Are you struggling to find the right marketing agency for your business? Do you know exactly what your goals are but are not completely sure what agency will deliver the best possible results to said goals?
If so, this article is for you.
Even if you have a robust marketing team internally, outsourcing your marketing efforts to a partner agency is a significant step to consider. It can allow you to hand off the strategy piece to experts in the field as you focus on a billion other more important issues the organization may face.
Hiring the perfect marketing agency may seem a daunting task as choosing the right one will determine your business’s success or failure in unlocking the right growth for your brand. After all, they’ll manage the way your customers will perceive you and your business when they go online, so you must hire a marketing agency carefully, but most importantly, be smart about your decision.
Before taking the leap in hiring the agency of your selection, there are a few vital things you need to take into consideration. These key factors will help you in your decision to choose the ideal marketing agency and will further allow your business to find its best possible match. And no, not by swiping right ー by following this complete breakdown we’ve created just for you.
Without further adieu, let’s dive in. Here’s how to hire a marketing agency that’s right for you:
1. Understand your company’s needs and know what you want to accomplish.
Before beginning the process of searching for the ideal marketing agency, think to yourself, “What is it that I want to accomplish with my business?”
You might be thinking, “I want to market my business on a reasonable budget.” But, what are your main goals? Is there a long-term objective you specifically have in mind?
You must understand what you want to achieve through your efforts and what value you expect a marketing agency to deliver to you. And no, going with the least costly option is not the way to establish a successful partnership. It’s important to make sure that the C-suite and key stakeholders in your company are ready to commit — because hiring an agency is exactly that, a relationship that will only come to fruition through mutual commitment. If you want the best, you have to be willing to invest.
You must also make sure the agency you select understands your expectations as much as you are clear about yours. A great marketing agency will consistently push themselves to fulfill your vision through their services with the budget you give them, so make sure you set a clear path for them to follow so they can meet your goals in the future.
If you aren’t completely sure of the exact goals you want to achieve, you may also partner with a growth agency that will help you refine your goals and identify the North Star you’ll work towards together. A true growth expert agency will be able to conduct an end-to-end audit of your company’s brand, tech stack, existing assets, historical data, and more to be able to set the best goals and identify the areas of immediate and lowest-effort impact.
To avoid the hassle of selecting the wrong agency, set a clear plan for your company and be prepared to discuss in-depth not only your plans for your business, but the partnership and trust you want to establish with them. There are so many types of marketing agencies to choose from, so make sure you select the one that is the fittest for your needs. If you want to learn more about this take a look at our article on types of agencies.
2. Create a shortlist of agencies you potentially want to partner with.
Now that you have your goals in mind, it’s time to start browsing for the potential marketing agencies you want to partner with to help bolster your brand like never before.
You’ll most likely find yourself googling “Top Marketing Agencies in my area” and be exposed to millions of options to choose from. Scroll through all of these results, and yes, be picky; filter them based on budget, location, or even size, and be critical about your decision to shortlist them. These filters will get you to the results that will prove relevant and are most suitable to your company’s needs.
Take a look at their portfolios, past reviews, social media presence, and observe them as much as you can until you sense your inner Joe Goldberg in the process (for legal reasons, this is a joke).
You could also shortlist agencies by asking around. Your colleagues, other non-competing businesses, or anyone close to you might have connections you must certainly take advantage of. Don’t be shy to ask for recommendations or references that will help your business grow in the long run; these will allow you to partner with an agency closely related to someone you know, and it might prove beneficial when developing a relationship with them.
Overall, you will want to know how all of these agencies work, how they compare to one another, and which ones will provide the most value for you and your business, so be selective about who you choose as your newest team player.
3. Research the services the marketing agencies offer and review their case studies.
Once you have shortlisted some potential agencies into your roster, you must understand the services they offer and how these services can help your business grow. Remember, versatility is key when choosing the right marketing agency, as you would want to take advantage of all of the services they can offer.
Whether you’re looking for Conversion Rate Optimization, Pay-Per-Click, or even Search Engine Optimization, you must make sure the agency you select is capable of efficiently providing you with the best services in the game.
You must also make sure the agency is results-driven; without measuring analytics such as traffic, rates, and overall performance, you’ll never know if you’re reaching the goals you’ve set previously. Marketing is all about output and results, so the data they collect will be the key to determining whether or not your marketing strategy is working.
After researching their services and their ability to measure their results, take a close look at the agencies’ case studies. These are fundamental in the search for the right fit. Through case studies, you can visually observe how the company has impacted the businesses of their clients and whether it drove results similar to those you’re looking for.
If you’re struggling to find case studies for an agency you believe might be a great fit to partner with, reach out to them to see if they can send some examples that will allow you to determine whether or not they have the experience you need for the growth of your own business.
4. Test them out! Provide a brief and ask for a potential marketing proposal.
Develop a formal request for proposal, commonly known as an RFP, to understand the marketing agency better and see exactly what they’re capable of doing for you and your business. Outline all of your goals, criteria, and everything you want them to know so that they can propose a marketing plan customized to you and your company’s needs.
This request will allow you to uncover and pinpoint the strengths and weaknesses of the agencies you shortlisted. It will provide a clearer peek into how they approach tasks like the ones they would do for you, all without wasting your time having to hunt for the best agency by yourself.
With this said, take advantage of these RFPs and start further shortening the list you’ve already created. These requests will give you more clarity regarding what you’re looking for in an agency and will definitely be of incredible help when trying to decide which one is the right fit for you.
5. Meet the team you’ll work with and make sure you get along. Read that sentence again.
Although you might still be in disbelief that chemistry is that magic factor you can’t quantify but still need in a relationship, let this be your reality check. Chemistry matters ー even in business.
When deciding whether to partner or not with a new agency, you must first get to know the team you’ll be working with; after all, you’ll be working with them on a recurring basis. As you begin developing a professional relationship with the team and realize that your personalities don’t match over time, take it as a red flag.
Signs like that tend to foreshadow the issues that will prevail in the long road, so if you have a feeling that the agency you thought of selecting is not the right fit, go with your gut and listen to yourself before making any decision.
To avoid this, schedule a meeting with the potential marketing team and prepare a list of questions about their strategies, behaviors, work-life, and dig deep into the way they deal with their clients. With this, you’ll be able to determine if you are capable of maintaining a healthy relationship with the agency, taking you closer to the dream agency you’ve been searching for.
6. Hire the ultimate marketing agency that will scale your business to new heights.
Taking into consideration the previous factors, you must focus your efforts on choosing a marketing agency whose knowledge and services overlap with your and your business’ needs. The right marketing agency will offer exactly what you need and will provide the support you’ve been looking for since you decided you needed to outsource your marketing strategy.
When it comes to hiring your perfect match, remember that cost-effectiveness, experience, adaptability, and value are the key components of the ideal marketing agency. You must hire the agency that produces quality work without breaking your bank, one that has had good experiences and relationships with past clients, is capable of innovating and adapting to new trends and technology, and most importantly, one that delivers and adds value to your business.
If you choose to partner with an agency of talented individuals who clearly understand what you want, how you want it, and how to deliver results for your business, there is a high chance that you’ve made the right decision and that the relationship you have formed will be fruitful in the long term.
We never said finding the right marketing agency partner was going to be easy. It will take time and effort to finally hire a top-tier agency that also happens to be a great fit for your business goals. There exist an infinite amount of agencies out there, and sometimes, when the majority of them might seem to be the right fit for you, you’ll realize they are not the right path to take; it’s a tedious process, but it certainly isn’t impossible.
To avoid continuously swiping left when trying to find your business’ perfect match, follow the tools and tactics we’ve covered throughout this article, and you’ll be ready to not only find your one true partner agency but to successfully launch your company’s marketing strategy in no time.
A guide like ours will help your business partnerships ー not only those related to your marketing efforts ー thrive in the years to come, and you’ll soon get to see how your new marketing agency will be SoGood in bringing to life the vision you’ve always had for your company.
If you’re looking for a versatile marketing agency we’d love to talk and to help your brand grow and achieve your goals!