The online marketing world is constantly changing and can be a confusing landscape for a business owner that isn’t very tech savvy. There are so many online marketing companies out there that we have seen that do a poor job or are blatantly taking advantage of business owners that don’t know the difference between a good online marketing company and a poor one. Below are the top 7 ways to spot a bad online marketing company. If you are meeting with a company and they fall into any of these categories, run away as fast as you can!
1. They want you to sign a yearlong contract: The great thing about online marketing is that items can be made live or take down in an instant. If a digital marketing company requires you to sign a one-year contract with them, that should be an immediate red flag. Most companies require you to sign some sort of contract with them (we don’t) and if they are trying to lock you into a one-year agreement, something is fishy. More than likely, they will forget about you once you sign the dotted line until the next year when you’re up for renewal. Online marketing programs need constant attention and although some programs do take some time to ramp up, it shouldn’t take a year for them to prove their worth.
2. They’re NOT Google Partners: It’s no secret that in the digital marketing world, Google is king. To be a Google partner, a digital marketing company meet certain criteria that Google requires for them to deem you a credible company. First, they must pass difficult exams proving that they know the ins and outs of all of Google’s properties. Next, they must spend a certain amount of money per quarter on Google ads. Lastly, they must hit a performance benchmark to ensure that your programs are running optimally.
You should be working with a company that not only knows the ins and outs of all Googles platforms but also has a good working relationship with Google. If you’re meeting with a digital marketing company and they’re not Google partners, there’s a reason for that. If they can’t pass the exams to prove that they know how to run a Google Ad program, why would you trust them with your hard-earned marketing dollars?
3. Online marketing isn’t their companies primary focus: The marketing landscape has dramatically shifted over the years. No longer can you simply put an ad in the newspaper or on television or in the Yellow Pages and wait for your phone to ring off the hook. These industries understand this and try to sell their own online marketing services. There are a couple of problems with these types of companies. First, because digital marketing isn’t their primary focus, their online marketing programs often get put on the back burner to other items. Online marketing is often a “throw in” or an “add on” for these companies because they know that businesses are looking for it and don’t want them to spend money elsewhere. They usually use vendors and mark up the cost, resulting in more money spent by the business owner for an inferior service. Secondly, their top priority is always going to be making sure your program is performing well on T.V./Newspaper/Yellow Pages first, and your online marketing campaign can often become an afterthought. In today’s digital world, making sure you’re found online is more important than ever and you should work with a company that understands that.
4. They farm out your work: There are so many companies out there that say that they are digital marketing agencies but can’t even do the work themselves! These companies rely on other people or other companies so that they can “white label” the online marketing services. The biggest problem with that for you, the client, is that these prices are normally very high because multiple companies need to get paid in this process. Don’t work with a company that relies on someone else to fulfill the online marketing services you need.
5. They don’t reveal their management fees: One of the biggest and easiest way to spot a bad online marketing company is if they refuse to reveal their management fees. No one works for free and a business owner obviously understands that. Sadly, there are a ton of shady digital marketing companies out there that will mislead you or blatantly lie to your face on what their charge for a management fee. The standard management fee when it comes to managing Google Ad programs is 15-30% of your budget. There are a lot of companies that don’t even reveal that they charge a management fee and simply take it out of your budget. An example of this is that they get you to agree to spend $1,000 per month on your Google Ad program make you think that all $1,000 is going to Google. Sadly, these companies are normally pocketing half of your budget (in this case $500 per month) and only putting $500 per month on Google.
We see that as wrong and immoral and do things differently. When you sign up for a Google Ad program with us at MPH Marketing Solutions, we are very transparent. We charge an agreed upon management fee depending on your budget, and we put your card on Google. This way, you will be able to know exactly how much money is going to your program, and how much is going to us to manage it. Don’t be fooled by companies that say they don’t charge a management fee because one way or another, they do.
6. They don’t provide detailed monthly reporting: The beauty of digital marketing is that there is so much data available! From number of clicks, impressions, conversions, CTR, CPM, there are so many metrics available to show the performance of your program. If a company doesn’t provide monthly reporting or if the reporting is very basic and isn’t in-depth, there’s normally a reason for that. The reason is usually because the company isn’t doing much for you besides cashing your checks.
7. They won’t provide references/don’t have any testimonials: This one should be obvious but still needs to be stated. Don’t work with a company that can’t provide you with some current clients that they have that are happy with their online marketing programs. If a company can’t come with a list of happy customers, it’s probably because there aren’t any!
If you are meeting with an online marketing company and are considering doing business with them but see any of these 7 red flags, RUN AWAY! These companies prey on business owners that aren’t tech savvy and don’t ask too many questions. Here at MPH Marketing Solutions, we don’t have contracts. We want to earn your business every single month and we will constantly prove our value to you. We treat
your marketing dollars as if they’re our own and will do everything we can to make sure your program is performing optimally. If you’ve been burned by a bad online marketing company or are simply looking to get some more information about online marketing, give us a call today to schedule a free consultation to see how we can help at (248) 702-4382