How to Recognize a Good Marketing Agency?
Most businesses will need help when it comes to their marketing campaigns. Not everyone will have a dedicated marketing team, and even then, you’ll probably have to outsource some of the work. If you are hiring a third party to coordinate and produce your marketing campaign, you’ll need to know how to recognize a good marketing agency.
Here is how to find out if a marketing agency is a good fit for you:
1. Look at their portfolio
Obviously, everyone wants to put their best foot forward, especially in the business world, where first impressions can make or break a deal. That’s why most companies put together a portfolio of their best work. When trying to recognize a good marketing agency, the first thing you should do is ask to see their portfolio. If they are reluctant or don’t have anything at hand, you are probably dealing with a small company that is just beginning.
Once you have inspected the portfolio of a marketing agency, you will have a pretty good idea of their style and approach. If you don’t like what you see, it may be time to move on and continue your search. However, you should keep in mind that if you need something specific, you can ask them if they have done that sort of work before. Realistically speaking, no veteran marketing agency can put everything they have ever done in their portfolio.
You could also view their portfolio as a list of references of who the marketing agency has worked with before. If the portfolio features work for popular brands, that likely means the marketing agency charges more due to their established reputation.
2. They are creative
To be effective, marketing often needs to push the boundaries of what is considered the norm. Unfortunately, creativity is hard to put into words or objectively assess, so you will need to be the final judge on what you deem creative and appropriate. Some people are bursting at the seams with creativity, and you’ll definitely want people like that running your campaign.
When you first approach a marketing agency, they should instill you with confidence. It goes without saying that they should know more about marketing than you do, so hear out their sales pitch and give them an opportunity to wow you. In your initial meeting, you can have a quick brainstorming session to see if you like the ideas they are throwing out. Creative people have a way of thinking up solutions on the spot, which is instantly recognizable.
3. Ask what they can do with a small budget
More money for a marketing campaign will undoubtedly yield better results. However, you shouldn’t only be interested in results, but also if you are getting a good return on investment. Ask what kind of packages they have and how they scale their offers. You can test the water and see how you like dealing with a marketing agency by starting off with a modest budget. Closely monitor how they handle your brand and what kind of feedback they offer you. Don’t feel pressured to pay only for the largest packages. True creatives can work on large projects as well as small ones. You’ll be able to recognize a good marketing agency by the fact that they can work under financial constraints.
After your initial small-scale campaign shows you how they work, you can consider investing more into a new campaign. Most digital campaigns allow expanding the scope of the same marketing approach. To be sure, you can discuss scaling before you determine exactly how much you want to invest in marketing. With a larger budget, it will be possible for them to hire promotional staff and try different strategies.
4. Strong presence on social media
Even old-school traditional marketers have turned their focus towards social media. It’s become undeniable that social networks are the battleground where most companies fight over user attention. That battle for market dominance takes the form of featured videos and pay-per-click ads, and occurs through sponsored content and influencers who are proud to be the new ambassadors for large businesses. Social networks are where most people hang out in order to interact, not only with each other, but with brands as well. It’s easy to recognize a good marketing agency by how they engage with customers.
Top-notch marketing creatives will always seek new ways to interact with the customer base. Community managers can post conversation topics that will draw people in, and they will encourage customers to share their thoughts and leave honest opinions. Business reviews play an important role in getting feedback from customers, and more importantly, in instilling confidence in the brand. Customers will notice that you are present and care how you react to complaints and reviews. Companies who truly stand behind their products will always welcome reviews; after all – they represent another form of user engagement.
5. They are transparent and deliver results
Although you are hiring a marketing company to help you boost sales, it can often take a while to see results. You shouldn’t be quick to blame the marketing agency, but it is understandable to expect some results. Depending on the strategy they employ, you may need to wait before you see a measurable boost in sales. SEO and digital marketing start by building links and improving rankings, which leads to sales down the line.
Regardless of how long you are willing to wait, the marketing agency needs to be transparent and keep you well informed on how the campaign is doing. Ask them to share their data with you and request access to all the relevant information. For certain types of campaigns, you can also use third-party tools and compare results, like PPC advertising, for example.
The bottom line
Hopefully, you have enjoyed our article and are now informed on how to recognize a good marketing agency. Professionals will easily impress you from the first interaction. Once you have chosen a marketing agency you trust, you can let them guide you through the process of creating the perfect campaign for your brand.