How to Tell if a Marketing Agency is a Good Fit for Your Organization
You’d think that marketing agencies would want any client they can get, but that’s definitely not the case. Some clients simply aren’t a good fit for an agency’s scale, budget, or the way they operate.
The same is true from the client’s side. When you’re shopping for an agency, you need to know that your company and your brand are in good hands. After all, you’re hiring an agency to solve a problem — lack of bandwidth, lack of resources, a fresh new take, or simply a new perspective on marketing efforts that aren’t working. You need to know that your new agency will solve that problem. Here’s what to look for.
Obviously, you’re looking for a marketing agency with some experience under their belt, but don’t make the mistake of thinking that more years in the industry automatically equals a better fit. There are young marketing agencies who are just as talented as the bigger players, and there are massive, decades-old agencies that have become complacent and stuck in their ways, unable to keep up with current trends.
Instead, look for an agency with experience in your specific industry or with your specific audience. Ask them about their case studies and portfolios. What kind of websites have they built? What kind of mobile optimization have they done? How have their blogs been received? Have they worked with a company that sells to your audience — teenagers, Boomers, whoever they may be — before?
Every marketing campaign has a lot of steps before it comes to fruition, but the number of those steps that you’re involved in is up to you and your agency. Here’s a rough outline of how this usually goes:
- Strategy: you discuss broad and specific company goals with your agency and they come up with ideas for how to meet them
- Content planning: with your goals in mind, the agency decides what kind of content they should put out and what topics it should cover
- Content creation: the agency’s creators write content, generate images, create social media posts, and so on
- Approval: you look over everything they’ve produced for the month and offer feedback
- Publication: all the content hits the web
- Analytics: the agency collects data on how the content is performing
- Reporting: the data comes back to you so you can make informed decisions about future strategy
At every step of the process, you can be as involved or as hands-off as you want, but you need to make sure the agency is on the same page. If you want to micromanage a particular step, make sure you’re hiring someone who will let you take the reins. On the other hand, if you want the experts to do what they do best, you need to find an agency who works well without much direction from you.
At Madison Taylor Marketing, we use Google Drive for creating and organizing files. We use Gmail and Hangouts for communication. We use Hubspot for most of our marketing and email building, and we use Adobe software for our visual graphics. Of course, other agencies use Office 360, Dropbox, OneDrive, Marketo, Procreate, or any of the thousands of other pieces of marketing software that are out there.
If you’re set in your ways on a particular suite of software, it might not make sense to work with an agency that can’t accommodate that or isn’t cross-compatible with the tools you use. Moving and translating data between apps can be extremely time-consuming, so make sure your technological ducks are in a row.
Communication is the glue that holds the whole relationship together — after all, any off the above categories can change, and you’ll need to communicate with your agency to make sure changes happen smoothly.
When you’re interviewing with agencies or asking for proposals, talk to them about their communication practices. How often will they check in with you to update you on how things are going? What form will their reporting take? Will they call you or email? If you need something quickly, how will you get in touch with them and how quickly can you expect them to respond? Different agencies have different preferred methods and practices, so you’ll want one that’s a good fit.
Talk to Madison Taylor Marketing
If you’re looking for an agile, flexible, full-service agency to produce world-class marketing strategy and execution for your brand, look no further. Madison Taylor Marketing has more than a decade of experience producing written copy, visual graphics, website design and development, and top-level strategic planning for companies of all industries and sizes. Ready to start taking your marketing seriously? Get in touch.