There are as many red flags for marketing firms out there as there are zombie shows on TV.

Hiring one is a good decision and will often be money well spent but it can be a bit overwhelming with the options available. Finding a perfect partner to match your unique business needs can be fraught with difficulties, but Castle is here to help.

How to find the perfect match, and avoid any red flags

Identify Your Goals

Every organisation has its own ideas about what it wants from its marketing strategy. For many, it’s about the bottom line growth and growth.

How a marketing agency goes about trying to achieve these objectives will differ. For instance, one organisation could try to grow your presence online, through content creation for your blog, another might advise a complete re-brand. But this is your business and you must be clear about your own business’ goals before an agency can best serve your needs.


Before choosing an agency to sit down with one that offers either a strategy or a consultation session. This is the time to ask questions, find out what kind of approach they have and how good a rapport you find. A consultation should serve as a kind of interview. Ask prospective partners everything you need to know, they will be working for you, not the other way around.


Ensure an agency has a credible portfolio of previous clients. Choose one that may have experience in your sector, what were the results? Contact, the clients yourself, get the low-down from the horse’s mouth.


Some businesses can invest more heavily in marketing than others. The best marketing agencies know this and generally have services that are scalable, with those worth your time also having clear billing practices.


A great marketing agency commits itself to turn your ideas from dreams into reality because their staff will be fanatical about building marques and customer retention. They will be able to provide solutions for any and all of your organisation’s needs and the right marketer will be able and more importantly willing, to work with whatever it is you have in mind.

Most experienced agencies have tried-and-tested methods for ensuring success, the better ones will always be willing to innovate until they identify what will work for your organisation.

Measure Success

Agencies talk a good game, that’s their job, but are they able to deliver?

Pick a marketer who has a tried and trusted process for tracking campaign success, as well as a failure (how else can we see how far we’ve travelled?). Ask relevant questions regarding previous clients and campaigns, such as Return on Investment, or metrics surrounding performance backed up by hard data.


As George Bernard Shaw, once said: “The biggest red flags in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”

Ask about the marketing agency’s methods of communication. You want an organisation that keeps in contact with you. For example, do you have direct access to the person managing your account?

Size Matters

Your company warrants attention. The old adage of big enough to cope, small enough to care, apply here. A big organisation doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the right one, for you or for your brand. You should look for a more personalised one. A marketer that makes the needs of all of its customers a priority, brand size notwithstanding.


When you commit to a marketing agency, you are entering into a relationship. Your organisation and someone else’s will strive toward growing your brand and increasing ROI. Ask yourself, can you see your business harmonising with another?

Before you commit to anything, get to know the principal staff, trust your instincts, if something doesn’t feel good; choose someone else.

Always keep your eye out for dodgy agencies, red flags and false promises, and if you are still stuck with who to choose, head to our Affiliates page for more information on how a trusted company, like Castle, can help your marketing worries.