Red flags- it’s easy to get swept up in the excitement of getting help with your marketing. Visions of getting something off your plate dance in front of you. Before you get ahead of yourself, here are a few potential warning signs to watch out for:
1. The discussion on measuring success and the key performance indicators. Make sure you are comfortable with the KPI’s and how they relate back to your business. Impressions don’t matter. Engagement might matter. Conversions really matter. Make sure it is real traffic and not bots or other things.
2. The marketing industry has shifted from demographic to psychographic marketing. Watch out if you are only being provided demographic information.
3. Specific claims about the results you can expect are made without asking you how you are getting your current results. I.e. Claiming you can get a 300% increase in a KPI. Yet you aren't asked what you are doing today to gain your existing results. It's very difficult to guarantee that level of KPI without understand existing processes.
4. If they don’t ask any questions about how you operate today, that is not a good sign. Make sure they are asking about your processes. Make them sign an NDA if you need to share this information.
5. Specific industry experience is claimed, but they can’t give you any use cases or examples.
6. They don’t ask to talk to key staff that are running functions today. It will be hard to ensure you are create a scope of work that will be successful for all parties if key staff are not included.
7. No questions are asked about sales and marketing handoffs. These handoffs are necessary to ensure sales and marketing processes are cohesive. If there is no plan or place to coordinate with sales, this isn’t a good sign.
Remember, you don’t have to say yes to the first firm you talk with. Understand if they know your industry. Agree upon what would constitute success before you get started. This will better position both parties to have a successful outcome.