What to look for in a digital marketing agency?

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When you are running on limited business-budget and time, it is hard to evaluate plenty of digital marketing agencies and then pick the right one. To make the process a teeny-tiny bit easier, we have put in some important pointers for you.

We compiled this list from our first-hand experience with what our own clients expect from us when they sign up with us.

1) Are they credible?

Every agency out there is going to over-commit and over promise to get a deal with you. Don’t go by smooth talk. There are agencies which even hire “speakers” to impress you, beware. Look for references or samples of their previous work. An agency that is credible will always have a pile of past accomplishments on record.

Ask for samples of work they’ve previously done for a company of your size or opted for a same/similar digital marketing plan as you. Comb through to compare how companies of different sizes are treated, look for reviews. Make sure your signing up for a fair deal.

If they are just starting up and have no client samples to show, then you might as well ask them to do a few samples for you before signing them up.

2) Do they have a great team in place?

This can be tricky but is vital. Some agencies have a few good marketers and an army of rookies. The seniors handle the best clients and the freshers handle the rest. So the ‘I’m not the best’ clients will receive little attention and average resources from the agency.

You could even ask to talk the person who’ll be handling your account even before you sign them up.

3) What is the quality of work they promise?

Good Digital marketing is going to cost you. Be fair about it.  Establish what your minimum required standards. Quality is subjective, define it. Tell them how you measure quality – number of iterations, the number of WOWs from your team, number of leads generated, etc. See if you are able to agree on them.

A good marketing agency will be able to implement proven strategies to grow your business. They may follow a model similar to the traditional marketing funnel strategy:-

4) What are their strengths and area of expertise?

Most agencies will claim to be a “jack of all trades” while they specialize in one or more categories. An agency may specialize in a specific type marketing or with certain type of business. Find out their core strengths or USPs. Find out if their areas of expertise will cover the needs and demands your team has.

5) Do they care about the security of customer data?

“Cyber crime is the greatest threat to every company in the world”- Ginni Rometty, CEO of IBM.

Data and information have become the pillars of our businesses. If you are going to let an agency meddle with data – website, analytics, customer information etc, you need to be sure that they know how to protect it with their life. Ask for what security measures and policies they have in place. A good agency will do more than just a password change for your online security.

6)Are they all caught up with trends?

 

Marketing is a rapidly evolving world. There are fads, trends and megatrends that come and go so often – If your agency agency is not keeping up with them, your business will miss out on a lot. A good agency will be hyper-aware of the the market and proactive. If your agency offers ‘2012 solutions’ to ‘2018 needs’, then you will spend the rest of your marketing-life, trying to catch up.

7) Are they great people to work with? – Culture and values

The working culture of the agency is a key element to consider. We all have had a house owner or a shopkeeper with a bad attitude that left us with irritated experiences. Choose an agency that you like working with. One which has people that you find pleasant. If you don’t something about their culture of values bother you,  ignore that option even if everything else is in place.

 

8)What does your research say about them?

If they are worth your money, they are worth your time – so spend time researching them. Don’t be too busy for it. Visit their website.  Drop in to their office office, if they are from the same city as you. Read or at least skim through their blogs. Run through the activity on their social media pages. Read what customers say about them.

Go one step further and ask them if you can talk to one of their happy clients.

 

A little extra effort and good research will save you a lot of trauma which you would other have to go through while working with an agency. Look for a partnership, not just someone to provide you services. Find people that put a piece of their heart into everything they do. People that are sincere, smart, and passionate about you do.

Happy marketing!

 

We’ll meet you with more shortly. 🙂