The assistance of a digital marketing agency can be vitally beneficial to the growth, branding, image and expanded industry footprint of your business. However, it’s an investment in money, time, and people. There are over 30,000 digital marketing agencies in the U.S. that offer different specialties and areas of expertise. That means hiring an agency suitable for your specific needs is like completing a complex puzzle.
But once you find the perfect piece, the return on your investment can lead to a model of sustainable success for your business. Puzzle complete! During the early stages of any partnership, it’s important for both sides – client and agency – to communicate effectively in order to determine if the services are a right fit.
Identify Your Goals/Needs/Brand
How well do you know yourself? As a company, you won’t be able to identify an ideal agency until you understand your business goals, marketing needs, and overall brand.
Business Goals: Are you a start-up company realistically striving to double in size? Or, are you already established in your industry with goals more suited toward sustaining gradual success? Knowing the answers to these questions will help you in the decision-making process. Some agencies have a smaller group of clientele with the means for more personalized services that can produce rapid growth for small companies, while others are better suited for helping already successful and established companies stay successful and established.
Marketing Needs: Your needs will be based off the individual characteristics of your company and industry. For established companies, a makeover of your website and social media presence may help increase your footprint. If you’re a younger company, your marketing strategy would be largely centered around establishing your brand. If you’re an online retailer, a marketing focus on driving sales is likely a top priority. Every company’s needs are different.
Brand: Your brand allows customers to fully understand the ins and outs of your products or services, and differentiates your company from others in the industry. Basically, it determines your target audience – a marketing factor your agency must fully understand in order to do its job effectively.
Do Your Research
It’s time to start doing homework, and an online search is a good first step. Scan Google to compile a list of 8-10 attractive agencies you’d like to pursue. Make sure you’re specific, meaning don’t just search for “marketing agencies.” Instead, incorporate your needs into it. Let’s say a Pittsburgh based company is conducting a need-specific search for a local agency with an expertise in search engine optimization practices. A Google search for “Pittsburgh marketing agencies SEO specialists” will yield better results.
As we said earlier, each marketing agency is different. Usually, most agencies will specialize in some combination of these subdisciplines:
- Content Strategy/Generation
- Social Media Strategy
- Search Engine Optimization
- Graphic Design
- Web Design
- Advertising (Google Adwords, Pay-per-click)
- Paid Acquisition
- Email Marketing
- Public Relations/Crisis Management
Once you come up with a target list of different agencies, it’s time to start narrowing down your choices. An agency’s online presence (or lack thereof) can help you there. On its website, you’ll find more information about an agency’s services, staff, current or former clients, past projects, awards or accreditations and more! Remember, digital marketing is an agency’s specialty, so its ability to self-promote will tell you a lot about its capability to help you.
Interact With the Team
An in-person meeting with an agency’s team will help you know who you’ll be working with on a daily basis. Once you meet with them, you’ll form a better understanding of their personalities, capabilities, processes, strategies, workflow, and deliverables. These meetings allow you to really see how the agency works from both a creative and a business aspect.
Make sure you ask questions or express any concerns to get all the answers and assurance you need before making a final decision. And don’t forget to take notes you can review afterward!
Questions to consider:
- How do you measure success as an agency?
- Who are some of your other clients?
- What makes you different than other agencies?
- What tools, software, and digital strategies do you use?
- Do you have any creative ideas you can pitch?
- Can you explain your pricing structure?
- When can I expect to see results?
- How frequently will I be in contact with my Account Managers?
A conversation about these topics will help you gauge whether or not the agency is a good match for your business!
Talk to Cosmitto Today
We’re committed to using our diverse range of skills and expertise to help our clients achieve tangible growth. If your business is in need of digital advertising services, we’d love to meet you and discuss the possibility of working together. To learn more about what we can do for you, visit our site or contact us today!