There are many marketing agencies out there. Here’s how do you choose the right one?
Are you thinking about choosing a marketing agency? If you’re just beginning your search, you may feel overwhelmed by the options, and not have a clue where to start. How do you find the perfect match for your unique business needs? You’ve had a google search, and now it’s like looking for a needle in a haystack – there are so many choices!
Let’s start with why you are looking for a marketing agency to help you. It could be because sales or leads or low and you need to get them increasing. You could already have your own in-house marketing team but they don’t have the resources to get the job done on their own. You could have been trying to do it yourself, and you no longer have the time, or you are not getting the results you hoped for. Perhaps you already have an agency, but things have changed and it’s time to move on.
Whether it is down to lack of resources, skills or knowledge, you have realised you need to start improving performance and achieving the results you expect, and so choosing the right marketing agency to partner with is vital for success.
Before you start searching for a marketing agency to work with, there are a few questions you should ask yourself. These will help you decide the most important factors to look for in an agency and then the specific questions you will need to ask each potential agency.
1. What Are Your Goals?
Every business has its own goals for a marketing strategy – for most, it’s about growth and profits. Different marketing agencies will have different ways to try and achieve these goals. One agency might recommend a complete branding overhaul, another might try to increase your online presence by creating content for your blog. Marketing services can range from advertising, PR, design and print, digital and more so identify the specific needs you have in order to narrow your search and find an agency that specialises in the areas you need the most help with. Be clear about your company’s goals to find the agency that can best serve your needs.
To achieve your goals you also need to have determined some of the basics for your marketing – who your customers are, and why they need you, how is it best to reach them and where you can find them. These basics will help you determine the best agency specialisms you should be looking for. Getting the basics in place
Determine what success should look like and when it should be achieved.
2. Shared Vision
Look for a marketing agency that offers an initial consultation or strategy session. This is the perfect time to ask questions and see what kind of approach they will take for your company. Use this consultation as you would an interview for a new employee.
Before partnering with an agency, they should be able to clearly communicate a general vision for your business. They should be able to understand your current marketing activities and identify strategic opportunities that will help you achieve your goals.
3. Will The Agency Provide Referrals?
Make sure the agency has an up to date client portfolio. Look at, or ask about, the agency’s client retention rate. While some partnerships may be intended to be short-term, most agencies that work well with businesses and deliver results will have long relationships with their clients.
Look through the agency’s website and client testimonials. Even better, ask for referrals – there’s nothing more reassuring than hearing straight from another 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 make sure your shortlisted agencies have transparent billing practices and provide quotes based on your business needs. Determine whether you want to work with an agency that asks for a monthly retainer, or one that charges on a job by job basis.
5. Tools and Creativity?
A great marketing agency is committed to making your dreams a reality. You want its staff to be passionate about building brands and retaining customers. Your chosen agency needs to be able to offer solutions for all of your business needs.
Knowing the tools and resources and experience the agency has will help you understand how they plan on helping you meet your goals.
Having the right expertise, vision and tools can only go so far if agencies don’t have creativity as well. Look for examples of their creativity and ways they have helped their clients in unique scenarios.
More than anything, the right agency will be willing to work with you for what you have in mind. While most agencies have preferred go-to processes, the best ones are willing to experiment until they find what achieves the best results for your business.
6. Expertise Needs – Look for areas of expertise that you or your team doesn’t have, but would greatly benefit from. An agency with a wide variety of marketing expertise can help look at things from a new perspective and maybe even suggest an approach you haven’t thought of before.
You want a marketing agency that keeps you up to speed. Ask who you will be in direct contact with. Find out about the agency’s approach to communicating with clients during a campaign. Think about how you would like you or your team and the agency to come together in an ideal scenario. Identify your approval process for projects as well as a point of contact in your business responsible for communication. Having a clear picture of how you expect to work with an agency on a daily, weekly and monthly basis will help manage expectations on both sides as you join together to form one collaborative team.
8. Size Doesn’t Always Matter
A big marketing agency doesn’t mean it’s the right agency for your business. Look for one that offers personalized service. Choose an agency that makes the needs of all clients a priority – regardless of business size. If your company is a small fish in a big pond, it still deserves attention.
9. Consider the Relationship
When you are choosing a marketing agency, you are committing to a relationship. Your company and marketing agency will work together for a shared goal: growing your business and brand. Can you picture yourself working well with the agency staff? Are there clear, open lines of communication? If something doesn’t feel right, trust your gut – and move on.
Taking the Next Steps
If you’re considering choosing a marketing agency, you might find the following list of questions helpful for you to ask your potential agencies when going through the selection process.
Questions to Ask Potential Agencies
- What services do they provide?
- What is their area of expertise?
- How many examples of success can they share?
- What are their clients saying about their service, success, expertise, etc.?
- What vision do they have for your organization?
- Is their vision for your organization aligned with yours?
- What tools and resources will they use to achieve results?
- What is their client retention rate?
Ready to Start Choosing?
At Verve we would love to be able to help you grow your business. Give us a ring if you think we could be your perfect partner.
Call Rachel on 07949 188 923 and together let’s start helping you achieve your goals.