Grow Team is a national quality assurance and contracting agency. Grow Team was founded and developed by business owners who wanted to solve the problem of not being able to find good quality online marketing agencies. We do two things: vet and evaluate online marketing companies and manage our vendor client relationships. Grow Team started in 2011 and since then we have vetted over 3,000 online marketing agencies. Less than 1% of those agencies have made it into our national vendor network. Once we establish a fit between our client and one of our vendors we then manage the contract daily. We manage the execution of deliverables, track performance and act as an agent for our clients.
How do I decide what to outsource and what to do internally?
Our experience as business owners and running our own companies is different than what you would get if you were to talk to most online marketing agencies. We feel that most things should be internal functions of the company so that they can be closely monitored. When it comes to online marketing, this means keeping the voice and personality of the company with an internal team. There are many online marketing agencies out there who focus on content but in our opinion, it is much more valuable to keep this in house. The areas that we believe are valuable to outsource are areas that have a technical component that you can not get access to, or an area that is highly specialized. In our vetting process we have gravitated towards agencies that are highly specialized or agencies that have some type of proprietary technology.
How do I get the best talent working on my account?
One of the most critical things that people get wrong in the process of hiring an online marketing agency is that they spend all their time vetting the agency and no time vetting the project manager. During the sales process, it is very common for people to vet the agency, look at reviews, and do their due diligence. Once they sign a contract with the marketing agency they are passed on to a project manager who will then run the campaign. The project manager has a huge influence on the success of the campaign and how the campaign runs. Each agency has a handful of project managers who are good, a handful who are ok and some that are not good at all. At Grow Team we vet every single project manager who works with our clients. We look at experience level, how many accounts they are currently working on, and client satisfaction. If you are doing this on your own, we recommend asking these types of questions before you sign any contracts.
Is it more expensive to hire an online marketing agency through Grow Team?
Grow Team’s model is a buyer’s agency model. When my partner and I started this company, we wanted to have a very simple model that would make it easy for business owners to engage with us. We wanted to make it easy for us to give recommendations without having to charge our clients upfront for that process. We charge no fees for our services directly to our clients, and in most cases our clients pay less for their services then if they were to go to the vendor direct. We make this happen by establishing a master service agreement with our vendors. We negotiate a discount schedule with our vendors which we then pass on to our clients.
How does Grow Team find and hire the best online marketing agency?
Grow Team has vetted over 3,000 online marketing agencies. We found that less than 1% of the agencies we have vetted met all of the qualifications required to make it into our national network. We have invested a lot of time into vetting agencies and we have also written books to help other business owners who are going through this process. The process of vetting an agency includes: not only vetting the agency but also vetting their management, their project managers, and their current clients. This process can be very time consuming for a business owner and there are thousands of online marketing companies out there. A huge added value to working with Grow Team is that we have already done all of the ground work for you.
How do I know if I’ve hired a bad online marketing agency?
In our experience, we have found that it comes down to two things: transparency and results. The first thing that we look at is transparency. For example, do you have direct access to all of your accounts including your Google AdWords account, your Google analytics accounts, and any account that the vendor is working with? You should have access to all of those accounts. Communication is another thing that we look at. Is the vendor communicating with the client as much as they should be, and are the clients in the loop as to what is being done for the money they are paying? The other area we look at is the results and if the agency is getting good results for their clients. We have found that is it more likely to come across bad agencies that are not doing any work therefore not getting any results. It is less likely to find a good agency who is doing all the right work and not getting any results.
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