If you run your own marketing department, including developing your own content and cross-channel marketing strategies (mobile and social media, too!) you’ll know that there aren’t enough hours in the day to successfully complete all the tasks you’ve got. Eventually, most companies either need to hire more people – an expensive and time-consuming task – or turn to an agency to multiply their marketing manpower.
In the latter case, the big question then becomes, how do I choose the right marketing agency that will give me the best return on investment for my marketing dollars? There are a lot of factors involved in answering this question, since you have more than just cost to worry about.
In a recent blog post by Brooke Tomasetti for Figmints, she covers some of the most important considerations in choosing an agency. Of
course, you want a company that will work within your budget and show you measurable success broken out by easy-to-understand analytical processes that outline return on investment (ROI). But there’s more to it than that: you need to know if the agency is going to meet your goals and work well with your internal processes and just generally fit with your culture and target markets.
“You probably know from different work experiences that the people you work with have a huge impact on your day-to-day happiness and success,” wrote Tomasetti. “When you hire a marketing agency, you're essentially gaining new teammates. Start off by checking out the agency's website - How approachable do they look? When you go in for a visit, ask if you can meet some of the team members who would be working on your project.”
This is the time to evaluate the team members and determine if they fit with your company culture. Are they fun? Are they edgy? Are they analytical? Only you know what message you’re striving to reach your customers with…make sure the people assigned to do it are a good match.
It’s also worth considering what tools and software the agency uses. Are you familiar with them? Can they be integrated into your own systems? This may be critically important if you’re going to collaborate on projects, or if you use any type of automation solution that helps you meet deadlines and hold team members accountable for the different steps and deadlines of projects.
“If you already use marketing automation software and aren't interested in switching, find out if the agency has experience with that particular platform,” wrote Tomasetti.
Finally, it’s important for you to ensure that the agency’s timeline works with yours. Do they work at a steady, leisurely pace that will make you grit your teeth waiting for results? Or do they work faster than you’d like? How often do they plan to check in with you? Often enough to reassure you? Too often so it becomes a point of annoyance?
While it’s important to make sure that the marketing agency you choose jives with your customers and target audience, it’s also important to make sure that their policies, habits and pace of work jive with you and your internal workers.