You’ve spent the last year trying to stay ahead of projects, only to fall behind. Your sales are down and it could be all about your messaging. The thought of partnering with a marketing agency has crossed your mind and you’re ready to take the leap. Choosing the right marketing agency to partner with in your efforts is a big decision and one that shouldn’t be taken lightly and there are several factors that should be taken into consideration.
- What services are needed?
- What areas of expertise are you seeking?
- What kind of relationship will work best? One time or going?
- How will success be measured?
Once these determinations are made, it’s time to hone in on your expectations and how they will be met. It is crucial to take the time up front to do your homework to ensure the agency you choose is a perfect fit. Consider the following questions throughout their presentation:
- Does the agency have the knowledge and expertise you’re seeking?
- Do they understand your company and its vision for the future?
- Do they have access to the tools and resources to help you succeed?
- Are you wowed by their work?
- Are you impressed with their client retention rate?
- Does their culture align with your companies?
- Can they demonstrate proven results?
Last week, we explored the “6 signs now is the right time to partner with a marketing agency”, and this week, we’re offering tips on how to choose the right marketing agency for you.
What Services Are Needed?
First thing’s first—what are your biggest needs? Marketing services can range from communications strategy, public relations (PR), graphic design, web development, digital marketing, media buying and more. So, identifying the specific needs your marketing team has, can play a big role in narrowing your search for the perfect partner.
What Areas of Expertise Are You Seeking?
If you have a marketing team or person in house, odds are, they have their strengths, specializing in one or two areas of marketing. Identifying those areas of expertise your team doesn’t have helps determine what to look for in an agency. An agency with a team of marketing professionals, with a wide range of experience, can help your team look at things from a fresh set of eyes, perhaps shedding some light on a strategy you haven’t thought of before.
What Kind of Relationship Would Work Best?
Think about your internal process. Every company has one, and each is very different. When choosing a marketing agency, it’s wise to consider its internal process. You’ll be working very closely with the agency on many projects, so, having a clear picture of how you’ll be working on those projects together may prove helpful. You’ll also likely have a point person with whom you’ll be working very closely. Meet them first to make sure your personalities work well together and that it’s a good fit. Having a clear understanding of what the relationship and process looks like from the start will help set clear expectations for both sides as you collaborate on projects.
How Will You Measure Success?
Having a general idea of what your overall goals are for the partnership will help you measure success. Are you looking for more qualified leads, launching a capital campaign or trying to boost sales of a certain product/service? Identifying objectives determines what success looks like and when it can be achieved.
Once you have a general idea of the services and expertise you need from an agency, you’ll want to dig a little deeper.
- Does the Agency Have the Knowledge and Expertise You’re Seeking? Ask for examples of their expertise and how it’s helped clients realize results.
- Does the Agency Understand Your Company and its Vision for the Future? Ask a lot of questions to make sure the agency you are considering has a solid understanding of your current marketing activities and your industry. They should be able to speak to strategic opportunities that will help you get that ROI.
- Does the Agency Have Access to the Tools and Resources to Help You Succeed? Knowing what tools an agency has in place to measure marketing efforts, track leads and to execute tactics will help you understand how they plan on helping you meet your goals.
- Are You Wowed by Their Work? Even with all the right tools and expertise in place, it’s important to have creative minds guiding your marketing efforts. Look for examples of their work and how they’ve helped other clients with unique and creative campaigns.
- Are You Impressed with Their Client Retention Rate? Some partnerships are formed more on a project-by-project basis, but you will find, reputable agencies have many clients with whom they have long-lasting relationships. Ask the marketing agency you’re considering about their client retention rate. Ask for references so you can talk to their clients about how the partnership worked for them.
- Does the Agency Culture Align with Your Company Culture? At GRIT, culture is very important. It defines who we are as an agency, how we work with our clients and how we value each employee as an essential part of the team. Partners that share in your company values will likely work very well with your team.
- Can the Agency Demonstrate Proven Results? As you talk with different agencies, you’ll hear the same thing. They will tell you they can get the job done. Don’t settle on their words. Ask to see their proven results.
If you’re looking to partner with an agency in any of your marketing efforts, please give us a shout! We’d welcome the chance to talk to you, and to show you how we’ve helped our diverse mix of clients reach their business objectives.