Business owners always look for new and better marketing strategies to increase their business reach and profits. However, with so many marketing agencies, knowing which is right for your business can take time. The objective of this article is to help business owners understand the importance of choosing the right marketing agency and highlight the characteristics that make a great marketing agency. With this knowledge, business owners can decide which agency best suits their needs and goals.
Know your goals and desired outcomes
Choosing the right marketing agency for your business is essential for success. Knowing your goals and desired outcomes is important before starting any negotiations or working with an agency. Here’s a quick checklist to help you begin your research into choosing a marketing agency:
1) Determine your business goals and what you want to achieve with your marketing.
Be specific – do you want to increase appointments or sales, create knowledge of your offerings or establish a stronger presence in the local community?
2) Determine the budget you’re willing to invest in and the timeline for results
These should be in direct alignment with your business goals as outlined above and your expected ROI. These will of course be negotiated as the marketing agency provides you with their proposals, but having a general idea of what you’re able to do, and how long you’re able to sustain the marketing efforts will give any agency a jumping-off point. A good marketing agency will provide you with a proposal that fits your budget and generally one or two other price points to help you understand growth potential. Remember, you should always think of your marketing investment as just that – an investment. If you don’t have confidence in your return go back to the drawing board!
3) Know your strengths and weaknesses within your industry.
Are you in competition locally? Do you know of a company in your industry that currently has great advertising? What do you offer that makes your customers choose you over anyone else? Have you addressed any negative online reviews or news that may paint your business unfavorably? A great marketing agency will do competitive research and find these types of things out, but knowing in advance where your company stands will help you to build trust with potential partners and streamline your proposals.
Top characteristics that make a great marketing agency
Choosing the right marketing agency for your business is important if you want to reach your goals. Here are some fundamental characteristics that make a great marketing agency:
A well-designed website
A website is the first step in marketing your business. It must be easy to navigate, user-friendly, and visually appealing. An agency that doesn’t market itself professionally will not be able to market your company. Their website is essentially a resume for your review. If you are looking for website or SEO services, ensure all their content is well-written and relevant to you as a customer. If you are focused on SEM or outbound marketing, review how easily the advertising agency can be found online.
A strong industry reputation
A great marketing agency should have excellent social proof – meaning that clients and colleagues are singing their praises.
Research Google reviews, LinkedIn recommendations, website case studies, or ask for references from each of your potential agencies. It’s important to look for agencies with a good track record to build trust and ensure successful results in the future.
If it’s a local agency, ask around and talk to other business owners who have used their services before making your decision. Make sure all potential marketing companies have a record of success and can deliver on their promises.
Make sure you like what you see – popular agencies may not match what you are looking for. For example, ask about company culture when meeting with potential marketing agencies. Sometimes understanding how they run their business will help you make a final decision.
A sizable portfolio and list of past clients
A marketing agency with a sizable portfolio and a list of past clients indicates that they are experienced and have the skills needed to provide quality services. An experienced marketing agency should be able to offer a wide range of services – such as branding, web design, traditional advertising, etc. If they have a small list of clients and their portfolio is limited to the same services repeatedly, they may be a great partner for that service, but unable to meet your overall goals in-house. Ensure the agency offers a diverse range of marketing services so you can find the best fit for your needs.
It is also important to look for past clients in your industry. While this may not automatically include or exclude them as your potential agency, it is good to know their experience level with your customer base and how they may have handled competitors in the past.
Experienced and specialized team members
A good marketing agency should have a team of experienced professionals who can offer you a tailored solution to your business needs. They should also be experts in their field with proven skills to provide the services that help your business grow. Check out their track record before making any decisions – ask for years of experience or spend time talking with the technical team in addition to the sales team. This way, you can be confident working with an agency that has already proven its worth in the market.
Final Thoughts On Choosing a Marketing Agency
Choosing an agency can be tricky – many out there claim to have all the answers, but ultimately you have to choose the best partner for your business. To ensure you choose an experienced marketing agency with a good track record of delivering on its promises, make sure to research or ask for proof of the above traits of a great marketing agency.
We’d love to share our experience with you. If you are looking for a new agency, please give us a call at (309) 316-7011 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.