5 Red Flags When Choosing The Right Marketing Agency

by Common Thread Collective Collaborator

Sep. 12 2019

Talking to a salesperson is the worst. But you probably already know that...


Now-a-days, we can’t even go to the mall without getting samples of overpriced lotion shoved in our faces or trying to avoid the grocery store entrance where there are students selling candy bars at a 200% markup for their AAU basketball team (good cause I know, but still).

You’re exhausted, I’m exhausted, we’re all exhausted. But here’s the thing, choosing a marketing agency to help grow your business SHOULDN’T be the same as a trip to the good ol’ used car lot. It can be a positive experience… if you know what to look out for.

Before I get into my tips and tricks, I should probably preface this blog by saying that I am, in fact, in “sales.” I work with all new business here at Common Thread Collective, so I speak with entrepreneurs and small business owners all day, everyday.

Based on hours of hearing about previous negative agency experiences, these are the key things to look out for when talking to a potential agency partner:


Do they ask you about you? 

Seems obvious, right? A lot of salespeople are on commission – so essentially, time means money. 

The easy thing for them to do would be to simply rattle off some prices and call it a day. However, what they SHOULD do is learn about YOU. 

For example: 

  • “How and why did you start this business?” 
  • “How are you looking to grow your business?”
  • “What’s your past experience with agencies?”
  • “Where are you located?” 

Do they ask you about your issues? 

If the agency doesn’t know your problem, how do they know their services are the best solution? Similar to above, they should be trying to understand you and listen (side note: this applies to personal relationships too 😉).

Do they make promises? 

If they make guarantees this is a RED FLAG. 

Instead, a good agency should be asking about the ins and outs of your business, plus give you honest expectations. If the agency has some type of moral compass, then they’ll have your best interest in making a recommendation that can actually  help your business.

Do they explain what life looks like after you sign on the dotted line? 

You signed and now you’re waiting around aimlessly for the next steps… Not cool. 

A responsible agency will make sure you know exactly what life looks like on the other side (*cue Adele*) and give you realistic timelines. That way, you know exactly what’s going on and when to expect it.

Do they follow-up? 

Sure it’s easy for someone to sell me a car, take their commission, and never talk to me again. But does that mean I’m loyal to Bob Jones at the Toyota dealership? Sorry, the answer is no, Bob! 

Relationships in the agency world are valuable and you should be valued by your agency. That means the first person you talk to should follow-up to make sure everything is running smoothly and you’re satisfied with your service.

Speaking of sales… 

I wouldn’t be a salesperson if I didn’t shamelessly plug Common Thread Collective at the end of this blog. 


If you’re looking to grow your business and don’t want to be treated like a piece of meat… then shoot us a message and a member of our Business Development team will be happy to learn about you, your business, and your 2019 goals!

Mel BD
– Mel B