A marketing agency is an organization that helps business owners and/or marketers hire, develop, and manage their promotional strategies. They are not-profit organizations that have professionals on staff who help you achieve your advertising and marketing goals.
Agency professionals usually get paid more than what we would pay as independent contractors or employees of the company, which can be cost effective in long run. It also gives us greater access to resources and people within the company, and they are typically very professional and trained in promoting businesses and brands.
Business owners often feel overwhelmed when trying to do it themselves due to the amount of money involved in advertising. There are many ways agencies save you time by doing some work for you, but you should always do your research first!
You will want to make sure the agency you pick has adequate proof of expertise in the field so that you know they can actually help you reach your goal. You also want to make sure they don’t take too much control of the process, because this could hurt your brand.
Talk to them
It’s very difficult to evaluate marketing agencies without actually working with them, so be sure to speak with potential vendors about their services, what they have done for other clients, and whether or not they are a good fit for you.
It’s also important to ask if there are any costs involved up front, as some firms may try to sneak extra expenses into your project budget later on. Make sure you understand how much money is being spent before agreeing to work together!
In addition to talking to potential vendors directly, don’t forget to check out reviews online. There are many sites where people can leave comments about their experiences with different companies. Reading these will help give you an idea of whether or not this marketer is worth his or her salt.
Does the agency have any clients you could talk to?
As mentioned before, one of the most important things for an organization to show is that they are successful with other companies or brands. There are many ways to determine this, but talking to as many people as possible is your first step.
You can ask if their current employees are well-connected at different firms, or whether there are visible signs around town showing that the company has money to spend. Either way, it’s a good start!
But don’t stop there – keep asking! More than anything, people in marketing are busy so it’s easy to forget about reaching out to them. But these days, everything you do online leaves a digital trace; some of those traces may indicate past success, potential future success, or lack thereof.
By chatting with colleagues, friends, and even potential customers of the agency, you will be able to get more insights into how well they work and come across.
Who are their marketing experts?
As you read through their posts, comments, and testimonials, look for clues about how these individuals function professionally. Are they the creative type or do they put more emphasis on business strategies?
Are their writing skills clear and concise? If not, then chances are they will write sloppy content that doesn’t stick with you. You want professionals who can clearly express themselves!
You also want to make sure that they don’t overstate their own achievements or understate someone else’s. A small detail like this may seem trivial, but it sets a tone and makes you trust them less.
Beware of agencies that only have one person producing content. An agency that has several people doing different things gives off an illusion of size, but there is no guarantee that every member performs well independently as well.
Do they have any samples of work?
As you read above, getting rid of distractions is one of the most important things to look for when evaluating an agency. But what if there are not enough materials available? You would be limiting your options because this person does not seem to truly care about marketing and the industry.
It’s very difficult to believe that someone who claims to help others with their business will not offer proof of such. So before agreeing to work with these people, ask if there are at least two instances where they published material online or sent out announcements. If so, great! Give them a chance, but make sure it is clear that they can produce results like no other.
This way you won’t need to worry too much about whether or not they actually put in the effort into their advertising.
As you can probably tell, buying fake reviews isn’t going to do anything except hurt your wallet. Even worse, it could potentially damage your reputation as well. There are many ways to check for fake reviews, some more legitimate than others.
By using the right tools, you can easily determine which ones are real and which aren’t.
How much do they charge?
The final price tag is always influenced by many different things, such as agency size, marketing services that they offer, how long it will take to win over customers, and whether or not their advertising and marketing strategies are cost-effective.
Agency sizes can make a difference in pricing because larger agencies have more resources at their disposal than smaller ones. It also means that you get what you pay for – higher quality services that work better and longer!
You should ask about potential discounts too if you find an excellent marketer who does the same thing as other professionals but works at a lower price. You may be able to receive special rates due to being a regular customer or through research your company has done on the agency’s productivity.
By having these questions ready ahead of time, you’ll be prepared when you meet with them, which helps reduce any surprises or wasted money.
Can they provide references?
A good way to evaluate an agency is by doing their research and looking at their track record. Are they the talk of the town for these products or companies they promote for others? If so, then that’s a great sign you will be working with people who are popular!
However, it’s also important to do your due diligence and make sure their claims seem believable and authentic. You want to make sure there aren’t any sneaky tricks used to draw in new customers. An experienced marketing professional should have solid referrals.
If a consultant doesn’t offer you proof of his or her expertise, then chances are very high that he or she isn’t too keen on sharing their hard-earned knowledge either. It’s better to go into this partnership as equals than being someone who gets paid more because they’re not able to back up what they say.
Can you try out their services before you buy?
As if having to find a new marketing agency partner was not enough, you will also need to determine whether their services are worth your money. Companies that offer affordable service packages may seem like the better option, but this can be a deceptive tactic to keep you as a customer.
Most companies will include some kind of trial period when they release new materials or strategies. By testing these out for yourself, you will know if it works for them and if it works for you!
There is an excellent way to do this – by using their own tools and resources to test one of their products. For example, instead of hiring them to create an advertisement, you could use YouTube to produce your own ad. Or you could look up tips online or search with keywords to see what works for others.
By doing your research first, you will know if there are any potential issues before investing in the product or company.
What if they don’t have any clients?
It’s hard to believe, but there are some agencies out there that don’t do much more than talk about themselves. They spend all their energy trying to get attention, while losing sight of what they should actually be doing — helping others achieve their goals.
The worst case scenario here is that you hired an agency and then it closed its doors, taking most of your money along with it. You need to make sure that anything they tell you about the future is believable and probable, and that they aren’t going to take advantage of you when things go bad.