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5 Things to Look for Before Hiring a Marketing Agency

Hiring Marketing Agency 2

 

Whether implemented from day one or after decades of business, marketing is usually an essential aspect of growth for most companies. If you've already decided to outsource marketing, your next hurdle will be finding the best agency to help your business grow.

 

The research and vetting stage is the most challenging part of the process, but it eventually leads to an extremely valuable partnership. In the end, you'll hopefully have partnered with a company that understands you, your business, and your goals!

 

To help you with the process, we've compiled the five things that we think are the most important factors when evaluating potential marketing firms.

 

1. Online Presence

While some may prefer an in-person meeting or phone call for their initial touchpoint with a company, the internet remains the most powerful and easily accessible tool for research.

 

The first thing to look for when researching potential candidates online is to see what their website has to offer. Do they have a website at all? If not, that should be a red flag for your team to keep in mind, especially if website design is one of the services that you'll be looking to outsource.

 

When looking through an agency's site, take into account whether they seem up to date with current marketing trends and industry standards. Most importantly, their website should provide clear information about the same services and solutions that your company is seeking out. Read through some of their blog posts and other resources, keeping in mind that this content is likely a reflection of the quality you would receive from them as a client. 

 

2. Reputation

Make sure that the agencies you're looking into have a satisfied client base and a positive brand image. Every agency should have some form of customer feedback somewhere, whether it be on their website, Google, or another third-party review site.

 

Keep in mind that quality trumps quantity when it comes to good reviews; testimonials should be extensive, promising, and believable. If you come across a negative review that concerns you, don't be afraid to ask the agency about it in one of your initial meetings.

 

3. Experience

The agency you choose to partner with should have enough experience working with businesses similar to yours. Ask about past clients and campaigns that they have worked on, making a note of various factors like industry type, selling process (B2B vs. B2C) and size of the companies.

 

Some firms work with a wide variety of clients in multiple different industries, while others specialize in specific industries like medical, home services, or law. There are pros and cons to each that you should take into consideration while doing your research:

 

Industry-Specific

 Pros:

  • Deep understanding of what you do
  • Reduced training time
  • Up-to-date on industry lingo and communication nuances

 Cons:

  • Stale strategies with no unique branding
  • Copycat content
  • High chance of working with your competition

 

Variety of Industries

 Pros:

  • Flexibility and adaptability
  • Fresh ideas and strategies
  • Wide range of experience

 Cons:

  • Learning curve
  • Less in-depth knowledge of what you do
  • Smaller industry track record

 

We recommend finding an agency that falls somewhere in the middle of these two that can provide the best of both worlds. While "in-industry" agencies seem more trustworthy and knowledgeable, their strategies and services are typically stale and cookie-cutter. Look for an agency that has experience in multiple industries, including yours.

 

4. Results

More important than experience are the actual results that an agency has achieved. After all, the main reason you're hiring an agency is to grow your business.

 

A potential marketing partner should be able to provide you with case studies that detail the results their clients received from a marketing strategy that they implemented. When asked, most marketing firms are also happy to provide client references for you to contact to verify any details.

 

5. Communication

Contact each agency that you are considering and observe their response times and attitude towards you. Firms that take days to respond or don't seem eager to talk are likely too busy with current clients to provide your company with the attention you'd need. Similarly, if your first impression doesn't feel right, you should trust your gut and consider looking elsewhere.

 

Working with an agency is more than a contract; it's a partnership! You and your team should feel reassured of this throughout any of your communications with potential companies. Schedule an in-person or phone meeting with your top candidates and be prepared to discuss your goals, questions, and budget. Remember to ask about their onboarding process, potential strategies, and what they're promising.

 

The standout agencies will answer your questions directly and honestly, and will, in turn, ask you more questions to get to know you better. The most crucial aspect of these initial meetings, besides pricing, is that you find the agency that "get you" the best. A high-quality agency will reach out to follow up with you after an initial meeting, seeking to build a better relationship with you and hopefully gain your business.

 

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While your final decision may ultimately come down to pricing, you should still be able to compare agencies' value with each other. Once you evaluate an agency based on their online presence, reputation, experience, results, and communication, you'll hopefully have a more concrete understanding of what you'll be getting out of your relationship with them. Remember not to rush the process and don't be afraid to ask questions, even after you've chosen a winning team.

 


For more information on how your business can grow with digital marketing, contact us for a free consultation with our team!

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