Ask the Experts | How to Vet Marketing Agencies

Question: Many marketing companies promise the world. How do I vet marketing agencies before I give them my money?

Drew Cameron; President, HVAC Sellutions & Energy Design Systems, Inc:

What I do to vet marketing agencies I work with is ask to see samples of their work. I ask to see case studies that establish where their clients were and where they took them to. I also want to speak with past and current customers of those marketing companies. I want read any online reviews about those companies, whether it’s on their social media platforms, their websites, or review sites like Google or Yelp.

Before I jump in with somebody, I’m going to give them a test. I’m going to make a small commitment to test them, and maybe even multiple companies at one time. I’ll have them do that test without them knowing that they’re being tested against each other. I want them to play the game the way they would usually play it without knowing that they’re being tested against another company. When you’re told you’re being tested, you might perform a little bit better and I don’t want that to be the issue.

Lastly, I’ll have them do a pay-per-performance trail if they’re willing to do so. You can give them a small commitment up front and pay per performance based on the company achieving a certain metric. Maybe it’s social media lead generation or direct mail lead generation, I’d give them X amount of dollars and ask them to prove to me that they can get X amount of leads.

Some marketing agencies claim they can get you first page ranking on Google – well, have them put their money where their mouth is. Tell them if they can do it on a pay-per-performance situation, then I’ll sign a contract after I see the results. Those would be a couple different ways that I would vet marketing agencies and their claims prior to committing to a contract.

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