Finding people who genuinely care about growing your business and whose values align with everything your business stands for should be at the top of your checklist when it comes to choosing an agency to work with.
These days, more and more businesses are choosing to outsource their marketing services to agencies rather than hire a team in-house. That’s because hiring a full-time team of marketing experts is expensive. And it does take a whole team to strategise, create, set up and optimise digital marketing campaigns. There are so many skills required in the process, it’s no one-man job.
So you’ve decided to bring on a digital marketing agency to support business growth which is an excellent choice if we dare say so ourselves. But here’s where things can get tricky and where business owners tend to make mistakes. Finding people who genuinely care about growing your business and whose values align with everything your business stands for should be at the top of your checklist when it comes to choosing an agency to work with. And while that all sounds well and good, the reality is business owners need to feel confident that hiring an agency is going to be profitable, otherwise what’s the point? Which is why they tend to make the final decision based on the forecasted results.
We’re not saying you shouldn’t ask each agency what results they think they can get for your business and take this into serious consideration. It’s just not the only thing you should consider and you should always be wary of extravagant claims and promises.
If it’s all sounding a bit daunting don’t worry, we’ve created a guide for what you should be taking into account before signing with an agency.
Your values don’t need to be exactly the same of course but ideally, they’ll be pretty similar. Say you’re a sustainable brand with a real focus on doing right by the planet, you’d want your marketing agency to feel the same. Not just because it aligns with your business ethics but because they’ll care a lot more about your brand, they’ll also be better at writing for your brand and nailing audience targeting (because they already understand your audience).
If you’ve worked with digital marketing agencies before, you might have recognised that different skill sets are more weighted than others in different teams. For example, one agency might value the analytical side of marketing a lot more than they do the creative side and so their team will mostly be made up of numbers people. Whereas other agencies prioritise creative exploration so their team will have more weird and wonderful thinkers and creators on board.
There’s no right or wrong, it simply depends on what’s best for your business. However, we do suggest finding a team that’s well-balanced across the board so that no aspect of your marketing campaigns are overlooked.
What does a well-balanced team look like? Media buyers, strategists, copywriters, designers and SEO experts make up a nicely rounded agency.
Some digital marketing agencies will specialise in one or two aspects of digital marketing. When you have a small or medium sized business, you’ll want to veer away from working with agencies that won’t manage all your marketing because it means you have to hire multiple agencies for each different aspect. Not only is that expensive but your messaging is more likely to become confused and inconsistent.
Make sure your digital marketing agency offers all of these services:
If you’re asking us, this is the most important point to check off before choosing which digital marketing agency to work with. The problem is, it isn’t always clear whether people are honest from the get go so all we can say is, trust your gut.
Honesty and integrity are so important because your business is at stake. You need to be able to trust that your agency is showing you accurate marketing results, talking you through exactly where your money is going and coming to you when things have taken a turn for the worst.
There’s been more than a few horror stories about agencies who’ve hidden bad results from clients and lost them a heap of cash.
When you meet with an agency, they’ll want to look over your existing marketing campaign to see what results you’ve been getting and how they can improve on them. When they come back to you for a second meeting, ask them what results they predict with X budget.
Of course, you’d love for them to say they’ll triple your revenue in the first month but here’s why that’s a bad sign and you should steer clear. The last thing you want is an agency that overpromises, only to leave you disappointed. So while you want them to say they can improve on your current results, if what they’re predicting is too good to be true, it probably is.
This also plays into the honesty and integrity side of things too. If they promise you the world, they’re likely just trying to sell you. Don’t fall for any of that schmoozing sales talk, you’re better than that.
If you want to learn how McKee Creative ticks all these boxes (and more) get in touch with Jo McKee here.