When should you keep and when should you replace your current online marketing company? These 3 criteria will help you decide without regrets.
A question periodically heard in the marketplace is:
“How do I know when it is time to get rid of my current marketing company or agency?”
At first, it seems like the answer is obvious. But, like much of life, what first appears to be self evident may not be so.
If you are not careful, your decision to keep them or replace them may lead to regrets
Regrets Over Replacing (Or Not Replacing) Your Online Marketing Agency
Sometimes, making a decision too hastily could lead to serious regret.
For example, think of coaches in college and professional sports. When someone has a bad season or two, you let them go and find another coach, right?
Consider Vince Lombardi. In his first season as coach of the Green Bay Packers, the team went 1-10-1. One measly win. But, the next year he led them to the NFL Western Conference title.
Or consider John Wooden. He began coaching basketball with UCLA in 1948. His first year record was 12-13. It took him 16 years long years to win his first NCAA championship. He went on to win 10 NCAA titles in 12 seasons, including seven in a row from 1967 to 1973. During that time, his team had a record winning streak of 88 straight games.
So, making a hasty decision to replace your current marketing company may be a huge mistake.
But, then again, it may be the best decision you ever made to cut your losses and find another one.
How to know when it is time to replace your online marketing agency?
3 Criteria To Consider When Deciding Whether Or Not To Keep An Online Marketing Company
I suggest evaluating your decision (“should they stay or should they go…”) using 3 criteria.
1. Communication- Are they proactively communicating with you on a regular basis? Or are you having to chase them down to find out what is going on (or what they are doing)?
This is a personal pet peeve of mine. I have had employees that didn’t last long with me because they did not proactively let me know what they were doing, what issues they were running into, how they were working on them, etc.
The onus is upon your online marketing company to tell you—
a. What they have been doing
b. What they will be working on next
c. What they are seeing (trending wise) in your campaign and what that means
d. What results their efforts have accomplished this month, and how that compares to target goals.
e. Any issues that are impacting results (and what they are doing to fix them).
I would be much more likely to stick with a marketing agency if they are actively demonstrating that they are on top of things, and they have a plan with target goals.
2. Results- This is an obvious criteria. I have told employees that they (and we at 2nd Mile Marketing for that matter) get paid for results, not just activity.
Make sure the online marketing company has put forth, once initial baseline numbers are determined, what results equate to initial success. These targets should be determined in conjunction with client input.
For example, a new client may be obtaining 20 leads a month, costing them $100 per lead. The client and the marketing company need to set an initial target goal of obtaining 25 leads at $75 each.
Maybe the first month they get 21 leads at $102 each. The next month they get 24 leads at $90. At least you can see some progress on the two goals.
This brings me to the third criteria, since not all “results” are equal.
3. ROI- At the end of the day, the result that counts is the return on your marketing investment.
Not more traffic.
Not even more leads.
All that matters is how much you “invested” in your marketing efforts vs. how much they made for you.
What difference does it make if you got more traffic to your website (or leads from your website, or Twitter followers, or Facebook friends)… if it doesn’t turn into revenue?
What are the numbers?
You should be able to say, “we did X, costing Y, which produced Z amount of revenue.” In my opinion, if you have no way to measure those numbers, you shouldn’t be doing it.
Typically, we like seeing a client spend X and generating 3-4X or more of actual gross profit… a 200-300% ROI
If the online marketing company you are working with can’t tell you what the ROI is that they are delivering (factoring in their fees), then you are effectively paying them for activity with no idea as to whether their efforts are being profitable for you or not.
You might as well go out and buy some lottery tickets with that uncertainty.
To learn more about how to determine your marketing ROI, follow the link.
My Advice: If your current marketing company is proactively communicating with you, and you are seeing some progress on your target goals and ROI, then stick with them a little longer. Set some goals they need to reach in the next 6 months to be retained. No excuses.
If you aren’t seeing acceptable progress in the 3 areas above after 6 months (9 months if they are doing inbound content marketing), then it may be time to look for another provider.
If they aren’t communicating proactively with you (along the lines I suggest above) AND their results are not delivering solid ROI, it is time to find another online marketing company that can get the job done.
The Bottom Line: Carefully consider your criteria for keeping or firing your current online marketing company. Otherwise, you may regret your decision. RETWEET THIS
It’s Your Turn…
What criteria would you use to decide whether they stay or whether they go? Leave your comments below.
Pat McDaniel, is not your typical marketing expert. Learn more about his unusual and diverse background. He is able to leap very small buildings in a single bound and loves helping business owners get their marketing working like a well oiled machine.