The relationship between you and your marketing agency is a powerful one. Who else do you tell all your company’s hopes and fears to? Who else do you rely on to bring your wildest dreams to life?
With all that intimacy hanging in the balance, it’s critical you choose a marketing partner who really gets you. Your perfect other half. How do you make that happen? Read on to find out.
1) Take the time with your team first.
Get your key leadership on board with what your company needs and is looking for.
It sounds simple, but often getting everyone on the same page can be a challenge that will set you back if you don’t get it nailed down right from the start. Take time to outline your company’s goals for the coming months and years, and make sure all decision-making parties are on board.
2) Narrow the options based on what you want.
Are you looking for key specialists in one or two things, or an agency that can work on many areas of your business?
A full-service agency will be able to offer your company a significant range of capabilities including web design, graphic design, social media, copywriting, video and more. Decide what your company is looking for Full-service also means media neutral: recommendations based on data and what’s best for your business, not based on the agency’s specialization. You get cohesive messaging, a clear compelling brand, and a partner that’s accountable to deadlines, budgets and results.
3) Decide what you're measuring against.
If you’re looking for an agency that’s professional and polished, did they showcase that during their pitch to you? If you’re looking for a team of agency partners who both give and take, how well have the agency players listened to you before providing their own suggestions during your interactions? Identify what matters most to you in an agency, then don’t be afraid to hold them accountable during your decision-making process.
4) Ask yourself if you actually like the people you’ve met.
The truth is that there’s an unquantifiable factor in selecting an agency partner, chemistry that can’t be faked or painted over. At the end of the day, how well do your teams sync up? Do you enjoy the people you're going to work with? Relationships with your agency can absolutely grow stronger and more solid over time, but at the very least, you should be able to communicate well with any prospective agency partner and respect them for their work and expertise.
5) Speaking of their work—really dig into it.
Ask the agency for case studies that really showcase what they say they can do. Wowing an audience in a presentation is one thing, but unless an agency can wow you with the work they’ve actually done for clients like you, it’s not a safe bet.
It’s critical to make sure the agency is skilled in web work, marketing and building brands that really speak to customers. The details about a specific industry can be learned along the way, but a great agency will come to the table with proof that they’ve picked up those critical and powerful details from all the other clients they’ve worked with.
At the end of the day, be as picky about choosing an agency as wisely as you’d be about choosing a life mate.
Look for an agency partner you can trust, and verify that they are who they say they are when it comes to the work they’ve done for clients. Make sure there’s some chemistry and a healthy dose of open communication. Most importantly, make sure you’re on the same page for what you want, short-term and long term. With the right agency partner, you could be looking at a future brighter than you imagined.