As you know, digital marketing is in great demand and ever-evolving. There comes a time for many businesses to realize they may need help from “the outside” to keep up to speed with the digital world and the demands of their users.
This can create a lot of strain, not only in understanding where the gaps might be in your current marketing strategy, but identifying the right partner to help achieve the goals you’ve set for yourself. There are so many options, so how do you know which will be the best one for your business?
1. Know Your Goals
First, you need to understand what you’re trying to achieve with this partner. Are you looking to refresh your brand? Increase awareness? Target a new market demographic? Increase traffic and/or sales? Also, how are you measuring success? Once you’ve established the measurable goal(s), explaining these to agencies will help them understand your objectives, and what services they may provide and previous success they’ve had in said goals.
2. Understand (and Share) Your Budget
We get it – money is an uncomfortable topic to discuss, but it really shouldn’t be. This is going to be a big indicator with which companies you can work with. Agencies have a wide range of prices, based on the number of solutions/packages they have, and how they consider what their time is worth. What you need to think about and be comfortable in sharing is how much these services are going to be valued by you and how they will impact your ROI against the goals you’ve previously set. You don’t need to share your “maxed out” budget number, but ranges you’re comfortable with can be incredibly helpful for agencies to identify if they can fit your budget for the services they provide.
3. Look for a Proven Track Record
Obviously you want to look for a company who is experienced in the services you’re asking them for. You can ask the agency to see a portfolio of their work (we expect and welcome this!), as well as maybe some case studies of companies they’ve worked with that exhibit measured success on the marketing objectives you’re interested in. If the company doesn’t have any work to show for it, that should be a red flag for you to consider other agencies.
In addition to experience, the agency’s methodology in understanding your business needs and executing on the initiatives you discuss will be just as important. Some agencies are comfortable with complete hand-off of work. What I mean by that is you tell them what you want, they disappear for weeks/months at a time and provide the deliverables to you. Other agencies (*cough* like Graydient Creative *cough*) will be more invested in bringing you into the collaboration meetings and have frequent updates for you so you know exactly where we are at in the project. You will also know what approvals or content we may need from you to keep the project moving. We find great value on your insights of the business – after all, who knows the business better than you?
Finally, you’ll want to choose an agency that you actually *want* to work with. You’ll be spending a lot of time talking on the phone, or meeting with the agency on the project. Make sure it’s a company that exudes professionalism, and the right amount of flare to keep it fun and exciting. After all, marketing is probably one of the funnest jobs at any company. We might be biased though. 🙂
If you’re currently in the position to look at partnering with a digital marketing agency, we would love to speak with you!