5 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Marketing Agency

Questions to ask a marketing agency cover

If you’ve reached a point in your business where you need marketing services to boost your brand, you may be wondering where to start.

“Who’s the best?”

“How much should it cost?”

“What type of agency should I look for?”

These are all great questions. And while trying to decide on the right marketing partner can seem overwhelming at times, it doesn’t need to be. The right agency will help you set your branding, advertising or marketing objectives, accomplishing (and maybe even exceeding) your goals with the right strategic approach.

“OK – so where do I start?”

We’ve got you covered. Use these five questions to break down the pros and cons of different marketing agencies and guide you to the agency that will complement your brand best.

1. What are your campaign goals?

When hiring an agency, it’s important that you evaluate what your own goals are first. For example, figure out how much growth you’d like to see in a specific department or how much you would like your sales to increase by.

Looking to grow digitally and rank higher in search engine results pages? Check out local digital marketing agencies and their services.

Seek to create a new website that provides a better user experience? Seek out an agency experienced in creating customized, user-friendly websites with a content management system like WordPress.

Setting your goals will guide you to what you are looking for in an agency and help you understand which agencies may be better suited to help you reach those goals.

After establishing your goals, you’re ready to talk to an agency.

Discussing Your Goals with an Agency

Do your research for this part. There are many agencies that specialize in different services and some that do it all. A great first step for finding the right agency is doing a Google search for agencies in your area, agencies who specialize in XYZ, full-service agencies, etc. Contact a few agencies to set up initial calls and get to know them and their history. With your future marketing partner, you want to ensure that communication is comfortable; this may just be based on your gut. You could meet with many great agencies with quality work, but if you don’t feel like the communication is there, they just may not be the right fit for your company. 

You also want to consider your company mission as a whole. Among all the potential agencies, do any of them have a company culture that aligns with your own? With a compatible company culture, going further with your marketing is possible and odds are you’ll see eye-to-eye with your agency more often.

2. How would others describe the agency’s service and culture?

Taking into consideration what other clients, both current and previous, are saying could help in your decision-making. These clients’ experience with the agency provides that extra first-hand insight; they were once in the position you are now, so listening to any compliments or feedback they have given the agency can be to your benefit. Asking for references will give you a better idea of what working with an agency will be like.

Some questions to ask references include:

  • Does the agency get back to emails quickly?
  • Did the marketing strategy implemented help reach your goals?
  • Do they value your feedback?
  • How well does the agency keep up with the latest trends?
  • How often does your team directly work with the account manager?

If clients would refer the agency or work with them again, you’re heading in the right direction. Also, asking for the agency’s portfolio and case studies of previous work will let you see what quality content your brand would receive.

3. Are the services offered in-house of are they outsourced?

A full-service marketing agency handles all aspects of a marketing and advertising campaign, like Appleton’s in-house team does. Some agencies are all in-house — referring to a brand’s internal marketing team —and some may use outside vendors.  

Working with a full-service agency eliminates the middleman. It can also give you peace of mind to know that every aspect of your marketing, from email campaigns and blog posts to social media and video production, are all being done with a shared and cohesive vision. In these cases, you know exactly who to turn to for your questions, feedback and new ideas.

4. What experience do they have with creating a quality marketing campaign?

A portfolio with a wide range of specialized skills showcased as well as range in the work itself is the mark of a great and experienced agency. When it comes to marketing, agencies shouldn’t apply a one-size-fits-all solution to different clients; each client and campaign is unique and should be handled as such. While there are some tried and true methods, an agency should be willing to implement marketing tactics and strategies that make each campaign stand out against competitors.

At Appleton, we look at each client and campaign with a specific goal and target audience in mind. When working with Sam Flax, we understood that the needs of this client called for a completely different marketing approach from the campaign we did for The Lakewood Residential Treatment Center. This understanding led to two individual and successful campaigns.

5. What results make the agency successful?

When it comes to measuring the success of an agency, the results speak for itself. Quality work and case studies, note-worthy testimonials and effective communication are great measurements of success. In addition, successful agencies have top-notch problem-solving skills, the ability to execute and complete projects by the deadline, the creativity needed to stand out and a sense of passion for what they do.

These are just a few questions every company should consider in order to choose the right agency. Whenever you’re ready to look for an agency, Appleton is here to listen to your goals and advertising needs. Appleton is an award-winning, full-service digital marketing and advertising agency located in Orlando, Florida. Appleton works with local, national and international clients to deliver custom content, persuasive online ads and expertly crafted campaigns. By implementing valuable and shareable digital content strategies, Appleton can create the perfect digital and social marketing experience for your brand and audience. Your Internet advertising goals are worth a conversation: contact us at 407-246-0092 or info@appletoncreative.com.

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