Hiring a digital marketing and branding agency to work alongside your business can feel like a daunting task. There are so many agencies to choose from and partnering with one can be a considerable investment of your time and money. It’s important to select the right agency in order to set your company up for future success.
What to Look for When Hiring a Digital Marketing and Branding Agency
1. Do they have the experience you're looking for?
The best place to start when looking for a marketing and branding agency is to search for a company that excels at the type of work you require. Although many marketing firms, for example, will tout that they do ‘all things marketing’, it is difficult for any agency, even larger ones, to be true experts at every service. Honest firms will state their areas of expertise, and will be comfortable sharing where they are able to offer the most value.
But don’t stop there—ask for examples of the work they have completed in your areas of interest. Many companies will have portfolio pieces or case studies on their website, and will also have additional information available upon request. This may include details on past campaigns, ROI statistics, and additional performance metrics.
Remember that the agency’s own brand and marketing are some of their largest assets. If you are shopping for a new brand identity, start with looking at a potential agency’s branding. If you are looking for a social media agency, evaluate their social presence. The areas of service you are looking for should be done particularly well by, and for, the agency itself.
2. Can you get a sense of the agency’s process?
Once you have an idea of the services your company would like to invest in, it’s important to ask potential agencies about their approach for your type of project. Look for cues that will inform you of how collaborative an agency’s process typically is.
A great way to source more information on this is to ask about similar projects they have completed in the past. Is the agency you’re evaluating able to speak to these similar projects? How involved was the company that hired them? Are any parts of the process adaptable upon request? These types of questions will provide you with the knowledge to decide if the agency’s method aligns well with yours.
3. How enthusiastic is the agency about working with you?
It’s far more enjoyable to work with enthusiastic individuals and teams. Not only do they make the process more fun, but they also seem to put more effort, energy, and excitement into the work they do. The company you’re hiring should be enthusiastic and have a confident and energetic attitude about taking on the project. If the agency seems more interested in the money you’re paying than the project itself, take your business elsewhere.
Keep in mind that the agency you hire becomes an extended part of your team. Enthusiasm for the project should be on par with that of your team. Any passion on the agency’s end will likely translate into better results because they love what they do and want to see your business succeed.
4. Are they familiar with your industry?
Companies often want to hire agencies that have previously worked with their particular industry. This fundamental knowledge base can save a lot of time and money in educating the agency on your company’s industry and associated factors such as industry trends and buyer behaviour. It also allows an agency to execute ideas that they have seen work well for others in the industry.
However, bringing an agency on board that has no prior industry experience can also be beneficial for your company. This can allow for new ideas, fresh perspectives, and a creative flair that may not be commonly seen in your industry.
Something to keep in mind is that the onboarding phase may be more labour intensive and a bit more costly when the firm needs to do additional research to learn about your industry. It is good to be aware of both the pros and cons with industry familiarity and understand this will impact your project.
5. How is the quality of your relationship with the agency?
At the end of the day, the relationship with your chosen agency should be a positive one. Although you will need to navigate through occasional challenges, the time spent with the agency’s team should ultimately be enjoyable.
If during the selection process, you find yourself in the enviable position of having multiple qualified agencies to choose from, pick the one that you jive with and look forward to communicating with the most. Remember that questions should go both ways, so don’t be surprised when the agency is inquisitive and asks questions to evaluate your company. Agencies should also be particular, and only partner with companies they are confident they will deliver value to.
Additionally, ensure that you’re clear on who specifically from the agency will be managing your project as it progresses. Often the person who you are speaking to during the buying stage of your relationship will not necessarily be your point of contact for the project moving forward.
Ultimately, there should be a positive chemistry between the agency and your company’s stakeholders. Before you sign a contract, get to know the agency’s principals and other players. If something doesn’t feel right, trust your gut – and move on.
Hiring a marketing and branding agency is an important step towards growing your business, improving client retention, and ensuring your brand and marketing activities accurately reflect the services or goods being sold. Choosing the right firm to partner with is an important process to invest time into. Make sure to interview a number of different agencies and to focus on more than just cost, as various aspects will determine the success of the project you undertake together.
Keeping all of this in mind will help you hire the best digital marketing and branding agency for your company. Please reach out to us at Red Rocket Creative Strategies if you’re ready to learn more on how we approach branding and digital marketing projects for our clients!