When you’re shopping for a marketing agency, the process can be overwhelming on top of all your other work, and just plain confusing. It’s hard to know who will best fulfill your needs, fit with your internal team, and bring you meaningful results. In short, only a down-to-Earth approach to evaluating an outsourced agency’s marketing effectiveness will separate the fakers from the fabulous.
Luckily, the points below will show you what to ask, investigate, and think about when considering any provider. We hope they help make the process--and the choice--much more clear.
Find Out What’s Offered
Regardless of what you think you need at this point, get a straight answer on what services are offered. In today’s lightning-fast environment where strategy needs to be able to pivot quickly, variety is key. At a minimum, make sure the following items are on the menu:
All of these services work best together as parts of an overall strategy. You might start out with just one item today, but a truly capable agency will offer what you might need down the road as well.
Delve Into Their Experience
Don’t be shy about asking whether an agency has experience in your industry. Even indirect experience will give them (and consequently, your company) the advantage of better insight into your needs.
You’ll also want to gather more information about what the agency thinks about your current strategies, areas for improvement, why they’re making those recommendations, and how they would implement them. You’re looking for two things here: whether they think strategically before acting and whether they’re a true partner that understands your organization.
By delving into these areas you’ll get deeper insight into how the potential provider functions.
Ask About Results and Reporting
Simply put, what results will they bring you? Be wary of anyone that gives you the runaround or promises you anything that sounds too good to be true.
Also ask about how those results will be reported to you and how often. An agency that gets results will have consistent communication that keeps you in the loop; a lack of communication is a red flag.
Look Into the Tools They Use
Do some investigating on your own into the tools any potential provider says they will use to carry out your marketing. Will they be cloud-based so that you’ll always have access to them? Do they have all the functionalities to perform what you need done?
The chance to evaluate these tools up front will let you decide now if you think they’re a sensible choice for your marketing and show you that the agency values transparency in its work.
As with any hire you make, ask to speak with people they’ve worked with before. You’re entering a business relationship with this company, and first-hand accounts of what they’re really like to work with after signing on the dotted line will confirm whether or not this provider is really the one for you.
No one said that finding the most effective marketing agency is easy, but we’re here to tell you that it is worth it. Finding the right fit on every level--from their work style, results achieved, and people on staff--will save you stress, time, and money while boosting the success of your business.