If you’ve ever approached a marketing agency in Vancouver, these questions must have crossed your mind at some point.
From costs to guarantees and goodness of fit, in the past decade of working within the marketing landscape we’ve encountered hundreds of questions from businesses from various industries. Here are the most common questions we’ve encountered, and some quick responses from our sales team:
1. How much are your services?
This is the most common question we receive, and frankly it’s a bit difficult to answer without specific context.
When it comes to custom website design, the sky’s the limit on the functionality of your online portfolio. Whether you want an interactive map, eCommerce capabilities or an internal portal for backend file sharing, our agency can help manifest your most wanted functionalities onto your new website (within reason, of course!).
So, when it comes to cost, it depends on how much coding time is required to fulfill a specific element(s) on your site. An eCommerce website would be priced differently from a simple brochure website, for example. Our website estimates are typically broken down into categories so you’ll see exactly where we plan to spend the most time in developing your website. Our websites include a copywriting and SEO component, to allow us to tie in the tactical elements that make up your website’s strategy.
Please note that all of our estimates are custom-made, so if there are any elements we can eliminate to slim down your estimate (say, if you don’t need an SEO component or if you already have copywriting completed) we love working with clients to find the perfect solution that fits their business needs first and foremost.
After all – the most important aspect of your website is its effectiveness in driving your business goal, whether that’s new sales, lead generation, engagement or signups.
For those of you miffed at the fact that we didn’t include any specific numbers in this section, not to worry! The turnaround time for our estimates are within a couple days after contact with a potential client, so by contacting our agency with a quick ten-minute call you’ll be able to get a quote.
2. What are your promised results?
This is the second most popular question that tends to be somewhat of a slippery slope.
As a long-standing branding agency and SEO company in Vancouver, we’ve seen clients approached by everything – from “guaranteed” SEO positions on prized keywords, to dirt-cheap websites or five-dollar logo designs. Unfortunately, the old adage holds true: If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.If it's too good to be true, it probably is. Click To Tweet
We can say for a fact that if anyone offers you a “guaranteed first page SEO ranking for [any specific keyword] on Google,” they’re either overzealous or, worse, a scammer. Search Engine Optimization is a field of marketing that is filled with best practices – not rules, or documentation, but search trends and correlation based on years of experimentation and results. This is because Google, while they do have best practices for website, does not disclose the specifics of their algorithm to anyone except their own internal staff.
So, to say that you can “guarantee” a specific result when it comes to SEO is more than a tad unrealistic.
A marketing agency should provide due diligence in their estimations (KPI)
This means that although an agency shouldn’t guarantee a specific outcome – they can promise on taking the correct actions to get you there.
For example, while it would be unrealistic to say that “a marketing campaign will net you a guaranteed return on investment of ____,” it wouldn’t be a far stretch to say “by our calculations, the actions we’re taking right now should result in a target goal of ____%-____%”
Here’s the difference:
- In the unrealistic scenario, the agency guarantees a specific return on investment for a given campaign. This is unrealistic because trends change over time – seasons, political climate, current events, etc.
- In the realistic scenario, the agency has done due diligence in researching past trends and has done some calculations in estimating results based on a “likely” outcome vs. a “favourable” outcome or “unfavourable” outcome in order to create a range of results.
In short, we want to educate you on how not to get sweet-talked by an agency (or any other business) into taking a “great” deal just because they mention the word “guarantee” – it’s not actually as great as you may make it out to be.
3. How will you stay accountable?
In order to make the most of an agency, you (both) must agree on predetermined key performance indicators (KPI).
While it’s true that a realistic agency should never guarantee a specific result, they must also be accountable in taking the necessary actions that lead to the desired result. This is tracked via key performance indicators.
If your business goal is to achieve a certain level of revenue given your marketing investment, this is where you (and your agency) should work backwards to determine the relevant KPIs. Let’s say to achieve revenue of $30,000, you need to acquire 10 sales. Based on your track record, your “win rate” on a sale for any given lead is 50%. This means that in order to hit your goal, you need 20 leads to come through.
At this point, your marketing agency should calculate that “out of every 20 visitors, one visitor becomes a lead” and therefore you need to hit 400 visits on the website in order to hit your goal. There you go – that’s your key performance indicator that you can use to gauge the performance of your agency.
If a KPI isn’t being reached, we will review our strategy and consider alternatives to reach the predetermined goals. We will then review our progress with you and move forward with your approval.
1) You’re launching a brand-new product and preliminary research suggests Google Ads would be the best way to reach your target audience. We launch your ad campaign, which draws in several hundred visitors over the course of a week, but they fail to purchase!
2) We look into the marketing metrics, and consider options to improve your campaign:
- Are visitors bouncing due to lack of information on the site? Maybe we need a product demonstration video.
- Are visitors staying on the site, but not converting? Maybe it’s a pricing issue; we may want to test a weeklong sale to see if it that improves conversion.
- Maybe the visitors from this particular platform aren’t ideal. Are there other platforms we should consider?
Marketing is a marathon, not a sprint, and our ongoing management packages help us ensure you’re making smart marketing decisions on a regular basis. We cannot (and should not!) guarantee the success of every campaign – but we can work towards the one that serves you best.
4. What kind of discounts can you offer?
We will absolutely offer discounts on bundled services. Why? Because this way, good work doesn’t have to be done twice.
It takes a twofold effort in order to fix any marketing campaign or strategy – you need to identify its faults, figure out the optimal strategy, and then implement fixes and changes (this is particularly true for a website refresh).
If something was done right in the first place (say, if the initial strategy was sound), it’s much easier to implement a new campaign. Better yet – if we were the creators of the strategy in the first place (say, the creation of a Content Strategy when refreshing the website), it becomes that much easier to re-use elements of a great strategy for a new campaign (say, an editorial calendar for upcoming search engine-optimized content).
Because of this flexibility, we can absolutely work through a marketing option that works best for your budget and needs. We offer custom packages and discounts for projects on a case-by-case basis, so you’ll have to contact our marketing agency so we can find out more about your business and goals.
5. Are there any success stores of previous clients?
We love hearing this question because there’s a lot to go off of.
We feature some of our most recent clients in our marketing portfolio, but with hundreds of clients served it just wasn’t sustainable to keep everything on our website.
We’ve worked with businesses from halloween costume companies to lawyers, real estate agents, association management companies and even clinical laboratories for telomere testing.
Whether you’re a service provider or manufacturer, we’ve probably dabbled in an industry similar to your own. Give our marketing agency a call and let us help you grow your business! Never fret – we always have chocolate!