In our increasingly digital world, finding a marketing agency that can expand your brand’s reach online is non-negotiable. Your company needs a strong web presence if you want to grow and increase customer awareness. However, as more and more marketing agencies pop up, businesses need to watch out for firms that might not have their best interests in mind.
When you’re looking for a marketing firm with which to enter a business relationship, you don’t want to get stuck with an agency that will deliver subpar work and hold your company back. Here are five things to watch out for when you’re looking for marketing agencies.
1. Their Offices, Be They Physical or Virtual, Are Lacking
In a more digitalized world, it’s becoming common for more and more work to be done outside of a traditional office setting. A few decades ago, if a company was looking for marketing services, they would look for firms in their area and then attend a meeting at those firms’ facilities. Now, however, much work is done online and it’s not uncommon for a company to work with a marketing firm that may very well be thousands of miles away from their location.
However, just because you’re working with this business virtually doesn’t mean that you can’t hold them to a certain standard for professionalism. Do they utilize advanced technology for file sharing and conference calls? Is their website professional and free of flaws? Do they use a shared calendar so that both parties can stay on top of meetings and appointments? Remember, just because an office is located in another state doesn’t mean that you can’t hold it to the same standard that you’d hold a physical office near your place of business. If you walked into a marketing agency and there were holes in the walls, you wouldn’t do business with that company. The same should be said for flaws in an agency’s online presence.
Do Google a marketing agencies address to see if its a “virtual” office they can only receive mail at. The new trend is buying whats basically no more than a mailbox at a large high rise. You will quickly find out that you can not walk freely into their office when you please because it simply does not exist. It’s a strong indication that you would be working with a single person probably in their mom’s basement or they outsource all of their work.
Davinci is just one of many companies who provides this service and here is a snippet from their website:
“Davinci virtual office locations provide you with an impressive business address, mail forwarding services, lobby directory listings, and a wide variety of cutting-edge business services. Use your address for business licensing or registration and market your new company address on search engines and internet directories.
Finally, you’ll no longer have to inundate your home address with business mail. You’ll be able to look more professional for current and prospective clients. Sign up for a Davinci business address and give your business the image it deserves in about 15 minutes.”
Do you really want a company handling your marketing that pays $50 a month for a fake address and you have no idea where they are actually doing the work at?
2. Their Prices, Be They Too High Or Two Low, Feel “Off”
You’ve probably heard the old phrase that you have to “spend money to make money.” To a degree, this is true. No marketing professional is going to help you grow your business out of the goodness of their heart.
However, price can say a lot about the professionalism of the agency or firm in question. When a price is set far too high for website marketing services, it’s often an indicator that the agency is banking on the idea that business owners might be technologically inept and therefore easily convinced that something as simple as a few social media blasts are worth thousands of dollars.
However, if an agency prices their services far too low, it’s often an indicator that they outsource a lot of labor. For example, if a marketing agency says they’ll upload thousands of blog posts to your website for pennies on the dollar, you can be sure that they are relying on overseas third-party services that create barely readable content. Ultimately, you want to work with a marketer whose prices aren’t dirt cheap, but who is asking for fair compensation for their hard work.
3. You’re Having A Subpar Customer Service Experience
You don’t hire a marketing service because you’re looking for new friends. However, you ideally want to have a good working relationship with everyone with whom you do business. If you dread picking up the phone to call your marketer, this can often be a sign that they might not be a good fit for your business.
A lot of marketers who are working with multiple companies at once fall into the trap of trying to rush phone calls and meetings, since they see it as an unnecessary use of their time. Try to avoid working with marketers like these. While it’s normal for a marketer to work with multiple businesses at a time, it’s not normal for them to treat you like an inconvenience. Find a marketer who can juggle multiple clients while remaining genuinely invested in you and your company. To successfully market your business, you need to work with people who are as excited about your brand as you are.
4. You’re At Risk Of A “Hostage Situation”
“Hostage situations” are very real in the marketing world, especially in an era where most marketing materials are digital, instead of physical documents that a business owner can hold in their hands. A hostage situation refers to when a marketer hold the copyright over websites, blogs, brochures and other content. If a company chooses to part ways with the marketer, they suddenly lose all of these essential marketing materials. For this reason, there are many business owners who are stuck with marketing firms that they don’t like for the simple reason that they’re afraid of what they’d lose if they left.
Never let this situation happen to you. When you’re first agreeing on a contract, be absolutely positive that you will own the copyright for any content they produce for you. Should you choose to part ways, you will be given the credentials for all social media accounts and websites and they will erase their records of those logins.
There are plenty of ways for marketers to protect themselves contractually in the event that a business chooses not to pay them. This is usually done via a contract where the business owner declares that they will pay for contracted work or be subject to legal ramifications. If a marketer tries to tell you that they just want to own your copyright to protect themselves and wouldn’t actually hold your work hostage, politely end the meeting and take your business elsewhere. This is a massive red flag.
5. Watch Out For Unreasonable Contracts
As stated above, a good marketing firm won’t demand that they hold the copyright on your company’s marketing materials. Because of this, marketing firms need to create contracts to protect themselves. This is completely normal and to be expected. You wouldn’t want your company to do business for a client only to receive no payment and a marketing firm is entitled to the same protections.
However, just because a contract is to be expected doesn’t mean that all contracts are created equally. Some unscrupulous marketing firms will create contracts that put businesses in a situation where they can’t walk away if they are unhappy with the agency’s work. Ideally, you want a contract that protects the agency from nonpayment without putting you in a situation where you can’t leave if they’re not holding up their end of the bargain. It’s normal to have to negotiate a contract and hammer out the details. However, if your contract negotiations aren’t getting anywhere and the firm is putting you in a situation where you think you could end up “stuck” with shoddy work, it might be time to walk away.
Find A Firm That Works For You
These red flags aren’t meant to scare you into thinking that every marketing firm is out to get you and lock you into a situation where you have to put up with subpar work. While there are certainly a few bad apples out there, the majority of marketers are talented professionals who want to share your excitement for your brand and help you to grow your company. Once you know what to avoid, you can find one of these great marketing firms who will help you to take your business to the next level.
Website Marketing Company Checks All Of These Boxes (In A Good Way)
- We have a physical location that you can walk into anytime of the day (we work with clients all over the country)
- Our prices are right on point with the industry average (and will save you a ton of money over hiring an in house marketing team)
- We never lack in the customer service department (you are family with us)
- We never hold your content or campaigns hostage (if you decide to leave they are yours)
- We have no long term contracts! You are free to leave at anytime with no termination fees.
Contact us today for a free, no obligation consultation. We have no hard pressuring sales people, and no one works on commissions!
With over 15 years of marketing experience I have helped over 1,000 businesses amplify their customer base. I have spent the man hours to make sure every one of my clients have had a positive experience. I take the time to sit and get to know every company I work with on a personal level. I started this company to put qualified leads in front of the companies who are looking for them. The Website Marketing Company headquarters in Orlando, FL. 32803 services clients across the country.
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