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Fire & Security - How To Choose A Digital Marketing Agency

by Jo Shaer, on November 12, 2018

Fire & Security directors beware of expensive mistakes!

Neither the marketing guy who cold called you nor the one you know through your networking breakfast will have the skills and experience to sell more fire protection and security systems.

How do I know? We regularly meet colleagues from your industry who are repenting their first marketing investment.

They hired the smooth talking, shark-tooth necklace-wearing consultant who promised to publish 100 tweets and some blog posts every month. Or they listened to the promises of an experienced old-school marketer who said promoting your business for two days a week would be all you needed.

Take a deep breath and consider these two things:

  • What exactly have they promised to do for you?
  • And is it what you actually need?


The danger of choosing the wrong digital marketing agency

Those two bullet point questions remind me of the Fire & Security company who asked me how they could fulfil on their exit strategy. They wanted to build up the company so they could sell it and retire. Sounds like a good plan.

But, then they saw another agency.

And, suddenly, their exit strategy was FORGOTTEN!

They told me they didn't need a website that would generate enough new customers to make it an attractive purchase.

No, they wanted me to quote them for a website that would allow their employees to log in and view the staff handbook.

Now, don't get me wrong, that's important... but it's not going to help them sell their business so they can retire comfortably!

As mentioned here, the #1 DANGER to your ongoing success is choosing the wrong freelancer or digital marketing company to work with you. They may use bright, shiny things to distract you from your agenda and promote their own skillset...

  • An agency that specialises in web development will want you to expand your website so it does more stuff.
  • A graphic design specialist will focus on a rebrand.
  • A traditional marketing company will want you to invest in leaflets or email.


An exit strategy requires a business that is growing so YOU can sell it. A staff handbook means it is easier for YOUR STAFF to find their employment documents.

ELIMINATE the agency who want to promote their own agenda. 

QUALIFY the agency that will help you get what you want!

Questions to ask a digital marketing agency

1. Is the agency walking the walk?

It never fails to amaze me why some digital marketing agencies sell the service but don't actually use it to generate leads for themselves.

Check their website. Is the agency actually doing digital marketing with regular blogging and social media? 

Have they achieved successful results for other Fire & Security companies? 

And find out how they learned to run ads? On their own £ or by spending other people's money?

Perry Marshall, author of the world's best selling book on Google Ads and our business coach, says his #1 tip for any business owner looking to hire:

  1. a Google Ads manager;
  2. a Facebook ads manager; or
  3. any kind of advertising agency

is to say 'I want you to prove to me that you learned this on your own dime'

You see, there are two worlds - compulsory and voluntary

Some marketers go to university because it is compulsory. It is a follow on to the compulsory school that they had to go to. 

And then there is the voluntary world - this is the people who want to learn. Who pay their own money to attend seminars with the best experts in the fields that they want to be expert in.

There is a funny way of spending your own money that learns ya!

That's how Lollipop started out. I would be up until 2am watching webinars from experts in the US on how to do the various elements of digital marketing. And then start implementing them for Lollipop, whilst Jon was putting things into practice for his martial arts school in Birmingham.

Because that's how you learn. It hurts when you get it wrong! And that continued exposure makes you much more cautious and careful with other people's money!

All that pain bore fruit - our  first retainer client was in Fire & Security. They had a website that didn't generate any leads. A few weeks after their new Lollipop website went live, they had an order for £20k. And it only got better from there.

Six years later, the owner sold the business to a venture capitalist and retired. But  the website just kept on giving to the new owners. By then, we were working with three other Fire & Security companies. And we were seeing patterns for success.

2. Is the agency testing,  measuring and reporting? 

Show me the data! Can they prove that what they do works?

Will they be reporting regularly to you so you can see it working for your business? Not charts with squiggly lines referring to high level numbers that have no bearing on actual traffic, leads and customers.

Lollipop were once asked to audit the Google Ads account of a very large company. It was being managed by a very expensive West End agency. None of the directors could understand the reports they were receiving.

We showed them how vast amounts of money were being spent and where savings could be made. We knew this because of our own experience.

We did this because we cared. It made us feel sick to see how much money was being wasted.

3. Proof of the pudding 

Do they have recommendations confirming that what they will be doing for you actually works? Not just a testimonial that says "They were great!" You need to know what they were great at and whether it resulted in a positive return on investment for that business.

The Lollipop team have delivered a high quality service and achieved excellent results. They have a lot of experience and make it count where it matters. Ultimately - business development is all about the outcomes and at Lollipop that’s what they focus on. Successfully - Tony Wilson, South East Business Boost


Hiring an agency to handle all your marketing can  solve the problems of lack of time, technology skills or strategy. Your new team will also be able to introduce you to software and creative solutions that you might never have considered otherwise. 

But are you sure that they are experienced in the Fire & Security sector and can actually fulfil on their promises. Read our case study to see how we helped one Essex business to grow.

 fire and security case study


Topics:fire & security

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