Know what to look for from a marketing agency to keep branding consistency.
Managing a business is not easy.
Today, you have a lot to supervise, from your online presence to the overall business aesthetic, all the way to how you can achieve a global audience. It is a big plate for anybody, which is why business owners often opt to employ a marketing agency to help them out. However, the hard part does not stop there. It is only the beginning because not being mindful of the marketing agency you choose will only harm your business prospects.
Why find a marketing agency?
Marketers today cater to about 1 to 3 audience segments, and marketing yourself properly among these different types of people will also vary in practice. Moreover, a lot of money is being placed on marketing campaigns globally, with $1.3 trillion being spent. That is a sizeable amount of money, but it shows just how important marketing and branding consistency is to the success of a business. This is where marketing agencies come to play because marketing is not just something anyone can do. It is a joint effort done by a well-versed group of professionals in the industry. So, what does a marketing agency do for you?
For starters, here are the most important things you can do if you have a good marketing agency
- Come up with platform-specific and success-driven business strategies.
- Create marketing solutions efficiently.
- Analyze and evaluate marketing performance and data.
- Web design and development.
- Branding consistency
- Social media integration.
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
These are all great benefits indeed. Still, you cannot guarantee this if you just choose some random marketing agency you find on the internet or pamphlets or flyers. There is a process to finding the right marketing agency, and in this article, we will make sure that the marketing agency you choose fits your business goals like a glove.
So here are some things you have to keep in mind if you are looking for one:
How to Choose the Right Marketing Agency
1. Make sure you know what you want
Before you get into anything serious, you must first figure out what you need from a marketing agency. Marketing agencies are helpful and versatile indeed, but if you are not transparent enough with what you expect of them, your partnership is likely going nowhere. Take a second to look at your business, find out where the leaks and cracks are and be firm on the aspects you got covered.
For example, you may already be set in the design department, but you may be at a loss as to how you can generate more leads or even pin the numbers down. Or how about the instance that you need to find out about new market trends or rising competition in your locality? Letting your marketing agency know what you need beforehand will allow both of you to create a clearer-cut relationship and steer the partnership better.
For a list of questions, you should consider, look at the list below:
- Do I need community management?
- Do I want to stand out from the competition?
- Do I want to integrate more events into my business plan?
- Where can I improve my customer experience?
- What new media platforms can I explore?
- Do I need influencer partnerships or sponsorships?
2. Consider your budget
The second thing you want to consider is your budget. This is slightly correlated with the first, in the sense that you should do it before you formally get into any conversation or agreement with a marketing agency.
Why? Well, that is because the price of your partnership will vary on the terms you are agreeing on. A gardening business will not have the exact needs as an electronics one so that a good marketer can ration spending on the respective business’s ideal plans.
A marketing agency is also an investment, so you should know how your money is spent and how much money is going to be spent. This will help you minimize risk and loss and build trust and healthy communication between you and your future agency.
If you need help to dissect your budget correctly, take a look at the list below.
Media spend: The media spend is allocated to all the expenses saved for media placements, which includes all advertising you have, such as billboards, SEO, content, content marketing, and much more.
Production spend: The production spend measures the number of materials you need to run for your ads and your business in general. Any material you pay for is included in your business plan.
Agency Retainer fees: Agency retainer fees consider the percentages agencies charge for your spending. Though it varies from agency policy to policy, it would not hurt that you factor it into your decisions if ever you come to need it.
3. Get an agency you feel comfortable in.
Now it is time to browse the agency you will partner with. At this point, you may have already agreed about the pricing and set your expectations. You need to choose the appropriate agency to work with, but not so fast. If you decide in haste, you could be making this one mistake - selecting an agency with policies and values that you do not aline with.
You do not want to be working with an agency with an improper work ethic or one that does not value your well-being. The partnership you should be having with your agency should be entirely symbiotic. If it is anything less, you should not settle for anything so soon.
If you find an agency that is a good fit for you, it will help create a healthier work environment and better communication, leading to better results. This also considers the team of people you will be working with, so you should not skip this step.
If you are entrusting your life’s work into this agency and team, then you might as well be as strict as you can be on who you ultimately settle on.
4. Dissect their reputation in the industry
Experience is necessary if you are looking for an agency, especially one that can help you market your business. The idea is simple, markets are growing every day, and the niche and needs of your business can be particular. This means an agency you choose can handle those needs and find solutions quickly, or it may have no idea what to do and drop the ball.
This all plays into their reputation, and you should have a clear view of it when you talk with the agency. It will tell you a lot about their capabilities so try to dissect it as much as possible.
Looking for reviews on the internet is not hard these days. Though you should ask around friends or other industry natives, rummaging through online client reviews and testimonials will also be a big help and help you achieve a broader view. If available, a client list can be a great help to determine their credibility and experience.
As an extension, the agency should also provide this feature because clients have every right to view both positive and negative comments about their performance.
If they do not have any, you could consider that they lack experience or have no noteworthy client partnerships.
5. See if they can communicate well
A good marketing agency wants you to notice them. They would not be afraid to put themselves on the market, and it will reflect how quickly they can communicate with potential partners or clients.
As the quote stands, availability is the best ability, and it is valid for the marketing agency business.
The best digital marketing agencies make it as easy as possible for potential clients to get in touch with them.
Getting in touch with them should never be more complicated than a few clicks and kicks, and finding out their contact information should not be a deep-dive either. Moreover, they should have a system of getting feedback from users, and they should also have someone in charge to engage with those who want to communicate with them.
If you want it simple, if you are looking for a good marketing agency, then chances are they are looking for you as well.
6. A good website is a sign of competence
You know what they say, always dress for the occasion. Well, digital marketing is an unending party, and if we are talking about attire, this directly translates to the website.
You may not even realize it, but the website can have all you need to know about a company or agency.
A website is supposed to be the first impression. It determines how firm and frisk the handshake is upon meeting. If it disappoints, it already creates a sour taste in your mouth. A good website reflects an agency’s values, an extension of their warm welcome to both potential and long-time customers. Moreover, a good website holds every answer to your questions without even asking them, so really, a website is the first employee you meet.
If you somehow are not satisfied with the agency's website upon your first visit, you can save your time by looking at the next one.
Signs that you should avoid
1. They do not value time
From the onset of doing meetings and making promises, one promise that can be misleading is immediate return and results. Though a good agency will definitely get you the results you desire, saying that you can achieve it quickly is an early red flag you should look out of. A good agency knows that this process takes time, and it is only through careful and honest planning that you can achieve legitimate results.
2. Non-negotiable pricing
As we have said before, different businesses require different things. This means that pricing will vary, so you and your agency should professionally agree on the terms and budgeting. Regardless of their company policy, they should consider their client’s financial status and provide contingencies or compromise.
3. Trust in data
An important part of successful marketing is determining the performance of your business plan. Being in line with both negative and positive trends will help you determine your next move. So, an agency should be fully transparent with the data they are handling, and you should constantly check whether on how available it is.
4. How they treat your property
A good agency knows that the sanctity of intellectual property is kept in check. If not, then doubts will set in whether or not they can be mutually receptive about other aspects of the business.
5. Confidence in their work
Before you be confident with an agency, you must ensure that they are confident with themselves first. Shaky confidence often entails lackluster performance or overall poor management, so looking at how confident an agency is with its work is vital before choosing.
It is about time to stop navigating the business and online world alone. This will only lead to you sabotaging your business and wasting a lot of your time and money. Finding yourself a worthwhile companion in the form of a formidable marketing agency will help alleviate most if not all of your problems, and it is a necessary step if you expect to succeed in the future. So, keep in mind the green flags and red flags that will tell you early on whether you should invest in a marketing agency or not because a simple misstep can make or break the future of your business.