Deciding whether to do marketing in-house or hire a marketing team is a tough decision.
An even tougher decision is deciding which marketing agency to choose.
There are countless agencies in the industry, both local and international, that you could hire, especially as remote work becomes the norm. Each agency will have its own strategies and approaches to help businesses achieve their goals. You have many options and knowing how to narrow them is what will make this process much easier. So, where do you start? Finding the right agency for you will require you to take a few things into account. Therefore, having a checklist of things to look out for will help you tremendously to head in the right direction.
Have you considered what to expect when working with a marketing agency?
Do you know how a good and reputable marketing agency operates?
Hiring a marketing agency may require a leap of faith. Nevertheless, as you look before you leap, we can help you choose your business’s ideal marketing agency. Here are a few elements that you should consider which will make navigating your hiring process more manageable.
Data should be a marketer’s best friend. Using data as the driving force in making marketing decisions is a great way to apply techniques and strategies proven to work. When a marketing agency uses data-driven strategies such as collecting and analysing data, they can learn what is working and why it works. They would be able to use this information to predict how your marketing strategies will perform in the future. Additionally, by using data to make decisions, marketers can improve their techniques continuously. This is valuable because marketing trends are constantly changing, and continuously tracking these trends allows marketers to remain current. The marketing agency you hire should be data-driven. That way, you know they are working with proven evidence of marketing tactics that work and not from biases.
Good systems and processes are the backbones of any good marketing agencies. The purpose of these systems and processes is to provide efficiency and accuracy throughout the marketing process. The agency you hire should be able to manage its team effectively to maximise productivity. When considering hiring an agency, you would expect effective communication, and this is critical, not just with clients but also within the agency. Having good systems in place to facilitate communication should not be overlooked. You should feel confident that the agency you are working with understands your goals and consistently delivers the marketing efforts you need for your business to thrive.
Marketing involves many moving parts, and automation allows marketers to use platforms and tools to streamline marketing processes automatically. If a marketing agency doesn’t automate any of their marketing efforts, they are not using their time wisely. Marketing agencies that use automation throughout their business can maximise productivity, accurate reporting, data management and lead nurturing. The marketing agency you choose should manage your campaigns and other marketing needs in the most effective way possible. When an agency automates its processes, it will allow the marketers to focus more time on creativity, planning and brainstorming marketing efforts. This way, they can provide maximum value for your business. Agencies that use software to automate their marketing processes are a good indicator that they focus on increasing productivity and efficiency.
What are their communication policies like? Are they willing to make recommendations and provide support for activities outside of what is included in a contract? When deciding to hire a marketing agency, you are essentially welcoming them as a part of your organisation. Their customer service and willingness to work with you should be essential in your decision-making process. A good agency will make you feel like they are an extension of your business rather than a transaction. Ensure you choose an agency that prioritises your needs and is willing to schedule meetings to discuss changes where necessary. No matter how many clients they oversee, they should make your business feel like a priority.
A major red flag to consider when choosing a marketing agency is failing to implement strategies and generate the results they promise you. An agency is a business just like any other, so they must embark on their own marketing efforts. If they are offering website redesign, what does their website look like? If they are recommending social media marketing, what does their content look like? Do you see engagement on their page? Are they active online? An agency that doesn’t practice what they preach should not be one worth hiring. If they can’t even optimise their business’s performance, why would they do it for yours?
A high-performing marketing team allows for seamless processes and efficiency. It means that you will not only receive deliverables on time, but it will also be of good quality because, in a specialised team, each member has their own strengths and areas of focus, rather than being a “jack of all trades”. Content and copywriting, graphic and motion design, photography, videography, website development, and social media management are key elements of a marketing team. While these are skills that the agency can outsource, finding an agency whose members excel in these areas will reap the best results for you and your business.
The marketing agency you choose should be one with a history of success. Firstly, they definitely shouldn’t be a novice to the field. Having experience in a wide variety of areas shows flexibility and competence, which is a good sign. You should also look at their past clients and the quality of work they have done (if available). Does the agency display testimonials on their website? Take a look at what the past clients have to say. The marketing agency should also have a portfolio of previous work on hand to prove their competence and give you an idea of the type of work they are able to produce.
When you are considering hiring a marketing agency, you must understand the charges that will be applied. You wouldn’t want to hire an agency only to discover multiple hidden fees along the way as they are working on your marketing projects. You need an agency that is upfront about their pricing and gives you a clear idea of what you should expect after consulting with them. Agencies have different methods of pricing their services, and not all display their rates on their website. You should ensure that you ask upfront, and in their response should be transparency and a crystal clear outline of the charges that you would incur from the services you require.
Ultimately, the marketing agency you choose will be specific to your business’s budget, needs and objectives. An ideal marketing agency will focus on your business’s unique needs and is willing to work with you to achieve your goals, sharing their strategies at each step of the way. They must accurately communicate their services to you and ensure that they deliver them and even exceed your expectations. When hiring a marketing agency, you should be getting added value, and working with them should be a delight as they can help your business grow and maximise its potential. When consulting with agencies ensure that you have your expectations in line with the agency that you decide to hire.
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