What should you expect from a vendor you contract to help with your marketing campaigns? The answer might be a bit bigger than you think.

Typically, when business owners and executives first contact us what they articulate is a need for high-level creative work. They want a website that looks great, a logo that gives a sense of polish, or perhaps some stunning visuals to use on print ads or social posts.

Obviously, it’s important for you to get great artistic work when you hire a marketing agency. The team should share your sense of style and have good creative instincts. However, the list of things you should expect from them should be much bigger. In fact, here are a few things you should insist upon when engaging a partner to work with…

Actionable Advice for Your Company’s Goals

Good creative work isn’t worth much if it doesn’t help you reach the goals you set for your business. So, it’s incredibly important for your marketing agency to be able to turn visuals, taglines, and other forms of messaging into campaigns that will actually pay off in real sales.

Along the same lines, you’ll want your creative team to use their experience to identify goals that might not be attainable within the budget or time frame you have set. Nobody likes bad news, but it’s better to hear the truth than to set the wrong expectations and not be able to meet them.

Help Setting Realistic Budgets and Timelines

There are gray areas when dealing with marketing budgets and deadlines. Certainly, we come across situations where businesses could be much more profitable if they would spend more on their campaigns. And, it’s important to keep your calendar as a consideration if your goals are going to mean anything.

In other words, a good marketing agency will push you to invest in campaigns that will yield results but won’t have you over commit to the point of diminishing returns. That’s the key to maximizing your sales without overspending.

The Advice You Need (Even When You Don’t Want it)

This often surprises people, but one of the most important things we do for our clients is tell them the truth. This might mean giving them advice on things that need to be done or changed within the company, setting budgets and responsibilities (as we’ve already mentioned) or just pointing out weaknesses in an overall strategy.

We don’t enjoy telling business owners things they don’t want to hear, but one of our jobs is to provide outsider perspectives and share the benefits of our experience. In other words, we help companies to avoid predictable mistakes, even when doing so might lead to uncomfortable conversations.