Some might say that singing up with a 21st century marketing firm is relatively safe, given the way in which general service standards have never been higher. However, this doesn't mean for a moment that the differences between competing internet marketing experts are not literally night and day, which in turn leads to businesses of all shapes and sizes coming out with completely different results.
None would expect and given business to be 100% versed and savvy in the field of marketing – such would eliminate the need for a marketing firm in the first place. However, what each and every business looking to sign up with a new partner must be willing to do is exercise a little proactive common sense ahead of agreeing to any contract – the following often-forgotten questions being of paramount importance:
What Are Your Three Biggest Success Stories?
Not one, not two – three success stories. The reason for this is the way in which all marketing reps will as second nature have a wonderfully inspiring success story to talk about to peak the interest of clients, which will probably have been rehearsed a hundred times. Some will even have two, or at least be able to pluck a couple of internet marketing tales out of the air at random. However, any modern marketing firm worth investing in should be able to recite any number of dozens of success stories covering various industries and niches in a heartbeat, without hesitation or question – a true sign of a valuable and valid provider.
Why Are You Different?
This is a question that doesn't warrant a "Because we are better" or "Because we get results" answer, but rather a frank and honest explanation as to what makes the business tick. Those that follow generic marketing methods and tried and tested tricks are fine, but it is always better to side with the innovators who confidently and proudly separate themselves from their rivals – they should be able to explain how they go about this.
How Will You Make Sure My money Isn't Wasted?
Always a tricky one for all but the best as it is one thing to tell a client what their cash will be pumped into, but another to tell them of safeguards and approached that ensure minimal wasted investments. This is also the time when any satisfaction guaranteed should be explained in full, assuming such promises are in place.
What Have You Done Lately?
An experienced and reputable marketing team will at any one time have several ongoing projects and a relatively lengthy list of clients currently in business with them. If on the other hand the marketing firm seems to have had something of a gap in service, this can be a negative sign.
Can I Speak to Your Current Clients?
Last but not least, checking printed feedback is one thing, but contacting current clients directly is something else altogether. This is where it becomes possible to find out which marketing firms are 100% proud of their dealing and which clearly have something to hide. Without giving up confidential details, a marketing firm should always be willing to inform a potential client who is currently using their services.