Choosing the right marketing company for your business can be a daunting task. It's important to understand your goals and needs, as well as the services offered by the agency. You should also consider the cultural fit, the team configuration, and the brand image. To help you make the best decision, eight members of the Forbes Agency Council weigh in on the features companies should look for when choosing a marketing agency.
The first step to hiring a marketing company is to sit down and identify your goals. Instead of saying, “I want to increase sales”, identify actionable items such as “I want to increase visits to my e-commerce store” or “I want to reduce cart abandonment rates”. Understanding your goals, called key performance indicators (KPIs), will not only help you choose a marketing company that is right for you, but it will also help you measure its success throughout the life of your relationship. More than performance and services offered by an agency, a good cultural fit is also something to consider when choosing one.
Since you're entrusting this team with the future of your business, you need to connect with your intuition and better judgment. Are they reliable? Do they have the same work ethic as me and my company? What will be the configuration of the equipment I will be working with? Will I get a different account generalist or team of specialists? Create a list of your expectations for the team of your marketing dreams. This will help you narrow down your options. You may know your business inside and out, but your brand image depends a lot on how others perceive you.
With experience in brand management, a marketing company can place their business on the industry map and help keep their brand relevant. But whatever the location, a media agency helps companies strategize when and where to advertise, allowing them to reach their target market in an optimal and timely manner. Once you've identified several marketing companies that seem to fit your goals and have experience servicing similar companies in your industry, make a list of shortlisted candidates to review. Also, if there is a marketing company available that specifically caters to your industry (or, better yet, the small businesses in your industry), it might be worth taking a closer look.
A good marketer can assess a customer's industry, online presence, and competition and design an effective strategy. The agency you choose must include the following services to provide you with a comprehensive strategy and competitive advantage: social proof and strong reputation in the industry; similar core values and company culture; website; search engine optimization (SEO); advertising; social media; graphic design; brand management; media agency; strategizing when and where to advertise; comprehensive strategy; competitive advantage.If possible, sign a short-term contract and periodically reassess the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns. Ultimately, choosing the right agency means setting realistic expectations and collaborating closely with the team that has the right skills and agility to help you get where you want to go, at the right time and with the right budget.Samples of previous campaigns or work that the marketing company has done help demonstrate the variety of skills that a marketing company brings. If your marketing objectives are relatively basic, you could save costs by hiring a team to perform relatively simple tasks.Here are some crucial metrics to determine which digital marketing company would be the best partner for your business growth: reliability; work ethic; equipment configuration; account generalist or team of specialists; brand image; strategizing when and where to advertise; comprehensive strategy; competitive advantage.