The right agency will offer their expertise to take your business’ marketing efforts to the next level as well as be a valuable asset to your current team.
But as with hiring a new employee, how do you know if a new agency will be the ‘right fit’? If you’ve decided to outsource some of your marketing activities, you probably have no idea where to begin your research. On the other hand, you might be wary to approach a new agency, if you've been left with a sour taste in your mouth due to the breakdown of a previous working relationship.
We can guarantee that you will be able to work out if an agency will be the perfect match for you by conducting some research and setting up an initial meeting. There are six vital signs to look out for that will help you to understand the agency’s motives, the quality of their past work and, ultimately, if they can help your business grow.
They Meet Your Marketing Needs
Before you approach any agency, you must have a good idea of what type of marketing expertise you require assistance with. Do you want an agency that specialises in one area such as PPC or graphic design? Alternatively, you might opt for a company that can help you with everything including branding, web development and marketing. If your project is varied and extensive in its scope, it would probably be a better investment to speak to a full-service agency that can deliver all of the marketing activities that you require, rather than outsourcing to multiple agencies.
They Fit Your Budget
Although money is not the be-all and end-all, it will have an impact on the agency you decide to work with. You need to take into account their costs and if your business can rationalise the initial price compared to return on investment.
They Manage Your Expectations
An agency that promises you the world should be avoided at all costs. Instead, look for agencies that are realistic with managing your expectations, and are more interested in being honest and transparent than selling you lies to make you sign the dotted line. Both parties should be happy with the shared goals you have set out, as this will allow you to monitor performance going forward.
They Have a Trustworthy Reputation
Make sure to check your agency’s credentials, whether that’s looking at case studies and testimonials or getting in touch with references. Also, don’t be afraid to nit-pick your chosen agency to see if they can ‘walk the walk and talk the talk’. A great social media management agency should have a fantastic online presence while a decent branding studio should have a strong brand identity themselves. If they don’t, you should then question their ability and whether they can actually do what they say they can.
They Make Communication Easy
In your first meeting, you should ask about how the agency works and whether you will be assigned, and introduced to, a main point of contact or account manager. Instead of talking to a new person every time you call up, all conversations will be streamlined and so communication will be easier and more efficient.
They Are The Right Cultural Fit
This is the most subjective sign, but probably one of the most important. Does their wider culture and values match yours? You must pick an agency that aligns with your business’ personality. You will be working closely with your agency on a daily basis so you must be able to work well together and enjoy developing a strong working relationship.
When weighing up which agency to pick, you should avoid ‘putting all of your eggs in one basket’. Research into several options and then reach out to a few to get a real feel for the team - will you be a good match? By conducting that first initial meeting, you will be able to work out, based on your first impression, if they’ll be a good fit for your company.