If you’re reading this blog, it’s probably because you’re considering investing in digital marketing services/hiring a marketing agency for your B2B firm.
(Alternatively, you’re just really interested in the process of hiring a marketing agency… which is a little odd, in a ‘you-need-to-get-out-more’ kinda way.
Today, we’re walking you through how we’d go about it, if we were going to hire an agency.
After all, signing your business over to an agency on a 3/6/12 month retainer can be a daunting commitment. Especially if this is the first agency you’ve worked with.
So here are 5 questions that we, a digital marketing agency ourselves, would ask before signing on the dotted line, in order to make sure that we’re making the right decision for our business.
Do with them what you will. We have no hidden agenda here…
(Other than the completely obvious fact that we’re a digital marketing agency and we probably offer the digital marketing services that you’re after… still no agenda. Promise).
Our recommended questions, in no particular order:
1. How do we compare to your other clients in terms of spend and resource requirements?
You want to know where you fall in terms of the agency’s other clients.
“Why?” we hear you asking.
Well, because this information can highlight some red flags that you might want to be aware of before you start.
For example, if you’re an agency’s biggest client then they might not be able to handle you (we say might because alternatively you might get more attention from a smaller agency. It really depends case-by-case).
If you’re an agency’s smallest client, you run the risk of being overshadowed by their bigger, higher value clients. Again, this depends on the agency you’re looking into.
These ‘red flags’ may just be red herrings in disguise, but it’s important to be aware of them so that you can do the appropriate investigating and make a decision based on the whole story.
2. Who will be in charge of my account, and who will be doing the work?
As you know, before you part with your money you should always be confident in the expertise of the people you’ll be working with.
When it comes to hiring an agency, don’t just assume that this will be the same person/people that have been handling your account before you sign.
Some agencies outsource some of their work, meaning that (unless you ask beforehand) you might end up contracted into working with someone who you’ve never met and haven’t screened.
Make sure you know who you’ll be talking to month to month, who you’ll be going to when you have an idea or a question, and who the men on the ground making shiz happen are.
3. How will you report on progress?
There’s no point in an agency sending you a detailed analytics report of the results of their efforts if none of the numbers or metrics that they are tracking give you any reasonable conclusions.
That’s why we recommend establishing what you expect from an agency, in terms of reporting, before you start.
Namely, you should agree on how often they should update you on what’s going on, and the language they use to update you.
Set some KPI’s using metrics that you and your team use and understand, and let them do the hard work of reshuffling how they do things so that their reports actually mean something to you.
4. What I can expect in the first 90 days?
A good marketing agency should be able to tell you what their first moves would be in order to drive early results.
Ask for recommendations on what they would do. From this list you’ll be able to tell all kinds of things, like their level of expertise, their industry experience, and the breadth of the digital marketing services that they offer.
All things which will help massively in narrowing down which agency you’re going to choose.
5. What would ‘success’ mean to you?
Now this is a question that the agency should really be asking you. If they don’t, this should signal another red flag.
Flimsy promises will likely mean flimsy results, and a hole in your budget without much to show for it.
So make sure that you stipulate what you would define as ‘a success’ by defining measurable results before you start.
‘When we work with clients, we always start with the end in mind by asking, “What are you hoping to achieve with an online marketing agency?” We then work to quantify the objectives and set clear goals, which we call our success criteria.’ ~JTN
With measurable success criteria, everyone is on the same page in terms of what you’re working towards. Which means that you’ll know when you have received what was promised, and see the return you expected from the investment.
Now we know we said we had no hidden agenda… But since you’re here, and you’ve likely got an interest in digital marketing services, we thought we might take the opportunity to point out that we, JTN.agency, are in fact a digital marketing agency.
Then, if you’d like to know more, shoot some questions to our Account Manager, Kelly, on firstname.lastname@example.org.
We look forward to answering any questions that you have!
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