It’s no secret that many businesses and companies are struggling to make the conversion when it comes to catching up to the modern state of marketing. Recent surveys and studies conducted all point to the same conclusion: Many companies are not only lost, but sticking to their guns in terms of choosing not to adapt by offering more capabilities within their services. In turn, many customers get the bad end of deals because they themselves aren’t privy to the strategies necessary for them to succeed, and are firing on the first agency that offers them a good deal and seems to know what they’re doing.
Marketers in this day and age are looking for any kind of edge that they can find when it comes to their business, and that doesn’t include businesses who are unwilling to adapt and do research on new techniques that will make their services better. The best way to evaluate an agency to find out the best service starts from the inside, by questioning employees who work for various agencies. Here are 8 important qualities in a marketing agency that you would find from such research.
1. Trust and Credibility
One of the greatest assets in judging a marketing agency is being able to test that them in the very same market in which they operate. There is no greater flaw which will turn customers away than the truth that they are failing in the very thing they are trying to promote. Marketing agencies have to walk their talk, and anybody can get a good idea from that online. Take a good look at a company. Do they have a large online media presence? How is their own inbound marketing doing to get them business? If you can’t seem to find them online, how good of a job are they going to do in marketing your business?
Being able to trust a company will also come from the references, as with any good company. Work to find people who have benefited from their services in the past and if they came away satisfied. Chances are if they did a good job for someone else they’ll do the same for you.
If you can’t envision the prospective marketing agency having a great camaraderie with your team, then maybe they’re not the right choice for you. Question the agency on whether they’ll be able to work well with the product and the group of people you have. Even more important is having a marketing agency that’s experienced in the same industry as you. There’s no worse feeling than having an agency with a proven track record that can’t produce results because of unfamiliarity with your line of work. Do your research to find a company that has a great rapport in your particular field.
3. Pricing and Value
There’s no set rule for determining how much you need to pay for a marketing agency’s services, but a general rule of thumb is that you should walk away satisfied. This falls in line with doing your research on an agency, because you want to make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck. Don’t overpay, but also don’t be afraid to spend money if you see serious value in their work.
4. Well-Rounded Marketing Tactics
It’s very important that the prospective agency proves to you they have some real depth. If it’s not apparent that they know and are willing to provide more services than just articles, social media, and advertisements, then it’s probably a good idea to head in a different direction.
Inbound marketing should always be an important part of any marketing plan. The fervor with which an agency is willing to appeal to your customers at any stage within the buying sequence is key. Marketing which doesn’t pay attention to specifics, like details of a customer or the stage they’re in is sure to fail.
Here’s a general sequence for prospective customers: Guests become intrigued and piqued through attractions, which leads to conversions from simple visitors to concrete leads, which are closed as customers. Satisfied customers will naturally transform to promoters of your business. You should work to find an agency that’s willing to work with you through every stage of this sequence.
5. Efficiency & Efficacy
The productiveness of a marketing agency will undoubtedly be linked to the technology, software, and resources they have access to. You don’t want to be in business with an agency that seems out of touch or is using all their income to reach modern technology status. Do your homework to make sure that the agency is up to date with current techniques and software that will help you stay at the forefront of your field.
A marketing agency with good communication efforts is one of the most important qualities to look for. It’s understandable that each agency doesn’t have a direct bead on every aspect of your industry, and they may struggle to provide exactly what you’re looking for. But being unable to communicate the problems they’re having or struggling to even communicate at all is a much greater flaw. Get a feel for how they communicate early on in the relationship; it may save you from a lot of headache later on.
7. Education & Training
The agency you hire should be at the top of the market when it comes to education and knowing how to operate marketing methods and techniques. You should get a sense of this when collaborating with the agency. Always be wary of agencies that seem to be on par with the knowledge you have in the marketing arena, or maybe even less. You want to feel like they are way ahead of you, and can not only divulge the secrets and strategies they have to your team but help train your team in implementing them.
8. Accountability and Measurement
Most CEO’s of companies and high level officials believe marketers don’t vibe with the general business disciplines, and therefore don’t see much value in investing in methods that can’t be held accountable. Marketing agencies are notorious for knowing how to propose for more funds, but not always for bringing in great results.
Make sure the agency you work with has not only a proven plan, but a proposal that demonstrates how they can bring more business to your company. If they aren’t in tune with the objectives of your company, how can you effectively measure them to see if they’ve produced?
Bringing together the agency with the goals of your company will keep them accountable to provide the services you need.
By Candy Lowe