The bigger your business, the more likely you are to professionalize your marketing. It is often wise to engage a marketing agency for this. Marketing agencies have experience in setting up successful campaigns and can take care of your entire marketing process, from advice to execution. But what should you pay attention to when choosing the perfect agency for your company?
1. Findability does not say everything, but it says a lot
Whether you already have a possible candidate in mind or not, at every agency you are considering, it is wise to perform a findability test first. After all, an important part of online marketing is being findable, and if the agency cannot even get it done for itself, how big is the chance that this will succeed for your company? Check whether you find the agency easy with logical keywords, and especially check whether it is also purchased (read: artificial) results or sincere search results.
2. Not every agency is equally good at everything
Just as the bouquets are not equally beautiful at every florist, not every marketing agency is equally good at all forms of marketing. Traditional agencies can be very good at graphic design and catchy texts, but can they also run a campaign that is largely about social media marketing and influencer marketing? The risk of partnering with an agency that only controls a limited number of forms of marketing is the forms it does not controlled, will not form part of the advice either. So you don't know what you're missing.
To check what a marketing agency is adept at, you can turn to websites where you search and compare different marketing agencies. You can also handy on Location search and select the agency that controls all your preferred forms of marketing.
3. Check clients of the agency of your choice
Now that you may be considering contacting a few agencies, it is wise to first check which customers they have. Are customers mentioned on the website? If so, check how their websites and content look like. Does it look professional? Would this make you happy? And anyway, are there customers who come close to you in terms of appearance or image? If you want to market your IT startup and the agency only runs campaigns for the drugstore and the butcher around the corner, then a match may be far away.
4. Sales pitch is a starting point, not an ending point
Do you have one or more agencies in mind? Invite them to your place and let them prepare a pitch. Have a serious conversation about the possibilities that the different agencies have to offer you. But beware, this is a pitfall: the sales pitch has been rehearsed and refined to perfection. Don't be blinded by this too much. You should see a good pitch as the starting point of the conversation, not as a final chord on which you will base your final choice. Other tools are better suited for this.
5. Understanding your industry
In the conversation, check whether the agency has any knowledge of the industry in which you are active. You can already suspect that in response to the existing clients of the agency, but it is best to check it yourself. Do they understand what is important in your industry? Where do you prioritize? Which marketing channels do and don't work with your target group? Please note: there is a difference between talking good and yak nodding or having a serious, critical conversation about your industry. The latter is what you want: pump players do not add value, critical thinkers do.
6. Put it to the test
Always do: the test case. Give the agencies you're considering hiring a test assignment. Let them work out a strategy. Leave them as free as possible, so keep the frames nice and spacious so you can see what happens when they get creative. Especially when in doubt between two or more desks, this is an ideal way to make the final choice. After all, most multinationals do it that way. Note: it is now common practice to use desks with one pitch fee to accommodate the costs and time they put in for you.