As the owner or manager of a business, you know the importance of marketing. Whether you are trying to sell a product online, get people into your store or restaurant, or sell valuable services, you know that getting the word out in the right way is the key to your successful growth. Many small to medium-sized business owners don’t have their own in-house marketing team and look outside their business to partner with marketing specialists. Making the right choice can mean the difference between a big increase in sales and a huge waste of time and money.

If you’ve been working with a marketing company for any amount of time, you can probably gauge whether or not the partnership is working out. While your bottom line can often be an indicator of the success of the relationship, there are also some other factors that you should pay attention to. If you see any of the following four things with your current marketing company, it could be a red flag that they don’t value your business and it might be time to make a change.

 

They Didn’t Take the Time to Learn About Your Business

Some marketing companies sell cookie-cutter strategies to all of their clients, insisting that what works for others will also work for you. However, every business is different, and if your marketing company didn’t take the time to sit down with you and learn about your business, they’re likely doing you a disservice. A good marketing company will not only get a good feel for what you sell, your business history, and your goals for growth, but they will also take an in-depth look at your target market, your budget, and what marketing strategies you’ve tried in the past. This is the only way to truly know what types of campaigns will work for your unique needs.

 

They Let You Tell Them What You Need

Your marketing partner should be just that—a partner. You hired them for their expertise in advertising so you could focus on other parts of your business. If they are continually looking to you to decide what marketing services you need, they aren’t doing their jobs. While your input should always be considered, your marketing partner should also be coming to the table with innovative ideas they believe will work well for you and should also provide continual education on the changes in the industry. This takes the task of marketing off your plate and puts it squarely on the plate of the expert you hired.

 

They Aren’t Accessible

Marketing plans are very fluid, and they often need tweaked as time goes on. That means you can’t just set a plan with your marketing partner and expect not to talk for the next six months. You’ll likely have questions about results or circumstances will change within your business that will necessitate a change in your strategy. Algorithms, platforms, and other changes in the marketing industry may also call for a change in what you’re currently doing. That’s why your marketing partner should always be accessible. If you find your calls aren’t being answered or that you haven’t seen or heard from your marketing company for months on end, it may be time to look for a new partner.

 

They Guarantee Results

Marketing is a very subjective industry. Whether or not your strategy succeeds or not is based on hundreds of factors and there’s no way your marketing company can foresee all of them and guarantee specific results. While they can work with you to develop goals and give you a good idea of what you might be able to expect as far as return on investment, you should be concerned if they are making guarantees. In these cases, they’re likely telling you what you want to hear just to close the deal and don’t plan to be around if things don’t pan out.

Marketing is a key component to your overall business strategy. By partnering with the right experts, you can develop a plan that will get your name out there to the right people and generate the buzz you need to grow your business. If your current marketing company displays any of the above red flags, it might be time to look elsewhere.

 

Angela Woltman has over 20 years of experience in the marketing industry both in print and online. She is the co-owner of Pixel Fire Marketing, an Omaha-based marketing company that specializes in website design, social media marketing, content writing, and online advertising. For more information, please visit PixelFireMarketing.com.