Good marketing agencies give you tools to educate and attract customers. Their work is fast and cost-effective. Bad marketing agencies give you nightmares… zombie apocalypse nightmares. Don’t say we didn’t warn you…
But we’re not about to leave you to the wolves. Though choosing an outsourced marketing partner can be a complicated process, there are some specific red flags you can learn to spot when interviewing your candidates. So without further ado, we’d like to introduce you to the 4 types of outsourced marketing agencies you NEVER want to hire:
The Glory Days Agency
Former high school quarterbacks, state fair pageant queens, Jay Leno… Some people just can’t let go of past wins. Old school marketing agencies are equally freighted with nostalgia.
If your agency’s pitch meeting is all about the amazing client of yesteryear and how well its mass mailing campaign performed in 1998, steer the conversation back to your industry and your business needs. Give the team a chance to offer something timely and relevant.
Another good indicator your prospective agency is past its prime? Check out their social media presence and activity. If you don’t see them lighting up the networks on their own behalf, what are the odds they can connect with your target audience?
The B2Anybody Agency
Great agencies are like great restaurants; they keep their menus small to focus on quality, not variety. Don’t trust an agency that claims to be extraordinary in all areas.
For example, there are key differences between B2B and B2C marketing. Benchmarks and goals are often very different. If you need content marketing to educate and attract professional decision makers, review agencies’ case studies to see how they helped businesses like yours. Always ask for a list of clients and references.
The Hard of Hearing Agency
Even if you’re not exactly sure what your marketing strategy should be, you do have a clear idea about who you’re trying to engage and how you want them to act (e.g. buy your services). A good agency should help you tie those objectives to measurable goals.
For example, if your challenge is turning a high volume of online leads into sales, you’re not necessarily looking for more traffic—you’re looking for more qualified traffic. For you, the key performance indicator should focus on conversion percentage. Be leery of an agency that keeps feeding you stats on new social media followers and improved site numbers. These metrics are important, but they’re not what you asked for.
The Unchecked “Creative” Agency
Some marketing agencies feel justified in an elusive, wait-and-see working style. They may be accustomed to working with overly agreeable clients or long-term partners that trust in every move. But that’s not your problem.
Don’t be disarmed by talk of the “creative process.” Expect timelines. Ask to see drafts. If you’re too busy to manage the process, be aware that you’re rolling the dice on the finished product. If the work comes back totally off-base, creative license could end up costing you time and money. Check out these additional helpful tips for managing your outsourced marketing agency.
If you stumble upon any of these 4 offenders on your path to outsourcing, head for the hills! Remember, you can avoid ending up on an episode of The Walking Dead if you simply keep an eye out for a handful of company characteristics. Investing in the right outsourced marketing services can have such a positive impact on your business – don’t let the wrong firm waste your time!