12 not-so-typical questions you must ask to find the right marketing partner
How happy are you about your latest marketing initiative? Are you happy enough to sing about it and post a video to YouTube, like this guy just did?
“Feeling the love” for your next marketing campaign begins with finding the right marketing partner.
And finding the right partner can be an overwhelming process. You’ve got to ask tough questions to get a good idea of what to expect from the partnership.
What questions should you ask? Well, we’ve done the work for you to help you get started.
Here are 12 questions you can ask, and if you like the answers you get, then perhaps you’ve found a marketing partner that you CAN sing and dance about.
1. How long has your company been around and how long have you (the rep) been with this company?
This is one of the most important questions for me when I shop for partners for my business. Why? Because I want the company I’m spending money with to be around years from now and I don’t want to have a new rep every six months. I like experience and too much change always raises flags for me.
2. What sets you apart from your competition?
Let the rep get straight to the point with their answer while you gain their insight on the competition’s weak points.
3. Will you help me do the math?
It sounds cliché, but to get a true apples-to-apples comparison of what each marketing provider delivers, you need to literally do the math. If you’re considering direct mail for instance, ask each rep to give you the numbers on frequency, price, coverage, brand reputation, diversity in distribution methods (i.e. online and print or just print?) for each campaign. Then compare them on paper, in a chart. Know your break even point and projected return on investment.
4. How have you helped businesses like mine make money?
Also known as the “Prove it!” question. Ask to see specific examples and case studies of the work the company did for other businesses, preferably in the same industry as you or with the same objectives.
5. How do I make money with you?
The main goal of marketing is to grow your business, but the reality is that good marketing is usually a get-rich–slow proposition, not a get-rich–quick one. If someone promises that your business will be an overnight success, it might be red flag.
6. What does success look like? How do you measure success?
If their answer matches yours, then you’re golden. Better yet, if they turn the question back on you, then you’ve found a marketing partner who understands your business and goals, and will work to implement a program that matches your definition of successful.
7. How do you define a lead/customer?
You spend money on marketing to get leads/customers, so make sure your definition matches the answer of the company helping you do the marketing. You may be surprised to compare your answers: is “a lead” a phone call, a completed form, increased website traffic, a new customer, a repeat customer, a customer who makes a qualifying purchase, or something else?
8. How does your service help me achieve my specific business goals?
Make sure they understand your overall campaign objectives and can deliver solutions that help you achieve multiple goals, not just one piece.
9. How do you help me reach my target audience?
The marketing recommendations they make should not only reach the people most likely to do business with you, but have marketing strategies that motivate consumers to do business with you.
10. What do I have to do on my end?
Learn what you’ll need to do to make the campaign successful (tracking, reporting, etc), and whether or not you can meet your end of the deal. If anyone tells you that you don’t have to do anything, be wary. It’s called a “partnership” for a reason.
11. How can I track and monitor success? What kind of reporting do you provide?
In this day in age, any marketing partner should be able to provide regular, thorough reporting on each initiative. Many times your marketing partner will collect data from you and return reporting for your review.
12. Why should I pay you more than the competition?
Cheaper isn’t always better. When you’re considering a provider that has a higher price than other options, the answer to this question may uncover the real value. Maybe they are just more expensive, or maybe you truly do “get what you pay for” – MORE.
Bonus Question!!! Why should I believe you?
I call this the bonus question because it puts even the slickest salesperson on the spot. If a potential partner can handle this question with tact, and then shows you research and client success stories to back it up, then you’ve found a partner worth doing business with.
Tell me – what are some of your favorite questions to ask when you’re considering a partner for your business? What questions have customers ever asked you that stick out in your mind? And of course – had you seen this video, and what do you think about it?