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3 Early Warning Signs That Your Marketing Agency Will Fail You


With more and more companies hiring marketing agencies to complement their in-house sales and marketing teams to perform specialty skills that their existing team is not equipped to do, it is easy to pass the accountability to the agency and feel you can back off.

However, a good marketing agency doesn’t just work for you, but with you. If you’ve hired a marketing agency and they don’t make an effort to get detailed information on your products, services, customers and history, then your collaboration is bound to fail. Here are three things that your agency should be asking you about your business:


  1. Your Goals

If you’ve given your marketing agency the vague response of wanting “more customers” as your company goal and they don’t press you to be more specific, they may treat your organization with similar ambiguity. They are likely to apply the same default marketing strategy on your business as they may have with their many other clients.

A good marketing agency will be a strategic partner. They should probe you about your organization, goals, customers and perspective. They will ask you about your past marketing tactics, including SEO, email, and inbound. A marketing agency that is eager to meet your needs will gather as much information about your current strategies and future goals to come up with a marketing plan tailored to your organization.

  1. Your Brand and Buyers

If your marketing agency does not ask distinct questions about your brand and your buyers, then how can they differentiate your product from others in the same market? Here are some of the things a good agency or marketing consultant will ask about:

* Your buyers problems and how you address them.
* Your buyer persona, demographics, preferences, purchasing behavior.
* What makes your software unique from your competitors.
* How many customers you have, and how they feel about you.
* How you sell, the buying cycle, and who influences and decides.
* Product development status and roadmap.

  1. Your Marketing History

Mistakes of the past need not be repeated. Perhaps you may not want to be forthcoming with your agency regarding strategies that ended in failure, for whatever reason. However, without telling your marketing agency what campaigns did not work, you risk putting your marketing agency in a position of doubt.

Perhaps your company made an error in judgment in the past by posting plagiarized content, buying social media followers instead of building your follower base organically, or spamming your email list. Communicate this with your agency who will appreciate your honesty and can now make an informed decision on how to move forward in rebuilding your reputation, if that is the case.

A quality marketing agency will ask your about your metrics. Google Analytics, email campaign performance, and your sales to lead conversion rates will help them understand your business and provide you with greater value.

If your marketing agency does not ask you about these essential points when strategizing their marketing plan for you, consider it a red flag that they will give your brand minimal effort and will ultimately, fail you.

Transparency is key when working with a marketing agency and it is in your best interest to be open about your past marketing history which includes your ROI and monthly sales estimates. Knowing both your past failures and successes will be critical to the positive progress of your partnership with your marketing agency.

I’m Pam Swingley, founder of Savvy. I would love to hear your thoughts. Our marketing services help B2B technology companies succeed. We connect product marketers to customers for market validation. Fill sales pipelines with qualified leads. And, supercharge anemic social media accounts. Results are backed by decades of tech marketing success with Fortune 1000 companies (ADP and Oracle), startups, and mid-sized software firms. Say hello to savvy marketing.