It’s time to get your brand off the ground and increase your visibility. Great! Since you’re focused on so many other areas of growth, you may be considering hiring a marketing agency for this task. Great!
Developing an effective marketing strategy is key to the development of your brand, and working with a marketing agency comes with benefits such as saving you time and ensuring that your brand focuses on strategies that actually work.
But how do you know if a marketing agency is truly the one for you? This is no small investment you are making—and before you sign on the dotted line, how can you ensure that working with a marketing agency will truly have the ROI you are hoping for?
Today, we highlight four key questions to discuss with a prospective marketing agency before you begin working with them.
Four questions to ask when hiring a marketing agency
Question #1: Who will manage this project?
One definite way to uncover the quality of a marketing agency is to see how organized they are. This begins with asking specific details about project management. When done effectively, project management cuts costs, reduces risk, and is a key indicator of organizational success (The Value of Project Management, 2010).
Learning the ins and outs of who will handle your brand account—and how—can be very revealing.
In your initial meetings with your marketing agency of choice, make sure to dive deeper and uncover:
- who the main point of contact is
- how the project will be structured—including deadlines, meetings, and follow-up
- how internal responsibilities are divided
- how project details are managed
Ask how information, such as documents and images, will be shared between your brand and the agency. Your brand, and its assets, deserve to be handled with care, and this is reflected by the systems and processes that an agency has in place to stay organized, and stay ahead of the game.
Question #2: What is the cost, and what is included?
Transparency is everything when it comes to working with an agency, and pricing is no exception.
Before committing to an agency, it is essential to ensure that you are clear on all aspects of your financial obligation. This includes knowing:
- the structure of the package you’ve purchased
- what is included—and not included—in the quoted rate
- any additional elements that may affect the pricing
- when payments are due
Often, details such as who is implementing the work can impact the pricing. Be sure to read (and inquire about) the fine print to ensure that you don’t end up with any unforeseen costs. In addition to knowing what your invoices entail, you should also be aware of when the agency will be invoicing you, and the dates by which they need to be paid.
Question #3: How often will we meet?
Before you commit to an agency, be sure that the agency is committed to YOU. One way to do so is by investigating the communication pipeline the agency has established with their client. Ideally, this should include built-in time to touch base through regular meetings or check-ins, which help ensure that you and the agency are on the same page.
When an agency incorporates regular client meetings into their project plan, it shows that they truly care about delivering the results that you are looking for, and deepening their relationship with your brand in several ways. Regular meetings:
- give you, the client, a space to voice any ideas or concerns you may have
- provide useful insight and clarity about your brand’s needs, goals, and vision
- allow permission for things change over the course of the journey
- promote true collaboration between your brand and the agency
Meeting regularly is key to keeping projects on track and strengthening brand-agency relationships. An agency that has weaved regular meeting times into a project plan is likely an agency that cares.
Question #4: What will come out of this project if we work together?
Does your marketing agency of choice have a vision for your work together? Even more importantly, does the agency have an actionable plan for getting there?
When you inquire about the marketing agency’s intended direction, be sure to keep your ear out for specifics, such as
- how the agency will not only highlight progress, but measure it
- whether the agency has a data-informed approach
- what metrics they will keep track of throughout the project, and why
- how campaign results will be analyzed to demonstrate ROI
It is one thing for marketing efforts to look good on the surface. But an A-level agency will do more than go through the motions. They will be able to confidently articulate how they will showcase ROI, and update you on these metrics throughout your work together.
Choosing and hiring a marketing agency to work with can be overwhelming. We hope that these four questions will empower you to think critically as you decide whether a marketing agency is right for your brand.