There are some real problems with modern marketing and the companies that provide it.
It leads to disappointment and wasted time, energy and especially money. Your money.
It breaks my heart to see how some companies operate. So I am sharing some common early warning signs. Things to look for before you get taken for an expensive ride.
1. The company already has a solution that will work for you. This is before you have even had a proper chat and explained how your clients and business works. FACT: You can only create effective marketing with deep understanding of the market. Anything else is expensive guesswork.
2. Everything they do drives you to a ‘FREE’ Strategy Session. Sure at some point you need to jump on a call and see if you’re a good fit for each other. But strategy sessions are sales calls in disguise. The agenda is to sign you up as a client at all costs. So you are not getting any genuine strategy advice. A better option is pay for consultation with a marketing professional. As soon as you pay the focus of the consultation is on Helping you not Selling you.
3. They want you to sign a long term contract. My definition of long term is anything over 3 months. Why do they push you to do this? It’s part of what’s known as the churn and burn model. This model makes my mad as hell. Basically it’s aggressive sales tactics to get you on board only to find that what’s delivered is nothing like what you were promised. So if they’re pushing you hard to this ask yourself why? What protections do you have? If in doubt don’t sign a long term contract until you see real benefits from working with them.
4. They focus on vanity metrics. Likes, comments, shares are all wonderful except they rarely make you money. The job of marketing is to create and keep clients. So the real measures are leads, sales, converted clients. If they focus on vanity metrics it’s because they are not confident they can get you results.
5. Hand of to the junior. Often someone higher up will do the selling but when it comes time to work on your business it gets passed to a low level, low skill employee. Worse still it may be an outsourced employee who has no understanding of your business. No surprise this leads to poor results. Always ask who will be doing my work. Unless you are satisfied with the answer walk away.
6. This is the worst of all. They don’t understand marketing. You can’t call yourself a marketer just because you watched some Gary V videos. Marketing is a profession. Professional marketers have a deep understanding of psychology, persuasion, business strategy and much more. Ask the company who their top 3 marketing influences are and why. The answer reveals a lot.
If you follow this advice you will reduce the chances of being ripped off. If I can avoid that happening to just one hard working business owner then it’s a good day.