Whether you’re a start-up or have serious questions about the ROI from your current marketing agency, before you get locked into a 12-month contract, we recommend you consider the following tips to avoid disappointment.

 

Find an Agency that is a niche for your Business

If you work in the hospitality industry, look for an agency that specializes in marketing for the hospitality sector. Chances are they’ve got a lot more experience in marketing for hotels, and they’ve probably got case studies to back it up. Niche agencies might come with a heavier price tag but as the old saying goes, “you get what you pay for”.

 

Consider a managed solution

Do you have an agency for your CRM and a separate agency for your IT? Worst still, do you have different agencies for the various marketing channels? Having to deal with 8 different people at once can be overwhelming.

There are specialist agencies in the UK who manage all aspects of your business development & marketing strategy. From CRM management & IT through to SEO, PPC & web development, these agencies provide a holistic solution for your business needs.

 

Take Prevention Digital, for example, they provide managed digital solutions for the healthcare sector for a monthly fee which includes a dedicated account manager and ongoing support services.

 

That way you have one point of contact across all areas of the digital landscape so you can focus on running your business.

You can’t put a price on poor ROI

While cost is an important factor when choosing a marketing agency to work with,  it should never be a deal-breaker when it comes to your business. If you work in a competitive industry, spending £1000 a month on SEO will yield little results because:

 

    • Good content isn’t cheap, and implementing an SEO strategy requires lots and lots of it.

 

    • Your website will need links from other sites to improve rankings (especially in competitive industries), someone needs to be paid for that.

 

    • Good SEO requires a strong understanding of web design and development to get the most out of it, which comes with experience.

 

This is true for all areas of digital marketing, and If you need to spend a bit more to work with an experienced agency that understands your business needs, you are only going to save money in the long term.

 

Traffic is useless without leads or conversions

You might have fallen victim to those monthly reports which detail all of the good bits in big green letters. None of it really matters unless they can demonstrate the following:

 

    • Higher conversion rates

 

    • Lower bounce rates

 

    • Reduced/optimized ad spend

 

    • Higher average order value

 

If you speak to an agency and they can’t explain a process for optimizing campaigns or saving you money, or even ways to retain existing business, run for the hills.

 

The devil is in the detail

 

The sales team has sent over the contract and they’re ringing you constantly to make sure you’ve received it. But don’t rush, seriously, read it and ask yourself the following:

 

    • What am I getting for X amount, does the contract detail projected results? Does it have a roadmap at least?

 

    • Does the contract detail the full list of responsibilities? If your contract states “SEO services” or “PPC management” with no details as to what it entails?

 

And more importantly, have they taken the time to understand your business requirements and offer tangible solutions?  If you feel like you’re getting a generic proposal, you’re better off sticking it in the shredder.

Be wary of reviews

You may be tempted by the continuous flow of positive reviews with the odd “average” review thrown into the mix. The truth is, buying “reviews” is not an uncommon practice, and certain review platforms allow businesses to only send out review requests to clients they choose.

Do not judge a decision based on positive reviews, an experienced agent will be able to provide real case studies with genuine results.

 

Final thoughts

Take the time to speak to different agencies and let them guide you through their process. If they take the time to understand the business requirements and can demonstrate expertise –  from the strategy through to implementation – you might be on to a winner.

Don’t forget to ask questions and be mindful of scripted conversations and generic slideshows.

If they really believe in their solution, they won’t hesitate to put forward a bespoke proposal for your brand.

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