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Beginner’s Guide Choosing the Right Marketing Agency

Beginner’s Guide Choosing the Right Marketing Agency
July 30, 2018 Tom Clark

Braving the tumultuous marketing wilderness of today is a daunting task. It is natural to feel overwhelmed at first, but there are several smart tactics to quickly find your way around. One of the paths leads you on a hunt for a trustworthy marketing agency. The chief challenge with this approach is finding an agency that suits you. Hiring marketers on nothing more than a hunch is usually a costly mistake. Instead, you want to take your time weighing multifarious factors and make an educated decision. After all, if you make this mistake, it can affect your business in more ways than one.

Yes, there is a lot of ground to cover, but do not fret. This guide should give you a clear idea of what to seek in order to fulfill your marketing goals.

It should fit like a glove

These days, everyone is raving about the importance of doing your homework before even considering any options. But, what does this piece of common wisdom exactly imply? Well, it all starts with a detailed, results-oriented vision of what you want to achieve. To translate it into reality, set clear goals and a realistic timetable. Do not just search for marketing agencies that know the industry backwards and forwards. Take into account your value system, as well as company culture and mission.

The right agency is the one that is able to grasp your aspirations and forward your brand goals, not the one keen on shoehorning ready-made ideas into your businesses. In other words, opt for agencies that are able to come up with a tailor-made offer, one that suits your organization’s temperament and the target audience. This decision will allow you to eliminate conflicts, frustration, brand incoherency, and consumer confusion.

At this point, you can also ponder the extent of your own involvement in the process. Do you wish to sit down with the agency experts and devise a strategy together? Or, maybe you prefer to let others handle the planning and focus on other priorities. In any event, there should be some minimum degree of back-and-forth between two parties moving on.

A meter of key metrics

Note that it is vital to use the right metrics to evaluate agencies.  The list of them is long: staff expertise pricing, marketing tools, legal compliance, portfolio, pitch, etc. To streamline the decision-making process, we have singled out a few key factors that tend to shape the outcome of your choice.

  • Let us start with industry presence. Namely, it is a good idea to seek organizations that specialize in your sector. They are well-aware of specific standards and requirements, so you do not have to walk them through that. However, there is one catch. Do not hire an agency that simply recycles the same old campaigns over and over again. Accept nothing less than a customized proposition.
  • Secondly, location may play an important role. Many entrepreneurs prefer face-to-face meeting over virtual ones and for good reasons too: You get a chance to communicate everything directly. Alas, meetings are a big time investment and in this day and age, there are very few things that cannot be done remotely. In general, you should be careful not to compromise quality for the sake of proximity.
  • Furthermore, you also need to know where to hunt. First off, there is no shortage of professional hubs with rigorous curation criteria. There, one can filter results (according to project specifics, budget, location) and come by resources such as this list of best digital marketing agencies. Alternatively, turn to the “real world”: sift through your business network and list of connections for any referrals.
  • Make sure to keep your eyes peeled for all evidence on agencies’ trustworthiness. Check out the official website and inspect the marketing material. Confirm that everything is up-to-date and on the level of what they promise. Moreover, assess image and reputation by talking to current clients. Try to get a sample of a recent marketing campaign and read the report on the results (financial gains, response, engagement, etc.).
  • Finally, it is worth mentioning your budget. Money is a limiting factor more often than not, but I would set this matter aside for a moment. Even when an upfront investment seems unpleasant, try to look beyond it, and prioritize the long-term benefits. Content marketing, for example, does not yield financial results right away, but it works miracles in terms of spreading brand awareness and cultivating consumer loyalty.

Getting ahead of the game

There is nothing worse than throwing money at a digital agency only to end up with something that falls shy of what you had in mind. What is a profitable business model for them could turn out to be a marketing disaster for you. So, do not rush such a crucial decision. Line up your goals and establish clear criteria for the selection process. Once you set the expectations, make the first contact, ensure you are on the same page, you have successfully tackled the most difficult part of the task. Covering all these bases might just empower you to pierce through the immense marketing noise and make waves out there.