Never before have there been so many marketing agencies at your virtual fingertips. Because of this, it’s never been so important to filter through the noise when looking for the right marketing agency for your business.
Choosing the right agency for your firm can feel like an overwhelming process. But it doesn’t have to be.
In this article, we’ll show you the nine questions you need to ask your marketing agency before you ink a deal.
Let’s dive in.
How Does Your Pitch Compare to the Team We’ll Be Working With?
Many times, the team that’s pitching you a proposal will not be the team you’ll work with after the deal is made. The “pitch team” is normally made up of its leadership team and sales members.
As such, it’s important to ask if any of these people will be the ones you’ll be working with on a daily basis. If they’re not, will the team you work with have the same level of experience and expertise and the team that’s selling you on the agency?
What is the Average Staff Tenure?
The industry average for marketing agency staff is only around 13 months. One of the biggest challenges marketing agencies face is staff retention.
What does that mean for you, the client? Simply stated, it means that if an agency doesn’t do well at retaining staff, you’ll routinely be dealing with a revolving of people that work with you on your account.
Clearly, no agency can promise that certain staff members will always be around to work with you. But by asking this question, you’ll get a better idea of how well they do at keeping staff. This makes it easier to compare them with their competition.
May We Review a Recent Client List?
Seeing who the agency currently (or most recently) has worked with will give you solid insight into how well their experience fits with your business model and expectations.
Make sure to find out how up-to-date their client list is. How many have been paying clients within the last 6 months? Twelve months? How many are they currently working with?
Getting answers to these questions will clarify how valid the list is.
Will You Describe What You Did For These Clients?
Remember that some agencies like to put well-recognized company logos in front of clients they are trying to woo. And you can’t really blame them. They want us to understand that they’ve played with the “big boys” and can help you too.
But it’s important to find out what exactly they did for these companies before you let the logos impress you. Ask them specifically what they did for them. How long did they work for them? If they’re still a part of their portfolio, and if not, why?
How Much Strategy Time Do You Include?
This question is especially important if you’re shopping for a full-service marketing offering. You need to know if they’re going to sit down with you and comprise a total strategy of what your marketing efforts will look like. How do those varying channels work as one?
It’s great to have a marketing agency that can run all of your display campaigns, SEO, PPC, etc. But if they aren’t including the time to strategize how to deliver the best results for each one individually, you may not be getting a great deal.
What Are Your References?
Just like a prospective employee, a marketing agency needs to be able to provide you with a list of solid references you can very claim with. If they have happy clients, no doubt they won’t have any problem producing a list that will say so.
As such, it’s a no-brainer question for you to ask. Also, find out if they have any problems with you contacting their references directly. You’ll want to confirm what the marketing agency tells you by discussing with these references the quality of service they received. Then Climb Online and find out what the references have to say.
Do You Bring Any External Technologies and Ideas To Us?
A great marketing agency needs to be at the cutting edge of the marketing world. And they need to be able to bring that experience into your account to give you the success you deserve.
Just remember: having access to certain strategies and technologies is just part of the equation. How can they integrate in order to work for your business model?
This is an important question to ask before you officially hire a marketing agency.
In What Ways Are You Currently Innovating?
In what ways is the agency currently pushing their own potential in innovation? Marketing is a field with a constantly-changing goalpost. There are always new opportunities in paid advertising media, changes in SEO practices, changes in legislation and constantly evolving customers.
What is their agency doing to innovate and stay ahead of the game, rather than being a follower? What new things are they doing now that are new within the last six months?
What Do You Specialize In?
If the answer is “everything,” it’s always a lie. A good marketing agency will have specific specialities that you want to make sure fit what’s important to you.
All agencies will have areas where they excel and other areas where they fall short. Nobody does everything well. If they’re unwilling or unable to specify what their specialities are and insist they can “do it all,” it’s normally best to find a different agency.
Also, when they pinpoint certain specialities, make sure they can provide details on how or why they excel in those areas. Leave no stone unturned with this key question.
Tips When Looking for a Marketing Agency
Before you avail of the services of a marketing agency, make sure that you know what they charge and exactly how much they’ll charge you. This is very important because you don’t want to end up spending more money than you can afford.
Here are the following tips when hiring a marketing agency:
- When hiring the services of one of the best B2B marketing agencies, you should know what kind of products or services are being included in the package.
- Be wary of all types of hidden fees and charges that may be included in the deal. Some companies will include a percentage of their sales price in their fees and some will charge you for additional services, such as lead generation or copywriting. Be sure that you understand what the cost of the services you’ll receive.
- When hiring the services of a marketing agency, ask how long it’ll take for them to complete your project and whether they’ll guarantee that you’ll be satisfied with the work done.
You also need to ask how long are they operating in the industry. You need to trust the services of someone that has been around for a while. Thus, find if the company has been in the business for a long time and whether they’ll continue to be in business with you after you hire them.
- When hiring the services of a marketing agency, check with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). The BBB is a watchdog organization that helps ensure that businesses are abiding by the standards set forth by the Federal Trade Commission and are fair and honest with consumers.
By checking with the BBB, you’ll know that you’re hiring a company that has a strong track record and is legitimate.
Time To Get Started
Now that you know the right questions to ask, it’s time to start narrowing down your search for the agency that can take your business to the next level.
We’ll see you on the other side!