15 Red Flags To Look For Before Hiring Small Business Marketing Companies

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Even the most experienced marketing team may not have enough bandwidth to handle digital marketing. Your small business needs proper marketing strategies to increase sales and generate more revenue. Digital marketing helps small businesses develop a comprehensive online strategy and optimize their digital presence through paid search, advertising, search engine optimization, content creation, and social media management. There are many reasons to hire small business marketing companies.

The digital world is constantly evolving; therefore, you must need the best marketing companies for small business to stay ahead of the curve.  The sooner you weed out the bad ones, the sooner you find the right agency. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule, but you should be aware of the following critical warning signs

Top 15 Biggest Red Flags Of Small Business Marketing Companies

1. The Organization Does Not Communicate Well 

This is a major red flag and is often the main reason clients switch companies. Don’t feel you have to chase the organization for answers. Try to identify the organization’s communication style as early as possible to avoid wasting time, energy, and money.

How quickly do they respond to you after you talk to them about their services? Are they always late for appointments without informing you? These are small signs from the agency that may indicate more serious problems that may arise in the future.

Good small business marketing companies will communicate with you regularly and make it clear from the start what you can expect from them.

2. Lack Of Transparency

Lack of transparency and honesty can damage client relationships, as can poor communication. In an industry where trust is the most important currency, being reluctant to talk about project difficulties or trying to hide mistakes is a red flag for companies working with your agency.

Be honest with clients when problems arise. Not all projects need to go as planned. But it’s the right of the customer to know if anything wrong is happening with the project or results are not up to the mark.

3. Ensure Quick Results

The biggest problem with hiring small business marketing companies is that they guarantee immediate results. They may promise a certain number of leads, instant results, or top search engine rankings. This can lead to poor marketing practices, such as buying lead lists or bad backlinks, which can hurt long-term results. Online marketing companies should not guarantee results because they cannot know until they are achieved. For example, search engine optimization campaigns can take months to produce tangible results, and there is no guarantee that you will be number one in a short time.

4. Agencies Using A “Plug-And-Play” Or “Set-It-And-Forget” Approach.

Agencies that use out-of-the-box solutions to optimize ad displays and e-commerce funnels may not care about the profitability of your business.

In the ever-changing age of advertising and e-commerce, simple solutions are the reason you need to be more proactive.

Good small business marketing companies will constantly test and optimize data and knowledge of past/current conditions/trends, business and market data, and information. When developing your strategy, Rankster Tech also considers your future goals so that everything can be integrated to increase scale and profitability.

5. They Say They Can Do Anything 

This can be difficult. Depending on your needs and budget, an agency that can do it all is valuable. However, when it comes to being able to do it all at a high level, this is rarely the case and we hear the same thing from our clients.

To be honest, there are cases where cross-functional agencies work well. Clarity about your needs is a very essential thing.

Your marketing team takes ownership of the brand and a digital marketing services partner like us brings expertise and speed to the table. We don’t have direct access to your data or advertising accounts. This is the most vital warning sign that you should not ignore.

6. You Don’t Have Any Of The Accounts 

The problem is this.

  • You should have access to your ad data and accounts through your agency, e.g., Google Analytics, Facebook Ads Manager, etc.
  • Or if your agency creates ad accounts through a business manager.

The agency that holds your ad data and account is either unaware (i.e., has no restrictions) or, worse, holds it under contract or has knowledge of it when you go to another agency. This practice is completely unethical and questionable.

Discuss with the agency before you commit and verify the agreement on access, control, and ownership of the data.

7. They Ask For Long-Term Contracts

Simply put, coercing someone into a long-term commitment is an inefficient way to build a relationship. It may seem counterintuitive, but the key to building a long-term relationship with a new customer is to give them the freedom to decide how long they want to work together.

This makes it possible for the relationship to develop naturally and prevents the client from sensing that they are being pressured into a transaction.

Solution Start working with the client during the pilot or test phase. Short-term partnerships are useful for both the agency and the client, as they allow you to assess how well both parties are working together and whether a long-term relationship makes sense.

8. Use Data And Analytics To Track Results, Not To Improve Strategies.

In today’s digital marketing world, the Huey Lewis rule applies. Since the invention of television advertising, data-driven marketing has been the largest revolution in advertising. Small business marketing companies that don’t use data to track results and modify their plans (and those of their customers) are at a significant disadvantage.

You may make sure that you’re spending your money wisely by using data from programs like Google Analytics, SharpSpring, AHRefs, and other modern pieces.  Make sure your marketing partners are using these and other data mining tools and can explain exactly how they plan to use this data to develop and improve their marketing strategies.

9. They Have A Questionable Reputation 

If you’ve done your due diligence when evaluating various marketing companies, you’ve probably searched for online reviews on sites like Google and Twitter. However, reviews aren’t everything. Some malicious companies have a modus operandi for driving up prices and hiding negative reviews. Look for agency case studies, find examples of work they’ve done for clients in the past, and check out the Better Business Bureau website.

Ask potential marketing partners for a list of their past and current clients and get testimonials from them. It’s not a good sign that they are having trouble with this reasonable request. When talking to referrers, ask whether the agency is doing a good job and what problems the client has had with the agency, and how the agency resolved them.

10. Unclear Pricing 

There is an additional charge for each conversion. One prospective client asked me several times how much the cost per conversion was, which I had trouble understanding at first. As a result, his agency was charging him not only an administrative fee but also an additional fee for each form filled out on the website and each phone call (called a conversion). At first glance, this may sound interesting (paying to generate leads), but that’s exactly what administrative fees do. And what about the quality of these items? Are strangers/robotics filling out forms and charging surprisingly high additional fees every month? And what is the exact digital marketing cost for small business?

11. Organizations Use A Lot Of Jargon

Organizations that use a lot of waffles often don’t know what they are talking about. Beware of organizations that use a lot of guff and do not add substantial value to the services they provide.

An organization worth working with will explain even the most complex ideas in simple language that everyone can understand.

12. The Marketing Of The Company Stinks 

Marketing firms must put their claims into effect. How can you like the marketing they perform for you if you are not impressed with their marketing? Examine the agency’s social media presence, content selection, blog entries, and website layout while researching possible partners. Is it of a high standard? Does it reflect the brand image of the business? Do you see any grammar mistakes? You ought to be impressed by their work even if it isn’t in your style.

13. Cheap Rates

Although everyone enjoys a good deal, cheap isn’t always a good enough option when it comes to dating services.

You won’t achieve the outcomes you seek if you pay less upfront. A marketing firm that is too inexpensive is typically cutting corners or employing dubious methods to achieve its goals.

This means that the results achieved may not be sustainable or may lead to future problems. For example, “black” SEO tactics may be used to get results in a short time, but then your site is penalized. These penalties can be costly and difficult to fix. There is a need for affordable SEO services for small businesses to make your website’s SEO game strong.

14. Bad Reviews

Word of mouth and online reviews are probably the most influential factor in the buyer’s decision process. This means that even a few bad reviews are enough to turn potential clients away from your agency to your competitors.

Bad reviews, in particular, can damage an agency’s reputation for two reasons.

  • It is usually permanent and visible to everyone.
  • People tend to remember negative content more than positive content.

Solution Respond positively to negative reviews. At first glance, a bad review may seem like bad business, but it is also an opportunity to win back customers and gain new ones. How you treat clients in every interaction speaks volumes about your work with your agency.

15. Absence Of Case Studies And Client Testimonials

It’s quite difficult to persuade them that you can satisfy their needs in the absence of proof.

Case studies and client testimonials are two examples of social proof that businesses can use to determine whether you are the best agency for their needs. Nothing is more annoying to potential customers than a lack of social evidence.

That’s why there is a solution for small business marketing companies. if the client doesn’t have a recommendation yet, ask for one. Ask your team to produce case studies of their most successful projects. Assure the client, nonetheless, that you have conveyed your message.

Key Message 

Choosing the right marketing partner is not easy. When addressing potential small business marketing companies, keep the above things in mind. So that you can concentrate on what you do best, you need to locate a business you can trust to offer great marketing services.

What if you’re looking for digital marketing services for small business that helps you to make great revenue with all the right strategies? Book a consultation with Rankster Tech to find out how we can help you grow your business through inbound marketing.