6 Easy Ways to Spot a Bad Marketing Company

Gregory Berry
6 min readJul 11, 2023
girl using fingers and binoculours
Credit: Edi Libedinsky

Now that you’ve invested your time and money in your business, it's time to trust someone else to help you grow.

And that can be scarier than the business venture itself.

For example, you might sell a popular beer, but using a controversial influencer could cause sales to dip.

So it's hard to know who to trust with a wide selection of marketing agencies with flashy websites packed with buzzwords, awards, and jargon.

Of course, you could judge agencies by their portfolio, but that can be expensive.

And what's good for one brand might not be good for you.

But if you know what to look for, you can weed out the duds.

What is "marketing," anyway?

snip from dictionary definition of marketing
Credit: Merriam-Webster

According to definition A, everyone's a marketer.

But we're talking about how to promote your business in the marketplace.

After working in the restaurant industry for 20 years, I know that perception is reality: if it doesn't look clean, it ain't.

Lipstick-smudged wine glasses and overflowing trash cans don't exist online, but virtual businesses have their equivalents.

Because if it doesn't look legit, it ain't.

1-People Watch

stock photo of people in meeting, could be a sign of a bad marketing company
Credit: Fauxels

Open a browser and tab out a few potential marketing agencies if you have any in mind.

Pick your favorite, and reference it as we go through this article.

Now, scroll down the main page and quickly gander at the site links.

Do you see any people? Specifically, do you see any real people?

For example, the above image is a red flag. These aren't real people. That is, they aren't organic people.

Nothing against stock photo use, but marketing is all about connecting people with products and…