How to Choose a Marketing Agency – Six Considerations for Business Owners
So you’ve decided to hire a marketing agency to help grow your business. But while hunting for marketing agencies in your area, you notice there are many, and all of them claim to be the best in the industry. How do you know which one is the right one for you? This is a great question that many successful business owners ask themselves at some point in their early days. Our marketing team put together this list for small business owners, and you might be surprised by what you learn. Here are six things to consider when choosing a marketing agency. Check it out now!
Scour their website and social media channels – does the content scream “we care about you,” or does it exude “we care about ourselves.” If the latter, ask yourself what a business relationship with them might be like. Will they understand that cost and budget are crucial to you? Will they try to sell you services you don’t need or that you can handle on your own? Will they be pushy, arrogant, and demanding of your time? The way a business brands itself is crucial. If it seems they may not care about your business’ success as much as the payment of your invoices, they may not be a good fit for you.
What types of services do they offer? If you need a website, will they be able to build and host it? If so, what platform will they use? An agency that cares about your business will choose a great platform proven to help attain views and clicks over a click-and-drag builder. Do they offer traditional or modern forms of advertising? While both hold value, traditional forms of advertising, such as radio, commercials, and billboards, reach a minimized audience – while more modern forms of advertising, such as social media, have a much wider reach.
When you meet them, do they do all the talking as if they are selling you, or do they ask you questions and actively listen to your responses? A good marketing agency isn’t exclusively focused on sales. Relationships matter and the foundation of establishing a healthy business relationship is communication. While a transaction will need to take place if you hire them, you should never feel you are being sold to. A marketing agency isn’t a used car dealership; you are not purchasing a car.
When discussions have transitioned to pricing, is it crystal clear what service is being offered and what that service will cost? Some agencies leave room for imagination (and translation) in their pricing to allow themselves room to mark up the cost of the service and increase the profit margin or commission payout. While this is a standard business practice, it isn’t transparent, and you deserve to work with an agency that is straightforward, proud, and honest enough to prove it with a clearly defined statement of work or creative brief.
Do they have knowledge and expertise within your industry? If not, do they admit they’ll need to do the research to get up to speed? Even the wisest of marketers have limitations – nobody knows everything. A lack of experience in a specific industry doesn’t mean they can’t do a great job with your campaigns, but arrogance and know-it-all behavior are red flags and should give you pause. Remember numbers three and four above; communication and transparency are key.
Time is money in the business world. Your time is as valuable as everyone else’s. If you are courting a marketing agency that doesn’t plan ahead, schedules excessive meetings, or reaches out at odd hours, they may feel their time is more valuable than yours. Moving forward with them may lead you to make rushed decisions or overlook subpar work and may impact your work-life balance. The right marketing agency will respect your boundaries and time and will only take the time necessary to do a thorough job.
Off to the Races
You’ve taken the first step by acknowledging that you need help marketing your business. The next step is to choose wisely. We hope you find the perfect agency for your needs and business goals with this list of considerations. AXIOM is here to help, and even if you do not choose our agency for your needs, we want to ensure your marketing dollars end up in the right hands. Contact us if we can help!