?
To make smart marketing decisions, your marketing firm needs to understand your customers and prospects. You want to make sure that your messaging speaks to your audience and converts impressions into leads or sales. Having a firm that understands your market and your industry and that utilizes marketing research information and industry information to make smart marketing decisions is key.
Do they take the time to understand your business?
In order for a firm to put together a solid marketing campaign, they have to understand your business. You trust them with your most valuable asset, and if they do not take adequate time to learn about your business, you should walk away. The marketing firm needs to understand your history, your vision, your ideal customers, your market area, and your business goals. A good marketing firm creates a consistent message across all media that matches your business communication style and your vision. It creates an identity.
Do they explain their processes and do they outsource any of their services?
With more complex service such as Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Marketing, some firms will outsource this to save internal costs. It is very important that you understand who performs these services and what their processes are, because the wrong techniques can get you blacklisted on the search engines. Having the experts in house also streamlines the process and ensures that they understand your brand message and your marketing goals.
How long have they been in business?
The marketing services industry is very competitive. If the firm folds in the middle of your campaign, you will have to put it on hold and hope that you can convert everything to a new firm. This can be a lengthly and expensive process. Although you can never be 100% save on this, marketing firms that have been in business for multiple years, who bring in new clients on a regular basis, and are current on the most recent marketing techniques will be your best choice.