What results do you guarantee?
This one is a trick question- no agency can truly guarantee results, despite what they might claim. Think of it this way: the best athletes don’t always win, but they’re more likely to do so due to their training and skills. We definitely have built a proven track record of high monthly ROI for each client and can provide client references upon request. Many of our clients are under a confidentiality agreement and we cannot share their info, but many have agreed to be on our list of references.
Which services does your agency offer and specialize in?
Variance Marketing specializes in Search Engine Optimization, Email/SMS Marketing Automation, Pay-Per-Click Advertising, Website Design, Brand Development, Inbound Marketing, and Video Advertising. Anything not included in this list of service offerings is not something that we currently provide.
Can you provide case studies and testimonials from previous or current clients?
100%. We will not display this information publicly, however if you desire specific case studies relevant to your service of interest, we will provide that confidently. Schedule an assessment and speak with one of our sales managers to get this information.
Do you offer any free audits or consultations?
A free consultation will help kick start the company-agency relationship and will give you a chance to re-evaluate your current marketing efforts to see where you could do better. Variance Marketing prides itself on offering this for free, as it simply helps business owners learn how to optimize their marketing efforts to generate a stronger ROI overtime.
Would our partnership be exclusive? What happens if competitors want to work with you?
For professional agencies, non-exclusive partnerships should not negatively affect the performance of your campaigns. Despite this, it’s good to discuss the partnership in advance to avoid surprising and uncomfortable scenarios. We work under both frameworks.
What kind of experience does your team have? Where have individuals worked before?
We know that learning what an agency’s staff has to offer can put your mind at ease or reveal dangerous red flags. This all begins with our recruitment strategy. All of our team members are recruited from top business schools across Canada including but not limited to Schulich, Ivey, Laurier, and Queens. If hired not out of school, we look for extensive experience in communications and technical roles. Every single one of our team members is HubSpot certified, Google certified, Facebook BluePrint certified, Variance Marketing Certified, and must go through an extensive 4 month learning curve specific to their respective roles.
Will campaigns be managed by tools or real people?
Some aspects of marketing can be automated successfully, but ultimately, a dedicated Account Manager is irreplaceable. In terms of split testing, big data and automation tools work best. Automation tools that take away tedious work we will definitely employ.
How much of your work is outsourced and how do you maintain its quality?
Many agencies offer a multitude of services, but not all of them will be produced in-house. Make sure that you know what you’re signing up for. We are proud that 100% of our work is done in-house. We do this to ensure complete control and confidentiality of our client work.
Who owns all of the marketing assets you will be generating?
You don’t want any nasty surprises if you choose to end your partnership, asking this question before creating any agreements is super important. We always operate under the framework that your digital assets are yours. Any marketing related data belongs to you and you only.
Who would be my point of contact and how will we communicate?
Work out a preferred method of communication (e.g. email vs. monthly calls) in order to maximize the effectiveness of your campaigns and client-agency partnership. If there is no structure in communication intervals/channels, usually that is not a good sign. Talk to your Variance Marketing success manager about this for sure!
Can you provide me with me examples of clients whod delivered mediocre results for but are loyal to you?
Every company goes through rough patches, so ask this question to help you determine if your agency of choice is able to dig deep and pull themselves out of any gutters. We can openly agree that mistakes have been made in many of our campaigns, however we do everything in our power to rectify them and ensure overall quality. We have learned from each and every mistake made so rest assured, that at this point in our agency life we tend to make few errors.
Can you provide me examples of clients you delivered stellar results for but who quit? Why did they leave?
When it comes to your marketing campaigns, great results are obviously crucial. However, other unforeseen factors can influence the agency/company partnership, so ask this question and look out for any red flags. There are so many reasons for clients leaving an agency ranging from budgetary issues, to operational investments. We always keep a strong relationship with those that leave us as we know that they will come back.
What KPIs do you track and how do you measure them?
It’s important to be on the same page about the performance of your campaigns and to align your needs and goals. Without alignment, both parties will try to steer in different directions. At Variance Marketing, we always clarify our KPIs prior to campaign commencement. You will always be in the loop in a completely transparent way.
Which tools does your agency use and why?
While you don’t need to be an expert on the tools your agency works with, it’s a good idea to have basic familiarity with them. This can help you understand how your campaigns actually operate. We use a large variety of tools ranging from HubSpot & InfusionSoft, to AdEspresso and SemRush. We would not be able to show our tools in this answer as it would require way too much reading on your end! However, please check out our blog for this. We always post cool lists of tools to use for your agency or marketing efforts.
What are the biggest successes and failures your agency has had?
No company is perfect, but understanding how your agency deals and learns from bumpy campaigns will help future-proof your marketing efforts. We have ranked over 500 websites on the first page of Google for at least 4 search terms each. We also have achieved upwards of 12x ROI for many B2B clients.
How do you determine what you will charge me? Help me understand if this is based on hours, cost plus model, or value based.
It’s important to be on the same page about the performance of your campaigns and to align your needs and goals. Without alignment, both parties will try to steer in different directions. We always charge our clients on a retainer model calculated for labour intensive hours required. We will also require a credit card on file for any campaign ad spend or media spend.
What’s going to happen in the next 30 to 90 days?
Your agency of choice should have a streamlined onboarding process which will audit your company’s current marketing efforts, and carefully set up for future campaigns. We start by sitting with our client to fill out our client kick off form, introducing them to our team as well as their success manager, and giving them a complete tour of our office. From there, we lay the ground work for all planning, forecasting, creative, and functional aspects of the marketing campaign. You will be directed at every step of the process.
If you had to offer only 1 of your many services/solutions which one would that be?
You wouldn’t expect a cobbler to build your house, right? The same logic applies to agencies. It’s important to understand your agency’s specialties since this will help shape the focus of your campaigns and the most out of them. We specialize in inbound lead generation. This means our main focus is getting more eyeballs on your website and generating more sales opportunities for you. Our core services under this framework are Search Engine Optimization, Facebook Advertising Sales Funnels, and Paid Media Buying.