How has advertising changed over the years? If you think back to your last purchase today, and a purchase from years ago, you probably took a different process. Digital marketing now acts as a Swiss Army tool for small businesses trying to raise awareness. Its massive reach has created very specific marketing campaigns.

But how do you find a legitimate marketing company to trust? The internet houses a lot of fake companies, and it’s easy to fall victim to scams if you’re not careful. Looking at search engine optimization, there’s a lot of companies that claim first-page results, but their tactics can actually harm your business.

When looking at marketing, it’s important to find an agency that focuses on your needs, rather than their own business model. Chances are if they’re focusing on themselves, rather than asking the right questions, their intentions aren’t to help your business—they have something to gain.

Addressing your business needs

A first meeting shouldn’t be a sales pitch. If you’re sitting down with a new agency, all of the power is in your hands. That means they shouldn’t be focused on offering you a slew of services, but rather they should be focusing on understanding what your

Think of this as a verbal SWOT—strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats—analysis, or a look into what your concerns are. They should be asking where your strengths and gaps live, so they aren’t assuming anything about your business.

You’ll know if they’re available to address your needs because they’ll make the conversation about you. If they care about your business, they’re not going to interrupt. They’ll listen to what you have to say so they can make an informed presentation.

Acting on your needs

When presentation comes, you should expect your marketing agency to talk about the customers you already understand. There’s occasionally an opportunity to bring in a new demographic. But that should almost always be built from an existing demographic.

Your marketing agency shouldn’t try to invent the wheel. You understand your business a lot more than an outsider, so the new perspective should complement what you already know.

Finally, your prospective marketing agency should be able to draw connections between their products and the benefits that they can offer your business. Rarely should they be offering features, as benefits drive results. Don’t be afraid to ask questions to push them into thinking less about features and more about the benefit to your business.

This article is a continuation of a conversation written for Great West Digital Agency. Brett Luft is a Digital Fulfillment Specialist for Great West Digital Agency, and the co-founder of Notice Media.

It’s safe to say that I’m a fairly passionate person. I take everything I do seriously, and I have a diverse range of interests. While I am passionate about more things compared to others – technology...

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