There are many marketing firms out there. Here’s how to find the perfect fit.
Have you decided to hire a marketing agency? Well done – it’s a wise investment of your valuable business dollars. If you’re just beginning your search, however, you may feel overwhelmed by the options. Finding the perfect match for your unique business needs can be difficult, but we’re here to help.
1. What Are Your Goals?
Each business has its own idea of what it wants from a marketing strategy – for most, it’s about growth and the bottom line. How a particular marketing agency tries to achieve these goals may differ. For example, one agency might try to increase your online presence by creating content for your blog. Another agency may recommend a complete branding overhaul. Be clear about your company’s goals to find the agency that can best serve your needs.
2. Experience Counts
Look for a marketing agency that offers a consultation or strategy session. This is a great way to ask questions and see what kind of approach it will take for your company. Use this consultation as you would an interview with a prospective employee.
3. Will The Agency Provide Referrals?
Make sure the agency has an accessible client portfolio. Have they worked with companies in your industry and what have been the results? Peruse the agency’s website and client testimonials. Better yet, ask for referrals – there’s nothing more reassuring than hearing straight from a client.
4. Consider Your Budget
Marketing is an investment. Some businesses can dedicate a big budget, while others look for something smaller in scale. Most marketing agencies have scalable services, but those worth your time have transparent billing practices and provide quotes based on your business needs.
5. Can It Deliver on Your Vision?
A great marketing agency is committed to making your dreams a reality, because its staff is passionate about building brands and retaining customers. It’s able to offer solutions for all of your business needs, from marketing to every consumer in your funnel to customizing ideas specific to your industry.
More than anything, the right agency will be willing to work with whatever you have in mind. While most agencies have tried-and-true processes, the best ones are willing to experiment until they find what achieves the best results for your business.
6. Measure Success
Any agency can talk a good game – but can it deliver for your brand? Choose an agency with a tested method for tracking campaign success (and failure). Ask for details about past client campaigns, including ROI, performance metrics, and hard numbers.
7. Is the Agency an In-House or Outsource Shop?
While your business looks to outsource its marketing efforts, you don’t want your agency to do the same. Some agencies contract with a client, only to send the work overseas. There are multiple problems with this practice, including no local contact, language barriers, and an inability to address time-sensitive concerns. Look for an agency that keeps its work in-house.
You want a marketing agency that keeps clients in the loop. Ask if you will be in direct contact with the employee working on your account. Inquire about the agency’s policy for communicating with clients during a campaign.
9. Size Doesn’t Always Matter
A big marketing agency doesn’t mean it’s the right agency for your brand. Look for one that offers personalized service. Choose an agency that makes the needs of all clients a priority – regardless of brand size. If your company is a small fish in a big pond, it still deserves attention.
10. Consider the Relationship
When you hire a marketing agency, you are committing to a relationship. Your company and marketing agency will work together for a common cause: growing your business and brand recognition. Can you envision working in harmony with the agency staff? Are there clear, open lines of communication? Before you sign a contract, get to know the agency principals and other players. If something doesn’t feel right, trust your gut – and move on.