Finding a marketing agency that is right for you is a fundamental process at the onset of your marketing journey.
However, before you begin to research various marketing agencies, it’s important that you determine exactly what you’re looking for. For example, a social media marketing agency is going to have a different skill set than a content marketing agency. If you’re looking for a full-service agency, it’s pretty unlikely you’ll find it from one that specialises in a single area.
So, what do you need from a marketing agency — a website revamp, or help with email marketing campaigns? Perhaps you’re looking to boost your online presence across the board. However, there are some things we’re able to be a little bit broader and general with. So in this blog, we’re going to explore the elements of any marketing agency you’re considering working with, that you can be aware of and hold the knowledge.
After all, knowledge is power, right?
They Must Appreciate Your Budget and Needs
The more extensive you’re able to describe your business needs in terms of your website, search engine optimisation (SEO, advertising, social media, and whatever else, then the better discussion you’re going to have with your potential agencies. Before you expect anyone else to give you an estimated quote, you need to have a succinct budget established to know what you are willing to splash out on, so to speak.
Remember, there is no ‘set price’. A good marketing agency should be able to work with any reasonable budget, and set your expectations accordingly. Think of it this way, a bar and restaurant is going to want a substantial amount of social media, and not much advertising, whereas a building business typically has a high budget on advertising but not much need in the way of social media.
So, understanding your needs and what you can realistically afford is the initial step in deciding which digital marketing agency is going to be right for you. A pretty big decision, folks.
Can They Provide You with Full Transparency?
Most of the time, a good level of transparency is the most expected yet the most overlooked red flag. Check out the agency’s website, and if you don’t see an address, a client list or a bio, then this agency will absolutely not be worth your time. If you have a suspicion that the agency is hiding something, then trust your gut, because they probably are.
Perhaps you’ve already suffered a bad experience with your first pick of a marketing agency, and now you’re being extra precautious. This isn’t a bad thing, because it means you’ll now be super vigilant in the future. Often, bad experiences happen because there is little information on some agencies websites.
This is precisely why full transparency should be the first box you tick when deciding on the right digital agency for your business.
Their Previous Work
A pretty important one, and might just be the reason why you are seriously thinking about a particular agency is because you’ve seen some of their past work.
If not, it’s not a bad idea to ask to see examples of the work they’ve done in the past for another client. When you’re looking, think about whether the work is aligned with your own needs and visions for your brand image.
Ask yourself whether it is innovative, or does it look very ‘samey’ to other agencies you’ve had a look at? How accurate is it, and is it user-focused? These are all important questions to discuss with your business partners or team, as it’s going to clearly demonstrate if this agency is realistically able to deliver real results that you can benefit from.
Are They a Team You Could Work With?
Although this might sound a little bit ‘playground’ or ‘petty’, as much as we like to think we can get on with anyone for the sake of a business, this just isn’t the way we work as humans.
So, respect this (we’re not saying to be a complete fool, and blame it on ‘being human’, but you know what we mean), and be realistic in terms of who you think you can get on well with and gel ideas smoothly.
The agency you choose to work with is going to be working closely with you and your team for a long time, so it’s important that their overall ‘culture’ fits in with ease to yours.
Does the team have any interests that they talk about on their website? Do they strike you as being fun, and do they also act this way when you mean them in person? The chances are, if they have fun together, they work well together, and will work better together for you and your business.
What Makes Them Stand Out?
As I’m sure you know, it’s a bloody competitive place out there. There are a lot of players, and many of them may as well be clones of one another.
You want to select a digital marketing agency which stands out from the crowd in some meaningful way. What do they provide that the other agencies you’re in the middle of considering don’t?
Ask yourself why are they better, and how is their general approach better? Most importantly, is this approach going to achieve you anything better than the others? Find out, it’s important.
The Agency’s Own Online Presence
If you’re looking for an expert to help you with your online marketing needs, they need to practice what they preach, right? Their online presence should be exceptional, right?
Be aware of any agencies with poorly designed sites, who lack company and staff social profiles with a low level of engagement in the social channels they’re claiming to be top experts in.
If an agency indicates that they can help you boost your search ratings, check them out to see where that agency is coming up in search results in relation to what they have to offer – a little time online can yield some really important insights, I’ll have you know.
The Size of the Agency Matters
Believe it or not, some of the best marketing agencies only have four members of staff (A.K.A., Strawberry Forge), and some have up to 300. However, a smaller agency like ourselves is able to give you much more direct access to the people managing your campaigns and a more hands-on approach. However, the agency with fewer people working on your campaign may not be able to have the skill set that a larger agency is able to offer you.
A larger agency might be able to offer you more complex services like web development, but this may not even be something you’re hoping to work with a whole marketing agency for.
It also isn’t suggesting that you shouldn’t consider the smaller agencies, because they often specialise in a certain niche, which may be predominantly what you’re after. It’s all about personal preferences, you know?
If the Shoe Fits…
All in all, a good agency-client relationship is all about the fit, and this is important to take into consideration when you’re on the hunt for your ideal digital marketing agency. You have to like the people you’re working with, and be able to communicate openly and effectively with them in order to achieve the best possible results.
You’ve got to trust that they have your best interests in mind, and appreciate that every company is as strong as their least satisfied employee. You should be on the lookout for an agency that clearly values their employees and that cultivates a creative, trusting work environment. This kind of culture will likely mean you’re going to receive a high level of service, yay!