10 Questions To Ask Before Hiring a Marketing Agency

Want to find new customers? Build a stronger brand? Engage with existing customers? Effective marketing campaigns require careful planning and your business or organization just might not have the resources to do it in-house. Hiring a marketing agency can help achieve results for your business.

What do you need to know before hiring a marketing agency? This marketing agency wants to help out; here are ten questions to ask your potential project partner.

hiring a marketing agency

1. What does your ideal client look like?

Right off the bat, ask what the marketing agency’s ideal client looks like. The purpose of this type of question is to establish what the agency believes makes a great client and what makes a bad client so bad to work with. If there is a good cultural and organizational fit then the collaborative working relationship will be efficient. And maybe even enjoyable!

2. What are your offerings and capabilities?

Versatility – or lack thereof – can be a critical deciding factors. Marketing doesn’t exist inside a vacuum! Make sure the agency is up-to-date on all things digital, and can achieve a well-rounded marketing efforts. Capabilities you could vet include web development, website hosting, inbound marketing, branding, video, copywriting, SEO, and social media strategy.

3. What experience do you have with my industry?

Sure, it’s nice if the agency has previous experience in your industry but it doesn’t have to be a deal-breaker. A good follow up question is, “how you plan to become an expert on my biz/industry?”

4. How do you manage all the moving pieces?

Does the agency you are evaluating use a particular system (perhaps a project management tool like Basecamp)? Do they mainly rely on email? Have a standing call with clients? It’s important to know how the agency manages client communication and collaboration. Agencies that utilize platforms and processes to manage communications, collaboration, project management, reporting, and billing spend more time getting real work done and less time on the project management and administration side of things.

5. What’s the process for getting up to speed?

How does the agency handle client on-boarding? How do they ensure the staff working on your project have adequate knowledge of your business or organization and the industry? You’ll know you’ve found an organized agency if they have a well-defined and documented process to get the clients and agency teams up to speed quickly.

6. Who will be managing my account?

Who exactly is executing the work? Does the agency you employ an in-house team, do a lot of outsourcing, or a combination of the two?

7. Who will I be working with regularly?

Hiring a marketing agency is like getting a new teammate or two, or three, or more. You definitely want your new coworkers to be good people who you enjoy collaborating with over a long period time. Check out their website and make sure you find the team approachable. Don’t be afraid to ask to meet those team members who would be working on the project. (We don’t bite, promise!) It’s a good way to suss out if the company has similar values as you and complementary personalities.

8. How do you measure success?

Which KPIs does the agency usually focus on and how will monthly data be reported? Website traffic, social follows, and paid impressions are important vanity metrics but an excellent marketing agency needs to also be able to present result in something stakeholders understands – leads and revenue.

9. With the contract, what’s included monthly?

Contracts vary. It’s necessary for you to know what deliverable are expected and when to expect them.  Know what to expect so that your project stays in scope, and there are no surprises later on. That being said, also ask the following:

10. How do you handle out of scope work?

Being aware of the change-order process will make that easier down the line. A change order is a request for something outside the original proposal and you’ll want to know how the agency handles the process and costs that entails.

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Whether you are looking to get a marketing strategy up and running or searching for ways to improve on your current plan, partnering with a marketing agency can have many benefits. But there is no shortage of digital marketing agencies so be sure to choose one that best suits your needs by asking the above questions on capabilities, project management, account management, and contingencies.


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