When it comes to your business, you need marketing and communication that reflects your business goals and what your company stands for. And a like-minded agency is the perfect tool to help you get there. From doing market research to creating beautiful pieces that showcase the personality of your company, working with an agency can help you get the right messages to the right people at the right moment in time.
Here are five important questions to ask when you’re on the hunt for the perfect agency for your business.
What kind of agency is it?
You’re the expert in your business. And in order to reach your goals, you need an agency that aligns the work with what you want to achieve. If you haven’t already, do some research into the different kinds of agencies out there. A full-service agency offers a roster of services across multiple disciplines to produce work that may appear in mass media, online, on social media, as an event, or even as an experience or real life product or service. Consider the research you’ve done on your target audience—are online communications enough to connect with them, or do you need/want broader tactics? If you’re not sure about who you want to reach or where they get their information, your agency should be able to help you answer that question.
Here are a few of your options for agencies today:
- Full service agency: These are typically larger agencies that deal in many different categories, from strategy and research to design, media buying and communications. Many full service agencies today also include digital/interactive services.
- Interactive/digital agency: These agencies specialize in online communication and tactics to interact with audiences on the internet.
- Branding agency: Branding agencies focus on creating a brand image and personality for your company, including logo and name creation.
- Media planning and buying agency: These are agencies that create a media promotional strategy informed by research, buying, planning and strategizing the media where your messages will be displayed. Media agencies typically do not include creative services and therefore do not do any design work.
- Public relations agency: This is an agency responsible for media, government, stakeholder and investor relations and can help you promote your company through events and media interactions.
- Graphic design agency: Graphic design firms focus almost exclusively on producing the creative pieces you promote. This can include web-based or traditional work.
Who will manage my account and create the work?
You wouldn’t let someone you don’t trust manage your business, so why should your marketing be any different? Get to know the people who will be helping you strategize, create and execute your marketing and communications projects. Some agencies use in-house teams, while others might shop the work out to freelancers and remote employees. Every agency does things a little bit differently, and you need individuals who are on the same page as you.
What’s the agency’s process for client communication and collaboration?
How you communicate with your agency is a big part of building a strong relationship with them. Balancing budget and hours between account, strategy and creative work will help you to have a responsive and positive relationship with everyone working on your account.
Agencies with established processes to manage client communication, collaboration, project management, reporting and billing have much more successful relationships with their clients. It’s important to understand how often your agency will be updating you on a project’s status, and what communication with them looks like on a daily, weekly and monthly basis.
How does your agency attract and retain talent?
It takes an army to create a marketing campaign. Or at least an experienced group of smart, skilled and hard-working people who want your business to succeed. Find out how an agency gets their talent in the door and what they do to keep them there. Good agencies with positive, supportive cultures attract the best people and put in an effort to make sure they have everything they need to create their best work. If the agency has a high turnover rate, there’s usually a reason for it. Read between the lines and choose a company that values their own people as much as they value your business.
How does your agency measure long term success?
Once the work is done and unleashed into the world, it’s time to evaluate its effectiveness and what it means for your business in the future.
Agencies measure success differently based on the work they do and who it’s being done for. Ask about how they define success for their clients. This will help keep you on the same page when it comes to what success looks like for both of you in the long run.
Call in the experts
Now that you’ve got your feet wet, it’s time to get down to business. Get in touch with us today to learn about our network of different resources and industries. We can connect you with the right people to help you build your business and achieve your marketing and sales goals.