Over 120 Charlotte Marketing Agencies?

Need a Charlotte Marketing Agency? Well, you are in luck. Take a look at a Google map search for the term “Charlotte Marketing Agency” and you will find about 55 of them within 1 mile of the center of Charlotte. Spread out to the 485 loop in Charlotte and you will find about 120 of them. I had written about the rise of the McSEO, but that’s not half the scope of the issue. When compared to both McDonald and Burger King there are about 4 times more “Charlotte marketing Agency” locations inside the 485 loop than there are places to get a Big Mac and Whopper combined.


Burger King Locations


So how to sort through the trash?

While there is no sure fire way to separate the quality marketers with those who have never sold anything to anyone other than getting you to pay them, there are simple places to look and learn what you are being talked into.

Has your online marketing “professional” ever built traffic for something other than a large established brand? This means have they been in a situation where they tried things from scratch and tested ideas. Have they had to solve a problem and learned something other than what they read on a forum or were told by the guy who also read on a forum. Small brand, tough and gritty niches locally and affiliate marketing is where people learn by trying and not watching.

What were they doing 3 years ago?

This one is right on their LinkedIn profile. If I had a Nickle for every “director” of something that was a “real estate agent” or intern 3 years ago I could give you back the money you just wasted. Go to their LinkedIn profiles and look for anything that shows you they have the ability to create a strategy. 2 years of doing keyword research for PPC is not a strategy. A strategy is how am I going to decide what channels those keywords will perform best on (Search, Display, Video, Social, Content, Affiliate), and what cost per acquisition is obtainable and sustainable. Point here is, don’t be their learning experience, marketing is expensive.


McDonald’s Locations

Is the approach formulaic?

Did you get a McSEO? Is the person setting up your “strategy” using the same punch list they did for the guy who owns flower shops?  When you hear about the “custom strategy” for your market is it right for your specific widget? When a company is hiring interns to use their branded hammer and tell you everything is a nail, you are not getting a strategy. How can you beat out competition when you have the same punch list as they do.
(Unless you pay extra of course for their “super premium SEO package”).

How do they measure success?

Success is never really a measure, almost always should be a metric or comparison. Cost per lead, cost per sale, unique visitors from organic, cost per 1000 visitors, Value per cart, product per cart are all good places to start. If you have a fancy dashboard they provided you with that says # of visitors, # of likes, and your search ranking, you probably don’t have marketing minds at work. Anyone who ever worked in search marketing with THEIR OWN MONEY, knows what matters in the end. On the other side of this coin, if you sell $5000 widgets expect it to cost a good amount for each conversion. Net gain is what the goal is, not making it rain for $6 in Facebook ads.

Do they get basic advertising?

Listen for “why” and not “what”. When you hear things like “social is not going to be effective because our website requires a lengthy checkout process to make a conversion”, you are in the right spot. With some luck the follow up with a new mobile goal idea or checkout improvements.

When you hear “On social we are going to do blah blah to get you more likes” you are in the wrong spot. This lack of being good at basic selling is often a “have it” or “don’t” thing. Not just the decisions, but call to actions, positioning forms, cross selling, auto responders, creating separate mobile goals, need to track, and making every decision based on WHO is the person that buys your widget. These instinctive decisions all effect how much you pay for each sale. A bad single element in the process or a [SUBMIT] button as opposed to a [GET YOUR REPORT] button can mean the difference of thousands of dollars.

Bonus: Get the Change History

Your PPC Management Company has a nice little link called change history. You can see everything they did, when they did it. Now don’t be a pain about this. Every campaign needs to be left alone from time to time to get a good baseline of performance. What you can look at is a steady stream of negative keywords, and paused ads that didn’t perform as well as others in the same group.

Are they a Google Partner Agency?

I hate name dropping, but this at the least means experience and taking the time to try hard.  The Google Partner program would require your Charlotte PPC Management Agency to maintain $10,000 in spend for 60 days or more, meet the quality requirements of campaigns (easy) and have passed the Google certification exams.One thing you may do here is see if they pursue the bare minimum on this. If you are working with a Google Partner Agency, of which there are maybe 12 in Charlotte, see what exams they passed and how many people in the agency. Passing just 2 exams just to get a badge might be a bad sign if they have 15 employees. How likely is it that one person is handling your account? If a marketing professional doesn’t have the drive to keep learning each discipline of Google Ads they might lack the ability to suggest other channels as more effective. Don’t buy nails from the guy who only owns hammers.

At the time of writing this is the only Charlotte PPC Management Agency in Charlotte with Search, Display, Video and Google Analytics certifications in the Google Partner program. Yes, Bing too.

About author

Todd Kron

of Sellaholics is a veteran of Analytics, PPC, Display, video, UX, conversion optimization, affiliate programs, web design and web programming since 2002. My background includes affiliate sales to 6 figures, director of a web design agency, and currently the digital manager for a leading energy company located in Huntersville, NC. From search to sale 1000 different ways is my background. Sellaholics is a Google Partner Agency.