How to Hire a Marketing Company

The new marketing is digital marketing in the 21st century. As aspects of marketing get more sophisticated in this new era of buying everything online, the process of finding an expert marketer or other professional services isn’t as clear. If you’re using a B2C (aka, business to consumer) approach, the search doesn’t have to be hard or complicated, especially since the introduction of Upwork and Fiverr. Those two companies are great B2C platforms for customers looking for freelancers but not B2B (aka, business to business) professionals.

So let’s get more specific.

How do you hire a marketing company?

That’s a great question to ask. If you’ve never hired a marketing vendor, there’s no Angie’s List like you’re looking for a trade skilled contractor or vendor (i.e., painter, plumber, landscaper, terminator, etc). 

Some basic questions for a marketing freelancer but not an agency:

1. How long have you been doing _________?

2. Do you work out of your home?

3. Is this the only type of work you do?

4. Are you employed by another company, or is this all that you do?

5. Do you have other people helping you make this product?

These are pretty basic for a B2C. They may help you get a bit further in the qualification process when choosing a freelancer but may not be what you’re looking for. Ultimately, it would be best if you based it on whether or not it’ll be a good fit.

Hiring an SEM Agency

When searching for a specific company to do “xyz” for your business, the questions and process can be much harder. I’ve been asked several times that quickly determined we’re not qualified but didn’t mean we weren’t a good fit. It’s important to ask the right questions. Hopefully, both the vendor will ask questions as well to ensure the compatibility is mutual.

For example, our company at NW & Associates was asked to conduct SEO (aka, search engine optimization) by one of our current clients at the time, but they didn’t know what exactly they wanted. After saying no due to lack of substance, we later found out they went with a solicitor (via phone) and was sorely disappointed with the results. If they had asked the right questions, it would have been a different scenario.

The scope of the project will determine the level of expertise and workload.

Hence, why Kent and I did this podcast. I wanted to educate the prospective consumer base on how to go about finding the right fit for your company.

Too many people and businesses are running scams, which is why you need to know the difference.

Questions to Ask

In the podcast, Kent goes over these questions:

1. Does the agency/consultant demonstrate a consistent ability to generate a return?

2. Third-party validation. Does the agency have a track record of receiving SEM/PPC/SEO industry or business awards and accolades from third parties (Clutch, CrowdReviews, etc.)?

3. Is the agency a follower or leader?

4. Credentials. How much relevant experience does the executive team have in digital marketing?

5. Does the agency have relevant industry vertical experience, or will they have to ramp up on your dime?

6. Is the vendor in question providing a budget that seems like a bargain, especially compared to competitive bids?

7. At a basic level, is the SEM/PPC/SEO vendor adding value by educating you, the client?

8. Has your SEM/PPC/SEO vendor tested or used your product or service?

9. Does the digital marketing vendor provide input on future iterations of your products and services?

10. Does the marketing agency have reputable referrals and partners?

For more in-depth questions, go to Kent’s 12 Questions to Ask When Hiring an SEO/SEM Company:

12 questions to ask when hiring an SEO/SEM company

Host: Nathan WebsterNW & Associates, LLC (aka, Mr. Social Entrepreneur)

Guest: Kent LewisAnvil Media (aka, PDX’s Godfather of Marketing)

Enjoy the show!

Photo by Luke Chesser on Unsplash

Author: nathanwebster
From a US Marine to nonprofit executive director, I've been fortunate to do a lot of stuff. My quick history is I’m a brand marketer with a background in social good. In the process of running a small educational nonprofit, I learned the value of storytelling and digital branding. That’s how I got involve in marketing, websites, consulting via my podcast as well, and being an adjunct business professor at the local community college.