5 Things to Look For When Hiring a Marketing Agency
The right research helps you avoid bad representation.
Marketing helps create your brand image, promote your service, reach potential customers, engage existing clients, boost sales and propel growth.
With tens of thousands of companies offering these services worldwide, deciding on the best agency to hire is no easy task.
To help you make the best decision, let's begin with the right questions...
Related: Why You Should Hire a Smaller Digital Marketing Agency
Credibility through social proof
A quick way to filter out dodgy agencies is to look at their experience and the social proof they give to build credibility. If they claim to have expertise in your industry vertical, make sure that their portfolio demonstrates the same. Check out their client testimonials on independent review aggregators and o your due diligence by speaking with former clients.
Pay attention to the marketing channels they are using to promote their services. See their branding, their website and advertisements, their social media and their client interactions. Evaluate the quality, creativity and effectiveness of their work through this. If they can do it for themselves, they can do it for you.
Related: Is Social Media Really That Important for Your Business?
Avoid a one-size-fits-all approach
Be wary of agencies trying to sell you template solutions. This is usually the downside of hiring an agency specializing in your industry vertical. Since they have delivered so many projects, they may feel that your company is no different. If their initial proposal is too generic, with no research and planning involved, they will likely offer run-of-the-mill services.
Be aware of unreasonably low pricing and exceptionally high claims
If a company quotes you at a very low cost compared to the competition, promises to deliver instant organic growth or unrealistic sales leads? Think again. These may look like attractive propositions but are, in most instances, widely inaccurate. Get a roadmap of the marketing plan, discuss the qualification of leads and ask questions about projections.
Ownership of intellectual property
Make sure that ideas, assets, or any other collaborative output conceptualized and created are the rightful property of the firm hiring the agency. They simply belong to you and should be under your discretion and control. If the agency is being shady about ownership rights, it's time to reconsider.
Working out the best deal
Start with asking for a Request for Proposal (RFP). Each agency will then give you a proposed technical, financial, and timeframe solution. Review the proposal and ask questions. Get clarity on the processes, team structure and communication. You can ask firms to prepare a sales pitch or arrange a marketing consultation. If you like the agency's approach but have two excellent contenders, go for a trial run. A small paid project that caters to a part of a business objective can prove to be a distinguishing test.
It may take some time to find the right professionals for your company, but it will all be worth the effort.
Related: 5 Overlooked Business Outcomes of PR for Fast-Growing Companies
Entrepreneur Leadership Network Writer