If you have taken the decision to use a marketing agency for your business the next step is to find the right marketing firm or business consultant. If you are still a little unsure as to why you should hire a business consultant read our blog post 5 Reasons to choose Business Consultants.
There are a number of questions you can ask yourself that will help make sure you pick the right agency for your business.
Why do we need a marketing agency?
Are you looking for help with strategic direction or simply don’t have the resources in-house to implement tactical plans. Some agencies are great at executing marketing campaigns but don’t necessarily have a deeper strategic understanding of your business. On the other hand if you already have a clear idea of where you want to go but don’t have the resources in-house to implement your marketing plan, an agency that just works as an extension to your company may be the answer. We would thoroughly recommend an agency that can fulfill both parts of your marketing. No implementation of marketing tactics will be truly successful without a complete understanding of the strategic direction your company needs to take, and getting them involved in your strategic planning will give you seamless integration.
Is their expertise aligned with your goals?
The underlining principles of marketing are the same whether you are marketing a chocolate bar or selling accountancy services but choosing a marketing agency whose expertise and experience is aligned with your own company goals will ensure a good working synergy from day 1. So if you are a B2B organisation or looking for marketing for professional services choose a marketing agency that specialises in your field.
Will my team work well with the agency?
Gone are the days of quick win marketing. A marketing relationship takes time to build and mature so you will be potentially working with your Marketing Agency for some time. Do you like the people involved? Will the different personalities of your team naturally gel with the marketing agency staff? Another interesting part to deciding whether your team will work well with the agency is to listen to the language the agency uses, do that they constantly talk in marketing jargon, or do they speak in terms like ‘return on investment’, ‘Sales’, ‘Leads’ and conversions that you can relate to your business.
Can they add value to the capabilities we already have in-house?
A good agency will want to get the best return on your investment. They will not persuade you to spend money on activity that you can do yourselves, they would rather enhance and broaden the skills available to you than take on work you are already capable of. The exception to this would be where an agency could free up valuable in-house (and often more expensive) resources which could then be used for more specific company related tasks.
How does the agency charge?
A good agency will make sure all their costs are transparent and easy to understand. They will have built-in flexibility to ensure that your projects are delivered within your agreed budgets. They will be honest and open and if your preferred marketing activity is not achievable within your budget they will suggest real workable alternatives that will still achieve your objectives.
Do they really want our business?
Ideally the marketing agency you choose for your business will be excited and enthusiastic about working with you. But do they really want your business? A good agency will want your working relationship to be built on strong foundations, they will want it to work as much as you do, their reputation is at stake over it. So a good agency will be asking the same questions you are, they will be asking themselves whether they can truly add value? are the two organisations a good fit? With that in mind look for signs that the agency is truly aligning its strengths to your business objectives and not just saying ‘yes’ to everything you ask just to get your business.
It’s important to have several companies pitch for your business so you have comparisons to work with but don’t go mad, just two to three companies will give you a good comparison, never ask more than 5, it will be too hard to manage and there will be too many variables to compare. Ultimately you need to feel comfortable, so once you are satisfied that the agencies you have selected fit in with all your questions just go with the one you feel most at ease with.