So, you’re thinking about hiring a Digital Marketing Agency to come alongside your business or brand. You’ve made a step in the right direction! However, not every Marketing Agency is the right fit for you. It takes more than an impressive website and sparkling portfolio to understand the agency. There is much more to the “right fit” than that – and we even have our own list of questions we ask to make sure the client is in alignment with us. As you’re doing your research and vetting, make sure to ask these questions of each service provider.
What is the onboarding process like?
The beginning of a relationship can tell a whole lot about the future of it. The same goes for a marketing relationship! It is vital to understand the process you will be put through, the expectations and goals that are set and how to meet them, and communication levels across the timeline of the project. Each client may want a slight variation, but for the most part, the agencies have an established process and making sure your needs in that space match their offerings will ensure the success of the project.
Are you a Full-Service Agency?
It is not uncommon for specific pieces of any organization, in any industry, to outsource some of their work to either contractors, freelancers, or other companies. If it is important for you to have everything in house, the answer to this question will allow you to cut that conversation off. The benefit of having a full-service agency, like ourselves, is that it creates a sense of security, an ease of communication, and the ability for every member to understand the brand the best.
How do you measure success?
A successful project starts with goal setting. Ask the agency you are interviewing to explain to you how they define and measure success in each area of their service (i.e – social media management, web development, campaign creation, or branding). Even in 2018, the old-school method of creating S.M.A.R.T. goals still reigns true, and most agencies will define those for you. If you feel as though what your goals are and what theirs are do not match, this a good indicator that they are not the right agency for you.
What is the timeline of my specific project?
First and foremost, before getting held up on deadlines, it is important that you as the client understand that nothing is set in stone. Projects can follow a, nearly accurate, timeline of goals and completion – but – there will almost always be unforeseen circumstances that shift specific deadlines. Okay, now that we got through that, ask to see (or hear) a general expectation of when to see progress and movement through the steps.
How often will we meet? How will I receive updates?
This is another questions that lays out expectation, and also creates accountability. Every step will involve different forms of communication, but questions to ask yourself to better define this is: how involved do you want to be in the project? do you prefer milestone updates, weekly updates, or something else? Are you a phone call or in-person type of person? Understand that, and verbalize that to the agency, and this will help determine if their communication style matches yours.
Do you understand my industry?
If this the first time the agency has worked in your specific industry, dive in to understanding what they are going to do to get up to speed on the vocabulary and scope of work you do. A great industry will not only do recon on the buyer personas but also what the business landscape in your area and as a whole.
These questions are only suggestions to help ease the process, especially to those who are a bit nervous about the idea of an agency. Pay attention to how the agency responses to your questions: are they engaged? are they asking you questions? did they feel combative? A good working relationship has a back-and-forth, so be open to their feedback as well! If you are ready to talk to us, we’re ready to talk to you! Give us a call, shoot us an email, or send us a message on social media. We’re here for you!