If you have been struggling to implement a marketing campaign or get successful results, you may be considering using a marketing agency.
An agency will bring a new set of knowledge, skills, and experience to your company. They can transform your business by implementing a marketing strategy that engages your audience and converts.
It can be difficult however to pass over a portion of your business activity to an outside company such as an agency. Therefore you need to understand what you are looking for from them and how they will work with you to get the best results.
There are a few important questions to ask a marketing agency before hiring them. Questions both for yourself and for the agency.
Read on for some questions that must be asked and answered before hiring an agency.
Questions to Ask Yourself Before Hiring a Marketing Agency
Before you think about contacting a marketing agency, ask yourself and your team the following questions.
Q1: What Do You Need From a Marketing Agency?
What are your goals?
- Increasing brand awareness
- Growing your market share
- Increasing leads and sales
- Improving your online and social media presence
What's your budget?
Set a budget to start with and shop around. It’s important to know what your monthly, quarterly, or yearly budget for marketing is.
From shopping around, you can then determine if that is reasonable for the goals you want to achieve.
Be careful not to choose an agency based on rate alone. Like other products and services, there will likely be a “cheap” option. However, this may not be the best quality option on the market.
There will also be more expensive options. This could be the best agency on the market or could just be overpriced.
You’ll find most other agency rates somewhere in between those.
In general, take the market average rate as the amount you should be paying.
If your budget is much below this, either consider a budget increase or hold off working with an agency for now.
Q2: Are You Willing to Listen and Try New Things?
Working with a marketing agency will bring your company a lot of benefits. However, before hiring an agency, you need to ask yourself if you’re willing to listen to their advice and try new things?
It can be difficult to pass off a whole section of your business (the marketing) to someone outside of your staff. But the agency will bring knowledge and experience that your team may not possess.
A marketing agency can use these skills to create and implement a marketing plan to help you succeed. But to benefit, you need to be willing to listen to the agency staff and try what they suggest.
You don’t have to agree to implement everything but be open to following their advice most of the time.
Q3: What's Your Communication Style?
It’s important to ask an agency about their communication style before you hire them.
Firstly, make sure you have an idea of what your ideal communication style is. This is important in finding a marketing agency that is a good fit.
The marketing agency you work with needs to understand your ideal communication situation. They will then let you know their standard communication style and if they can meet what you are looking for.
Some people want weekly or even monthly updates while others want daily contact. Figure out what you want and discuss with the agencies you are considering.
Again, be open to slightly adjusting your ideals if the agency has a valid reason.
Also, remember that in general, the more communication you request, the larger your bill will be. It can be valuable to let the agency complete their tasks and lead the communication.
Questions to Ask a Marketing Agency
Now that you understand more about what you are looking for, you can start discussing these needs with potential agency partners.
Here are some important questions to ask before hiring a marketing agency.
Q1: How Do You Manage Client Communication and Collaboration?
As mentioned, good communication is a key part of a positive client-agency relationship. Ineffective communication is a main reason for agency relationships breaking down.
An agency should have platforms and processes to manage client communication, collaboration, project management and reporting as well as billing processes. If they do not, time will be wasted.
Make sure you understand how you will get in touch with each other. Be sure to ask:
- How often can you expect communication?
Who will be contacting you?
- Who can you contact with questions?
You should be communicating with the agency frequently enough to keep updated on the campaigns they are running and be able to collaborate.
But you don’t want to be contacting the agency so frequently that it takes time away from the agency when they could be working on your campaigns.
Q2: What's Your Specialty? How Do We Compare to Your Other Clients?
It is important to ask about the marketing agency’s experience and client base. Are they working with clients similar to you? In terms of industry and/or size and budget.
You ideally want to find an agency with similar clients to you. You may not want to work with an agency that only has clients much larger or smaller than you.
An agency that works with big clients, when you are a smaller boutique company, could mean you do not get the attention you need.
If you’re by far the biggest client however, the agency may not be able to handle the task.
Most agencies also have a niche of clients they work with. Find out if they focus mainly on B2B or B2C and what their B2B to B2C client ratio is.
Also ask if they have worked in your industry before. Do they understand your industry’s language, challenges, and main players in the market? You can also ask if they have case studies of clients similar to you.
An agency that has not worked with clients in your industry can still be successful for you.
But finding an agency that understands your industry and has experience generating successful results in that industry is a major plus.
Q3: How Do You Set KPIs? How Will You Report Progress and Results?
Measuring the results of marketing campaigns is essential.
This should be part of the agency’s process anyway so they should be able to explain that process upfront.
Make sure you understand how key performance indicators (KPIs) are set and how they are tracked.
Ask about what analytics and reporting is going to be provided. You’ll also want to know how frequently you can expect these reports and what will be included in them.
Q4: Who Will Be Managing My Account and Executing the Work?
It’s important to ask who will be working on your account before hiring a marketing agency. They will need information on your goals and marketing needs to answer this best.
Agencies can have all their team in-house but many outsource some tasks to others such as freelancers. They may also outsource some tasks to other companies.
For example, they may give web development tasks to a development company they work with. They will then focus on what they are good at, for example writing copy and content for that website.
Either way, get background on the experience of each person. You need to feel comfortable with the people handling each task.
Q5: How Will You Get to Know My Company and Create a Marketing Plan?
You need to understand how the agency operates and their processes.
How will they get to know your company and its needs, strengths, and weaknesses? What is the approval process like? What timelines can you expect?
A good agency will have a defined onboarding process. They’ll also have a schedule for planning marketing activities, getting these approved, executing them, and reporting on them.
Understanding these processes is important to knowing what to expect and if the agency’s workflow style matches your style and what you are looking for.
By asking yourself and marketing agencies these questions, you’ll get a better idea of what you are looking for and if the agency is a good fit.
Understanding how the agency will work with you and being confident in their ability to reach your goals will ensure you have a successful partnership with your chosen marketing agency.
Think a marketing agency is right for your needs? Then consider working with Brand Hause to help you meet your goals!
We can offer you a free consultation to get to know you and your business and make sure we are a good fit. Our services include web design, video production, SEO, social media marketing, and more!
Get in touch today to find out how we can help you.
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