If this is the case in your business, likely you are considering outsourcing to a marketing agency – whether just on a project basis, or retaining their ongoing services so they become almost an extension of your business. The difficulty is – how do you select the right one for you? Ideally, you want to get your selection right the first time so you can build an ongoing relationship with the agency, and save time later re-briefing company details and other general information for future projects.
So what should you consider?
Size and spend
First and foremost, try to match the size of your business with the size of the agency you are commissioning – this is especially essential for small businesses in order to build stronger relationships. Unless you’re just after some business cards and letterheads, it is vitally important the agency grows to understand your business, aims and objectives and also the culture.
Similarly, the size of the agency will often have some bearing on the cost. If you’re inclined to go with a big, top five agency, you need to be aware your marketing costs will reflect this. In contrast, a boutique agency may be more affordable.
Strong pitch, thorough understanding
When the agency pitches to you, it should be evident not only that they’ve done their homework, but that they’ve taken the time to analyse what they have found in order to build a thorough understanding of your business. Look for a pitch that resonates with you, and that speaks to the ideals, goals and values you see represented in the business. The more your agency understands you, the less time and money you will waste.
New media specialisation
Of more importance than ever, is making sure your selected agency is up-to-date with current trends. You will want them to have digital experts on their team so they can advise you of the best and latest technologies and channels you can use to communicate. You will need an agency not only with web experience, but now perhaps more significantly, one that knows its stuff when it comes to social media as well as SEO.
Previous clients and work
While many of us generally skip over the testimonials page, take the time to have a look at it. First, read all the testimonials so you can get an idea of what work the agency undertook and how satisfactory it was. Next, get more in depth – ask the agency if you can possibly speak to previous clients they have worked with so you can gain and honest and open understanding of how the agency works with its clients of all sectors.