5 Tips for Choosing a Marketing Agency

Choosing a marketing or advertising agency is a pivotal point for a business. The decision will impact the face of your company and determine your direction and image for the near future at the very least.

We have compiled a simple walk through of 5 tips for choosing an agency. We are well aware that every situation is unique, so we made sure to keep the following general in nature and focus on the basics that apply to every situation.

1) Are you ready for an agency?

Whether you are a new company or a seasoned company, there comes a point when you need to take an idea to the next level. Changing agencies or consulting an agency for the first time is a big step and a little bit of preparation can save a lot of headaches.

The need to involve an agency or approach a new agency tends to emerge when you realize that you are no longer maximizing your potential revenue or you have not yet done so.

Often times replacing an agency involves a great deal of work and the issue is not addressed until the workload of dealing with the agency surpasses the workload of replacing them.

As a general rule of thumb, companies set their marketing budget at 2-10% of their gross revenue. The money is half of the equation; the other half is the availability to dedicate time towards the marketing efforts.

All in all, you are ready to bring in an agency when you have:

  • Established a Product or Service
  • Set a Budget
  • Allocated Time to Develop a Campaign

2) Does the agency excite you?
Marketing is hard work and a great agency can make it fun (or at least bearable) if they excite you.

Take some time to do a little research and review their website along with their portfolio, team members, articles, case studies, blog, etc.

Do not be shy, feel free to spy. Companies are constantly filling the Internet with information about themselves, have a look around, checkout the team members on Linkedin, Facebook and Twitter. Then take things to the next step with the agencies that impress you.

3) Is the agency growing or shrinking?
The current marketing landscape is quite entrenched in digital marketing and chances are that a portion of your marketing budget, if not your entire marketing budget will be dedicated to online marketing.

So the question for the agencies that you have decided to pursue is: Where are they in the business life cycle?

Are they an up and comer? Are they solid industry veterans? Are they passed their prime?

Marketing is highly competitive and constantly evolving. There are many classic techniques and basic effective strategies that are complemented nicely by an agency that understands modern means of message delivery.

4) Do you have chemistry with the agency?
Make contact with the alien agency through an email or an old-fashioned phone call. Human interaction is still one of the best measuring sticks for partnerships of any type. If you feel good about their email response or they sounded great on the phone, set aside a few minutes to meet in person. A simple introduction accompanied by casual small talk will give you personal indicators of relationship potential. Developing a great and productive relationship hinges on a healthy necessary rapport.

It is very important that you meet with as many people as possible including your potential account manager. People can make all the difference in life and in business.

5) Can the agency provide thought leadership?

The majority of agencies can build a website, organize a photo shoot, put together a brochure and set you up with an Adwords account, so the difference is often made by the team and the applicable intelligence they bring to the table.

What sets apart a great agency is the intelligence, expertise and experience that they contribute to your company. They have a job to focus on deliverables while helping develop your company into an industry leader. A great agency will have ideas that make your business better.

*Note: A great agency is not a general contractor. A great agency is an extension of your company. A great agency is your favorite colleague!

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