Red Flags to Look For When Hiring a Marketing Agency

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Choosing a marketing agency to take over your brand is a big leap. You want to pick the best but the process can be long and tiring. 

To help you save resources we have compiled a list of red flags that signal that it's time to move on from a potential agency.

Let's dive in.

They Promise Fast Results

An agency that claims to get you X amount of followers or increase your sales by a super specific percentage is a red flag, here’s why:

With marketing, there’s always a certain level of risk, and there’s no guarantee that you’ll have X number of leads coming your way.

Look for agencies that set realistic expectations and are upfront about the journey ahead. Keep in mind slow and steady wins the marketing race.

They have POOR Communication Skills

The best way to judge a marketing agency before you even meet them is by the quality of their communications. How quickly do you get a call after enquiring? Do they listen and not just talk? Is there a time to discuss your goals and plans with them? 

A successful agency won't just reply to your emails promptly; they'll be eager to keep you updated, share successes, and brainstorm solutions to challenges. 

They Don’t Focus on Research!

Research is key to preparation in marketing. A marketing agency will need to know your company, target audience, competitors, and more to build your strategy.

Without doing the research, they won’t be able to put together an effective strategy to meet your goals. Ask them if they create customer personas, have discovery calls, or conduct subject matter expert interviews.

A successful marketing strategy starts with a deep dive into research. Your brand needs an agency that understands your business landscape, target audience, and what your competitors are up to. If research isn't on their agenda, it might be time to rethink the partnership.

Their Own Marketing Isn’t Impressive

Does their marketing measure up? Do they have a solid presence on social media? Is their website top-notch?

If they don't do an excellent job with the marketing for their business, it's a red flag that they might not manage your marketing well. 

A reliable marketing agency should showcase its expertise through its marketing efforts. Check out their website, social media profiles, and any content they produce. If it doesn't align with your vision, keep looking for an agency that does. 

They Don’t Focus on Data…

Are they focused on data? If not, that's another red flag. 

Data will tell you how well your marketing strategy is working and meeting your business goals. During your discussions, ask about their approach on data: 

How do they measure success? What key performance indicators (KPIs) do they focus on? 

When choosing a marketing agency, look for one that has a strong knowledge of tracking and analyzing relevant data to ensure they consistently amplify results.

They Over-Use Buzzwords

Marketing agencies should know how to communicate concepts in simple and easy-to-understand terms. Buzzwords such as “Secret formula”, “Creating synergy”, and “Bespoke campaigns” don’t add any value and often make services seem better than they are. 

In Conclusion…

Want to avoid these red flags? Upgrading Women is here to help you bring the best out of you!


Upgrading Women Media Group was founded by an immigrant woman-of-colour, mother of three who puts mindset over matter and kindness over frame