So you walk out of your Monday morning staff meeting with a directive from senior management. Your assignment: Hire a new marketing agency. Sounds simple, right? It can be if you ask the right questions. So, let’s get you started on this journey.
Here are the top six questions to ask when hiring a prospective marketing agency:
1) What kind of agency am I looking for?
This one seems obvious, but you must first determine the type of agency that will fulfill your needs. Is this a digital campaign, a media buy, a branding assignment or perhaps a social media engagement? The answer to this question will help you narrow your search and increase your level of success.
2) Should I hire a generalist or a specialist?
This question can go either way. A generalist agency can be a good choice if your assignment covers a wide range of channels and tactics. Generalists are constantly learning new verticals and can bring relative knowledge to your project, helping you think in a new way. On the other hand, an agency that has specific specialization can be very effective in bringing laser-focused expertise and solutions to your marketing challenge.
3) Can I live and work with these people every day?
Before engaging with any agency, it is important to understand their culture and see if they will be a good fit for your team. Agencies are asking themselves the same question at your first meeting, so have a frank conversation about what they are like to work with. Ask friends or colleagues about past experiences with a particular agency. There are thousands of agencies to choose from, why not find one that shares your passion and understands your goals?
4) What does their process look like?
Many agencies have a well-defined process that they go through with each client engagement. Their history of working with multiple clients in various fields of expertise has allowed them to hone their skills. Make sure you understand their process, feel comfortable with it and can give the amount of time requested before proceeding.
5) How long do their typical client relationships last?
Back in the Mad Men days, most agencies enjoyed long-term relationships with their clients. In today’s world it is more common for agencies to accept project work. If the agency has still managed to keep long tenured relationships with several clients, that means that they are doing something right. Score this as a huge plus in the “hire them now” category. Agencies that prefer to be valued as a partner rather than a vendor are more likely to dive in to your business to understand, appreciate and voice your message.
6) How do they measure success with their clients?
Above all, the answer to this question will guide you to an informed decision on hiring a new marketing agency. Any agency worth hiring should be asking questions about your KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) to measure success. They should be focused, specific and in tune with a language that shows their level of expertise in your industry.
What are some of the questions that you like to ask your prospective agency? Comment below.
CPV New Biz Guy