Top 12 questions to ask before choosing a Digital Marketing Agency
The market is flooded with all sorts of digital marketers and has similar offerings. So it can be a little tricky to decide which agency you think best aligns with your business’ goals and values. It would help if you asked the right questions to able to extract the correct answers.
For a small business owner, the online world can be scary and volatile to venture into the digital marketing world. There’s are so much commotion and babble in the digital space. You get the “Gurus” and “experts” telling you what to. We’ve broken it down to simple questions that you can take with you to quiz them on. Let’s dive in!
1. Can you tell me about your industry experience?
Agency experience will give you insight about their previous challenges, growth and market presence. Experience and proven examples of success is everything.
2. What type of industries have you worked with? and can you give examples of successful campaigns?
Learn what type of industries they’ve worked with, the results they’ve achieved and ask yourself if it aligns with your industry and goals.
Query the Agency’s success within their organisation. It may sound like you’re prying. Still, successful agencies would have no problem in answering this question; they would most likely be boastful of their achievements. This is good as it displays their initiative and ambition to succeed in the industry and continue to grow and refine their business which in turn would work in your business’ favour.
3. How will you and your team communicate with me during the entire process?
The last thing you want is s delayed or an unclear communication line between you and your account manager/designer. This could make or break your campaign. Some questions you can ask are:
- How do you communicate with your clients?
- How long does it typically take for you to respond?
- Do you feel like you have good communication with your current clients?
4. Can you show me what some of your clients have to say about your business?
Make sure you hear what others have to say about the organisation. Anything an agency will tell you will only be biased, however, not necessarily wrong. After you meet with the organisation, check out their reviews on an external platform like Google My Business or Yelp.
5. How would you describe your personality, likability and culture?
Ask yourself what you want from this relationship? Everyone wants, and need varies from person to person or business to business. Choosing an agency that aligns with your personality and availability is fun to work with. Marketing is supposed to be fun for business owners as it’s supposed to be exciting and open new doors for the business. This is why being on the same wavelength is essential.
6. What other services do you offer?
You may have heard about the organisation from a friend saying something like “Hey these guys are great at Google Ads, give them a call!” most of the time it’s not all they have to offer, many agencies have a suite of products to choose, give or take a few. It’s good to know how some of their other services could benefit your business.
An agency with a more extensive suite of products also is a sign of diversified expertise and experience. They wouldn’t offer it if they didn’t think it would some value to their new or existing customers. So ask them about their services and request examples of previous works and how they proved to be useful for that client’s campaign.
7. Do you operate in-house or do you outsource?
The first thing that comes to mind when you mention outsourcing is saving money. Some agencies may struggle with job capacity, knowledge or expertise to deliver on certain services so they may sometimes result to outsourcing their services to other agencies, a freelancer or outsourcing to India and countries alike to save a dime. Let define the two…
A marketing agency with in-house employees
involves employees who work within the organisation who are permanent or hired by contract.
A marketing agency that outsources jobs to third parties is when an agency outsources jobs to external parties, e.g. hiring an offshore web developer to build your website.
Agencies usually do this to gain more value for money, and it’s a cheaper alternative but not always the most effective one, it could problematic in many ways.
It may be a good reason to examine or query, as it may affect your:
- Delivery Times
- Design outcomes
- The understanding of your demographic/market
- Campaign Results
- Your brand and image
8. How do you report and track throughout the campaign?
An agency should also provide you with insight into how they’re going to be tracking your campaign. Transparency here is critical because you are entrusting a third party to manage your money and marketing budget the best way they see fit.
For example, at AiiMS we offer our client with a reporting aggregator tool that gives them a birdseye view dashboard of their overall campaigns like paid search, email campaigns, social media with KPI’s and other metrics
What kind of reporting tools will you expect?
Other things you should take into consideration or ask:
9. Are they willing to meet you regularly for catch-ups and updates?
10. Do they set honest and realistic expectations?
11. What are their contract terms like? Is it a lock-in contract or month-to-month?
12. Are they ROI orientated?
What you need to ask yourself
Price VS Quality
Cheap isn’t necessarily good. You want to hire an agency to generate new revenue for your business and open up new channels. If you decide to go cheap this might hurt you or your business due to the lack of quality delivered.
The agency’s understanding in more than just digital marketing
Choosing an agency that’s worked with similar industries as your is a huge bonus. This gives them an edge in understanding the market and its mechanics. For example, if you’re a tradie Electrician working throughout Sydney looking to set up an AdWords campaign, it would be ideal if they’ve worked with other electricians or a similar trade who service those areas too. This will give you an automatic advantage of starting off strong because they’ve trialled and optimised previous campaigns to eventually deliver high performing results.
Another reason is that they need to understand the operations of your business to be able to deliver optimum results this is where call tracking and lead management comes into play. The right agency will be able to educate along the way of not only how to receive an influx of leads but how to manage these leads and turn it into real revenue.
Are they just trying to sell or giving you genuine advice and education?
It can get frustrating when an agency’s proposal sounds incredibly salesy and generic. Each and every customer needs to be treated differently depending on their goals, budget, KPI’s etc. so every customer needs tailored advice and a tailored solution.
Another thing is EDUCATION! finding an agency that nurtures the relationship by keeping you in the loop with industry advice and trends is a good one. You don’t want to be just another ticket number that’s forgotten when the job is done.
Do they set honest and realistic expectations?
Sometimes candour is the best policy, you might have unachievable targets you’s like to achieve within a specific timeframe. So, if an agency is being honest with you about what you could ‘realistically’ achieve instead of what you ‘want’ to hear, this means that they CARE and don’t want to rip you off.
Book a free 1 on 1 strategy session with AiiMS! contact us on 1300 397 603 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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