If you already have existing partnerships with marketing agencies in NJ or elsewhere, how well do you know them? If you are currently searching for marketing agencies to link with, what should you know beforehand? These are just a few of the many questions you should ask yourself to make sure that you have a harmonious partnership with your agency. The keyword here is partnership – you and the agency should be on equal footing where neither side has authority over the other.
More often than not, agencies – especially the profit driven ones – bite their tongue in fear of losing your business. You want a marketing agency that is driven not by profit, but by the results their clients will see when it comes to consumers. These agencies will not sugarcoat their feedback, critiques and results. They will tell you the truth even when it hurts. Working with a marketing agency is a serious investment, as you’re trusting someone else with your company’s name and reputation. So it’s in your best interest to find an agency that embodies values that construct a mutually beneficial relationship.
What You Should Be Hearing From Marketing Agencies
Marketing agencies are just like any other service-based business – they will tell you what you want to hear because they want you to pick them over their competitors. However, you need to recognize the sales pitch and instead select an agency that will blatantly tell you what you don’t want to hear. Other than their body of work, which speaks for itself, open communication is a characteristic that separates the good agencies from the bad ones. Below are some of the things you want to hear from either agencies that you are evaluating to hire or from your current agencies:
We Cannot Guarantee _______
Clients come into consultations with outcomes and results they want to see from their marketing investment. But more often than not, these idealized expectations are either unattainable or cannot be met within the given time frame. It is up to the agency to tell the clients that they cannot promise anything. In business, nothing is guaranteed because there are so many moving parts and outside variables that can influence the results.
Be wary of marketing agencies that make promises of exact increases in leads, visits and other results that seem too good to be true. In addition, every company is unique so it’s far-fetched for an agency to guarantee that they’ll build you a site that looks and performs like Grovemade or Overstock.
On the other hand, there are guarantees that you should be looking for. For instance, you should have regularly scheduled meetings with the account manager as this will foster greater communication in regards to your campaign.
The Word “NO”
“No” is a word that your marketing agency should not be afraid to say to you. Agencies that focus mainly on profit will agree with all your ideas and requests because they’re afraid that a “No” will piss you off. You want an agency that will be blunt if your expectations are unrealistic, unprofitable or unachievable. They’re familiar with the industry, and know what works and how long things take to come to fruition. So if your agency is promising to take you to the moon and back in a week, that should be a red flag…even NASA can’t do that for you.
The best agencies are the ones that have no problem turning down clients, a sure sign that they value dynamic relationships over profit. Just like any relationship, certain companies fit better with certain marketing agencies, and the great ones don’t hesitate to point this out. Sometimes the agency won’t be able to provide any benefit for a company, or it isn’t a compatible culture fit.
There Needs To Be Change
As previously mentioned, “No” is the last thing a lot of agencies will want to tell you. Well, sometimes agencies need to do more than turn down your ideas – they need to be blunt and tell you if your existing marketing efforts are ineffective. Great agencies will not only identify inefficient methods, but they will also offer you a solution or an alternative. For example, if you are spending an exorbitant amount on PPC, the serious agencies will provide you with alternative, perhaps even cheaper, ways to get more visitors.
From time to time, a company needs to push the refresh button and you should hope your agency would tell you when it gets to that point. This is why you want an agency that won’t be hesitant to admit that what they’ve been doing is no longer working. Campaigns constantly need to be evaluated, and updated or altered when need be. So an agency can either just sit back, or explore what changes can be made to get back on track. Without a doubt, you obviously want the agency that will do the latter.
These Are Our Strengths
Just like your marketing campaign, your marketing agency in NJ should have a focus. Unless it’s an agency with hundreds of employees with multiple divisions, most firms are not going to be experts in all fields of marketing. You want an agency that knows what services they can confidently offer and what services they cannot. However, just because an agency doesn’t specialize in certain areas, doesn’t mean they shouldn’t bring it to your attention if they feel it would be beneficial to your business. If an agency that excels in advertising notices that your company lacks online presence, they should recommend you look into inbound marketing.
Be very skeptical of marketing agencies that claim to be experts in areas they are not. The “for profit” agencies will tell you with ease that they can do this and that, but remember: quality over quantity. Protect yourself from these agencies by doing some research on their employees’ qualifications. The market is too diverse and there are too many niche branches for an agency to proclaim itself all-knowing.
Why Do These Words Matter
When looking for marketing agencies in NJ that you might want to work with, remember that these firms are not genies that will grant you leads, clicks and revenues. Look for agencies that will be realistic with you by telling you exactly what is plausible and what they can do for your company. The great marketing agencies will prioritize your company over your feelings.
Is there a way to improve upon your ideas? Are your current marketing efforts not working? Do we need to reevaluate our strategies? A trustworthy marketing agency will differentiate themselves by bluntly addressing these topics with no trepidation of losing you as a client because they are confident that their service, honesty and communication will speak volumes for their agency’s culture and abilities.