6 Questions to ask a Digital Marketing Agency
Interview Your Potential Marketing Partner Like You Would ANY Other New Hire
In almost every case, the worst thing a marketing company can do for their client, is nothing. Imagine that you paid hundreds, even thousands a month for service and expertise, and in return, your business didn’t change. You could have kept that money in the bank and come out ahead for the year! That undesirable position is an unfortunate reality for some businesses. Deciding on a new marketing agency can be a tricky position — that’s why we’re here to help!
We put together this list of important questions to ask a digital marketing agency to help companies of all sizes identify the most common traits of a marketing agency that won’t treat them right. These are questions that any marketing agency or advertiser should be able and willing to answer.
Essential Question to Evaluate a Marketing Agency
When considering working with a new marketing partner, you want to know how they operate, how they communicate, and most importantly, if they will grow your business. These are the essential questions to ask a marketing agency to get to the core of how your relationship will function and what outcome you can expect.
Almost 100% of agencies that offer monthly internet marketing services provide some type of report as a form of “proof” that their strategies are working. If a company doesn’t offer reporting, walk away. Whether their reports actually prove their point, is a different story though. Asking about their reports is an essential question to ask a marketing agency because your digging into how transparent they will be once you’re on a contract with them. You can even request that they show you a sample report to give you an idea of what they provide.
Sometimes agencies leave reports intentionally vague or never bother to explain the metrics they show. Think about it from their perspective: if you were seeing exceptional growth, wouldn’t your agency be excited about it? Wouldn’t they go out of their way to make sure you see the value they bring you? After all, what could be better for THEIR client retention? Simply put, the more your agency DOESN’T explain, the more obvious it is they don’t want you to know and understand the results (or lack thereof) of their efforts. Find out what they show BEFORE you sign with them — this a key question used to evaluate a marketing agency.
In the 21st century, almost all marketing efforts can be tracked digitally and reported back to you. Making sure that your new partner will do this for you a crucial initial question to evaluate them as a marketing agency.
Firstly, if your marketing company isn’t tracking your leads, then how can you possibly know about whether you earned a return on your investment? You NEED to see the leads earned by different marketing campaigns and channels. This is non-negotiable for any multi-channel campaign. Secondly, if your marketing company isn’t tracking your leads, then how can they possibly make the tweaks and improvements necessary to continue to grow your business? Examining the leads generated by individual channels and whole campaigns is a crucial part of ALL of WebTek’s integrated marketing plans.
Simply put, If your marketing partner can’t or won’t give you this information, it’s time for a serious conversation. Either they don’t want you to know what ROI you’re actually earning, or they don’t have access to these tools. Either way, they’re not qualified to grow your business in the 21st century. This is one of the question to ask a marketing agency that can be an absolute deal-breaker if they have the answer.
One of the most important questions to ask your marketing agency is one of the simplest. Ask specifically what they are doing for your company.
While marketing is intangible, there are very real tactics and deliverables that make up every single effective marketing campaign. An agency that won’t tell you what they do for you may be doing a lot less than you think — and growing your business a lot less than you’d like.
While you’re too busy to examine every avenue of a multifaceted marketing campaign, if you want more details, you deserve them. Don’t simply accept broad and ultimately meaningless explanations — get specific. Like you would when you’re trying out a new mechanic, you should be able to ask for an itemized list of the marketing services you’re paying for. After all, if your marketing partner is spearheading a full-fledged campaign on your behalf, they should want you to know just how much they do for you, right?
For example, a company might propose that they leverage social media to earn you brand awareness and new customers. But what specifically do they do to achieve that? Does the agency plan to run a series of paid social media ads to introduce your business to ideal new prospects in your service area? Or do they post stock photos and captions a few times per month to your Instagram? Both of these could be defined as social media marketing; however, the first one earns you business, while the second one doesn’t do much for you.
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This is an important question to ask any marketing agency — digital or otherwise. This one can be frustrating. You make it a policy to shoot people straight, and you’d expect any other business partner to do the same to you. One of the surest signs of an agency that’s losing you money is a hesitance, unwillingness, or inability to answer direct questions.
If you find yourself asking tough yet fair questions and getting a roundabout speech from your marketing partner, that’s a sign that they are hiding something. That’s why its worth asking up front how they communicate with their clients. After all, an agency that does this knows you’re not a marketer, and they count on being able to deflect your questions by using buzzwords and industry jargon. While this industry is complex, there’s nothing to be gained from making it seem MORE complicated.
For example, if you ask a question about how many leads a particular channel brought in, you shouldn’t get a dissertation — you should get an exact number.
Here are some fair questions you should always be able to ask once you work with a company for digital marketing:
- How Many Leads Did I Get This Month?
- Is There Anything That Isn’t Working, And Why?
- How Do Most Of My New Clients Find Me?
- What Is The Most Effective Channel To Acquire New Clients? Who Are You Targeting With My Campaign?
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Some marketers have the belief that ALL business you earn while on their plan is a feather in their own cap. We have a few words for that: Convenient. Misleading. False.
If that’s how your potential marketing partner feels, you may want to walk away before you ever get started.
A tell-tale sign of marketing agencies that aren’t worth their keep is one that tries to take credit for business you know had nothing to do with them. For example, if you’ve had a solid client relationship for a decade, and they always use your services once a year, your marketing agency CAN’T take credit for that business! Don’t let them get away with taking credit for a professional relationship YOU nurtured. Once again, this point highlights the importance of having complete reports, easy-to-access dashboards, and open communication. It’s better to have this information out in the open right up front.
This is the all-important one, isn’t it? You’re investing in marketing for one reason: to grow your business. If you know your internal processes are strong and that you are ready to grow, but new leads aren’t coming in the way they should with your marketing campaign, you need to reevaluate. That’s why this is the bottom-line need-to-ask question. If your potential marketing partner doesn’t believe investing with them will grow your business — then there’s no point to continue the conversation any further.
However, you don’t want to just take their word for it. Ask if they have a track record of success working in your industry. Ask for testimonials from other marketing directors or business owners, look at case studies of businesses that are similar to yours — even request to talk to another satisfied client!
When making decisions about your marketing, you can never be too careful. You should always feel comfortable to ask questions and see evidence. After all, if the agency is good, they should be more than glad to show you what they do!
These questions to ask a digital marketing are based on our e-book 7 Signs Your Marketing Company is Costing You Thousands (Every Year)! — download it for FREE right here:Download FREE E-Book!
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WebTek is a full-service Digital Marketing Agency located in Lancaster County, PA. What started as a strong website design company has transformed into a one-stop shop for everything you need to be successful online. Our skills, our competitive pricing, and our portfolio are why people have come to know WebTek as the go-to web company in the Lancaster area.
At WebTek, we begin every website and every marketing campaign with a conversation. We’d like to invite you to have a consultation session with our marketing team. Let’s discuss where your business is now — and where you’d like it to be. Start the conversation today!