Why You’ve Had More Than One Marketing Company – Rewiring Your Brain to Think Differently About Your Marketing Campaign
Written by: Heidi Miller Austin, Texas
“You would not believe the SEO company I just had to deal with.”
Several years ago when SEO became the hot buzzword for marketing, this was a phrase I heard countless times on the phone with brand-new clients. We recognized that the burgeoning field had a lot of overnight-success, snake oil salesman with lots of confidence, without much caring about how their tactics would affect your business in the long game. Many of the methods used by early SEO companies directly violated rules Google would put into place over generations of algorithms in an attempt to stifle manipulation of the search engine rankings code.
That was, if the SEO company had done anything at all.
As time’s passed, the reasons a business might change marketing companies over time have changed. It’s natural to change vendors infrequently due to a myriad of concerns; R.O.I., budget, vision, results. But coming up in the ranks as the top offender seems to be a concern about what an SEO company should actually does for a business.
Over decades of marketing partnerships, many business owners have an expectation of what marketing is and does for their business. I’d like to address a few pitfalls, hints and rewiring’s that are needed to fully squeeze the most value out of any Internet marketing campaign.
You have to buy in – all of you. Just because we’re the experts doesn’t mean that we don’t need in-depth cooperation, communication and information from you and your team. You’ll get only a fraction of the value from your marketing campaign that you would if you answer all questions about access, desired markets, products, services and other vital information that personally tailors your campaign to your unique brand. Sometimes road blocks come in the form of office managers and team members who are resistant to changing the status quo. More customers means more work – it’s not their money. These employees can have an overall negative impact to your bottom line if they’re not willing to support your direction for the business, not just in the marketing arena.
Whether the staff or the owner, we’ve had a handful of clients refuse any input, then come back around to ask why this ad or that post was promoted when they don’t even care about what we’ve associated their brand with. The answer is always the same:
You’ve paid for a service, it’s time for your entire staff to get on board with making the most of the opportunity you’ve afforded them to promote your brand. Otherwise, you’re driving without your hands on the wheel.
Read The Contract. Regardless of who you go to for marketing, you need to read your contract. Let me repeat this; you need to read your contract. This will elaborate on exact exactly what you will be receiving from the company and what responsibilities they have to you and you to them. Make no mistake, all marketing campaigns are a set of deliverables, physical or otherwise that are completed on behalf of your business. I don’t care what benefits you’re hoping they’ll provide for you and your business. The deliverables are what you are purchasing.
Look closely for guarantees and cancellation policies. Many guarantees mention first page rankings but don’t clarify if those keywords will have any value towards your business (being found for your own phone number is NOT a keyword.) A marketing campaign will often take time if done right and a variety of marketing groups insist on a clear length of time in order to frontload many of the valuable things they do on behalf of your business. Not taking this term seriously is a huge mistake for the longevity of your business and indeed may result in you bouncing from marketing company to marketing company over short periods of time, none of them ever really being able to give you any assistance due to impatience with results that are earned over time.
Marketing is not a sure thing but it’s the surest way to get new customers. Sometimes it’s an investment over time to stop losing your market to other flashier, newer franchises in your neighborhood. Paying your electric bill to keep the lights on isn’t a guarantee customers will show up. Marketing is one of the only “utilities” you can have whose main objective it is to gain you more customers, but you don’t berate your landlord for having to pay the rent every month and not getting new clients from it. Marketing is best looked at like rent: A necessity, not a luxury you can do without.
It’s much more costly to hire someone in house to do your marketing. Frequently people inquire into our deliverables and request in-depth information about what exactly a business needs to fix their online presence, usually for the purposes of hiring someone to do the work in house. Talk about putting all your eggs in one basket! For the cost of one employee’s salary and all taxes and benefits associated they’ll be apprised of all the relevant trends and nuances of the internet’s largest search engines. The cost of this one employee is usually much higher than having access to a team full of people who’ve expressly worked this field for upwards of a decade.
Last-chance marketing campaigns rarely work. We almost never take a client who comes to us telling us that this is their last chance. If a business is so on the ropes that bankruptcy and a 2 to 5 months drill down before shuttering is on the table, we never do business with them.
We’re not in the Hail Mary industry.
This is why SEO is so important while a business is still running somewhat smoothly. We can aid in smoothing out reputation and bad review issues, customer experience concerns, etc. all while the business continues to operate. If you’re on Death’s door, no shot of penicillin is going to save you and anyone who says it will wants your money during your last days.
Thankfully we have not experienced too many people in this arena but we’re certainly not of the ilk that would take the last pennies from a struggling business. Assessing the health of our clients’ brand is just as important and necessary as it is for our clients to assess the health of our business.
Comprehensive Internet marketing campaigns take time to see growth and success over months and years, the way you would want to see any business grow. Giving a responsible, good reputation SEO marketing company a long term chance to prove their valuable insight in the optimization market is as important as keeping the lights on and paying your employees’ salaries. Changing the way you think about your marketing is the first step to solidifying that healthy relationship.