No solid marketing plan? It's not going to work out.
  • Choosing a Small Business Marketing Company – Part 3 – Signs It’s Not Going to Work Out

    January 22, 2015

    Choosing a Small Business Marketing Company – Part 3 – Signs It’s Not Going to Work Out

    Cut your marketing company loose if they exhibit any of these behaviours.

    By Maureen McCabe

    In Part 1 and Part 2 of this series, I offered advice on how to choose a marketing company you can work with. Once you have chosen your small business marketing company, and are setting up an initial meeting or just getting things underway, you should approach the new partnership with caution until you can be sure you can trust them with the success of your business.

    Keep an eye out for these five warning signs that could indicate that a marketing company is not the right fit for you.

    1. It Doesn’t Add Up

    Does the way the company presents itself in its marketing materials and during the sales process match what you see and hear once you’ve visited their offices or had a face-to-face meeting with a representative? Once you’ve gone through the door, are you now speaking to a totally different person who needs to be brought up to speed with the details of your business and your goals? Did you walk into a tiny office, but were expecting a full-service marketing agency? When your expectations don’t match up with the reality, this may be a sign that the company cannot deliver on its promises.

    2. They Can’t Provide References

    Good feedback is one of the best indicators of the success and skills of a marketing company. Always ask for references, examples, testimonials and case studies that will help you feel confident in your choice. If they are reluctant to give you references, cannot provide them at all, or if you feel that their references or examples may be fabricated, it is time to get out.

    3. You are Offered a Cookie-Cutter Plan

    The lack of a custom marketing plan tailored to your small business’ needs should be a red flag. If you are simply given a choice of Package A, B or C, you can bet that the company isn’t going to put much thought into what they are doing for you. All small businesses are different, and if a marketing company can’t create a solution that addresses your specific requirements or business objectives, you should look elsewhere.

    4. They Don’t Listen to You

    Only you truly know exactly how your business works. Your marketing company might suggest a strategy that you don’t think your audience will receive well. Or, perhaps you have a unique idea you’d like to try out. If a small business marketing company refuses to explore an avenue you are interested in or shoots down your ideas altogether, you should search for a company that will actually listen.

    5. Something Just Feels Off

    Finally, it’s essential that you trust your gut when it comes to your first impressions of a small business marketing company. If something just doesn’t feel right, don’t let it go. Take the time to ask for clarification about any aspect of their services that you are uncertain about. If they do not answer your question satisfactorily or your gut simply tells you to walk away, now’s your chance.

    Request your free initial consultation.


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