| Hiring the right Marketing Consultant |

Digital-marketing-training-Knowledge-ExchangeHiring the right Marketing Consultant can be a challenging task.  We currently live in a world where there is a lot of change. The following information might help you see through the giant labyrinth and sail the high seas on where you to spend your marketing monies to get the best return on your investment.  In addition, how to break a contract with your website, marketing and advertising company without any penalties.

In order to evaluate your current marketing services you must look at all the available choices to market your business.

Here are your choices:

Website + SEO
Online advertisements – pay per click
Social Media – (Blog Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Youtube Flickr)

Using print ads such as the newspaper, billboards, yellow pages, magazines, physical newsletters is a dying form of marketing. There are very few ways to truly evaluate and analyze your results.  Despite placing certain numbers on ads and coupons you know very little about your prospective audience without asking them some very personal questions when they purchase your product or service.  This is very inefficient.

Caveat:  In some cases for the proper investment it could be a useful means of gaining additional visibility for certain types of businesses.

Television (TV) has historically been a fantastic place to market your business however, it is very costly and has many of the same issues as print advertising.  Have you noticed that the commercials have become lower in quality as you are watching your favorite cable TV programs.  The reason is the big players in marketing and advertising have begun to exit this form of advertising.  For some time now money has been moving from Print/TV into other forms of marketing and advertising.  For example, Pepsi decided to change the majority of their budget they spent on their TV Super Bowl ads into other forms of marketing and advertising such as social media. It is called the Pepsi Refresh Project.

Radio has very similar characteristics as print and TV.  Radio allows you to cast out a net to a to many people to your target market, however this form of marketing has a hard time analyzing and gathering information on your audience and is inefficient.  Caveat:  In some cases for the proper investment it could be a useful means of gaining additional visibility for certain types of businesses.

Logically, if you have sound website with great original content and excellent SEO you would gain a tremendous amount of visibility on the internet increasing the probability of generating business.  Times are changing along with how search engine algorithms are placing you in the organic results.  In some cases this is not enough to generate the amount of business you need to survive in the current global economic conditions.  This strategy is very affective in obtaining new business.  If you ask most businesses they will tell you the majority of their business comes from referrals from satisfied clients.  A great website with new content and great SEO is only part of a sound marketing plan in our new world.  Are your marketing efforts adapting to these changes?

Online pay per click can be very effective, but can become very expensive.  Especially if your competitors continue to click on your advertisements which costs you money each time someone clicks on your ad.  This is called “Click Fraud

Developing a solid social media architecture (Blog Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Youtube Flickr ) allows you to build a community of highly concentrated people, businesses with 24/7 interaction with these relationships. Social Media allows you to market your product or service to a highly concentrated targeted group allowing your community to market your product or service for you  to each other producing what is known in the web world as a viral effect.

The larger and more concentrated your network, the higher probability you have of generating revenue from that community.  For example, if you have 1000 Facebook fans which love classic rock music;  what do you think the probability of generating revenue if you were marketing a Beatles album?  Under that same example, if you were marketing classical music you might not have the same success.

Few questions to ponder:

Are your marketing efforts being hindered by people or companies which are not adapting to our new economy?

Are they delivering their services as promised?

Are you paying for a product or service you don’t need?

Are you being sold, or being consulted on your best options?

Below are five great ideas if you are currently in a contract and are being bullied by a salesman from your website, marketing or advertising company which might help you break free without penalties.

  1. Review your contract very closely – Most ALL contracts have an out clause or something in there which allows you to leave without paying any penalties – If you are having trouble finding the clause it might make sense to have a professional review it?

  2. Go back through past e-mails and correspondence and pinpoint exactly what they promised beginning to completion – Take very detailed notes and start collecting this information

  3. Discuss your issues with the company and why you want out in writing via e-mail and certified letter including any past correspondence – Make sure you are dealing with decision makers

  4. You always have the option of writing online reviews about how you were treated by your website, marketing and advertising companies which is not good for business.  You can even mention the specific sales person in the review.  They will not like this option and will most likely try to accommodate your needs

  5. If you just signed or just started a new project with them and have yet to pay, prior to making payment ask for provisions in the contract to give penalties or discounts for not delivering after a specified date – Theoretically, this should be done when you first sign the contract, but people are always very motivated to get paid if you were unable to do this when the contract was signed

In many cases your website, marketing and advertising companies tend to over promise and under deliver.  Why?  They have salesman which are selling you a product or service you many not need in order to meet their monthly quotas.

A solution to this challenge might be to hire a consultant who knows how to deal with these people, situations, and negotiates contracts well.  Paying a consultant to do many of these services could eliminate many headaches, give you more options and allow you to benefit from the opportunity cost of your time.