5 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Marketing Agency

Choosing the right marketing agency for your organization is as personal as online dating. Unfortunately, the vetting process doesn’t come with a detailed bio or a swipe right option! And choosing the wrong agency could mean thousands of dollars and time wasted on an agency that doesn’t have the enterprise or passion to fulfill your specific needs.  Before you hire a marketing agency for your next branding project, be sure to ask them these five questions.

WHAT DO YOU SPECIALIZE IN?

While every marketing agency appears to “do it all” they often are really only experts at one or two services like branding, digital marketing or web design.  Be weary of an agency that claims to do it all. Smaller agencies often don’t have the expertise to provide support in all of these areas. Before you engage with the agency, find out what area of expertise they focus on and if they have the time and resources to focus on your organization’s unique and individual needs.

WHAT KIND OF CLIENTS DO YOU WORK WITH?

While sometimes working with agency that doesn’t work in your industry vertical can provide a new perspective, it is highly valuable to hire an agency that does. Does the agency work with products or B2B? Do they understand the nuances of successfully completing a public branding project working with multiple stakeholders, or are they used to working with only one decision maker? Knowing your potential agency’s strengths and experience will benefit you in the long run. It’s likely that if they have worked with organizations similar to yours, they already have experience overcoming marketing-related obstacles, in other words – no need to reinvent the wheel.

HOW DO YOU MEASURE SUCCESS?

Quality marketing is an investment, and being able to report your return on investment is crucial. At HAVEN, we set specific measurable goals with our clients at the kick off meeting to gain alignment and measure the success of a rebrand, or any project for that matter. Finding measurable results for a creative project can be challenging, which is why we include you, our client, in the goal-setting process.

 

WHO WILL I BE WORKING WITH?

We are living in a world full of apps and internet-based companies that can provide services from anywhere in the world. The fast-food approach to marketing may provide a cheaper, quicker product, but likely lacks high-level vision and customer service. Before hiring an agency, be sure to ask whom you will be working with and what will the project management experience be like. Your organization will benefit from being able to sit down with a dedicated marketing team to discuss your goals and to provide a marketing strategy. Don’t get us wrong, for some projects, we need the extra muscle and will bring in strategic partners if we don’t have that specific expertise, but the majority of our work is done in house. Each of our clients is assigned a Maven point of contact, whom they can call anytime if they have a question. We are all about making Mavens of our peers and partners and this is something that requires time and individual attention.

CAN YOU TELL ME ABOUT YOUR COMPANY CULTURE?

This is not a typical question to ask, but it is one that can yield interesting results. By asking about their company culture you can find out how an agency manages projects, what they are passionate about and how they treat their customers. Are you looking for fun and fresh? Do you like to laugh? Perhaps you’re more into aggressive and direct…we’re wishing we had that swipe left function again!  It isn’t imperative that your company cultures are exactly the same, but they should complement one another. Your potential marketing agency should offer something your organization is lacking; maybe it’s creativity or writing skills. It could be graphic design or web building know how. You need to feel heard and understood and at the end of the day, it doesn’t hurt if you actually like each other.

We have a saying at the HAVEN, we aren’t for everybody and everybody isn’t for us. If you like to laugh and want a holistic approach to connect the dots between marketing, sales and customer service, book a meeting with a Maven.

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