We get it. Entrusting your business to a marketing agency can be scary. You’re probably asking yourself tons of questions—how can I know this agency will represent my business well? Will this agency be able to work collaboratively with myself and my team? At Rosenberg Advertising, we have over thirty-five years of experience working with as many types of clients as you can imagine, so we’re here to guide you on how to select the right marketing agency for you and your business!
To start, research marketing firms in your geographic area and/or by the industry/cultural expertise the firm can provide. Asking business friends and colleagues for names is always a great start. Many times these referrals carry a wealth of personal knowledge and are very effective. And by all means, Google! Look for the feel and expertise of the agency throughout their website. Does their work impress you? Does their culture appeal to you? Ultimately, marketing is a customized extension of your business, but by looking at an agency’s website you can generally get a good feel for who will be capable of crafting your own custom solution.
Get to know them
Conduct face-to-face meetings once you’ve narrowed down your list of potentials to a small pool of agencies. Once you’ve determined a list of agencies as possible fits for your business, by all means set up an in-person meeting. When possible, set up the meeting with the principal of the agency and then with key members of the agency’s team.
Ask the all-too-important money question early on. As with any business, an agency needs to make a profit, but look to see how flexible they are in pricing options. Do they have a track record of working for clients with not only large budgets, but those with more modest budgets? Look for a marketing partner that truly wants to have a win/win relationship.
Find your perfect fit
The goal of your face-to-face meeting is ultimately to decide whether or not you and your team “clicked” with the agency. A good agency/client relationship is very much a partnership; you need to feel that the agency “gets you.” Many times it is a feeling that your company culture and the agency’s culture seem very similar. It’s easy to find agencies that are more than capable of producing good work, but go past that. Look for the agency that you can see your company working with for the long haul and enjoying your experience with.
Ask yourself — will it be a pleasure to work with this agency? Marketing should be creative and open-minded. The best relationships are fostered by having the client/agency dynamic based on trust, understanding, and compatibility.
Make sure you’ve found a long-term partner
Go in with the mindset that you’re hiring an agency for the long-term, not just to fulfill your short-term obstacles. In our experience, the best client/marketing agency relationships tend to be long-term. Relationships are built on trust, and when a client can understand (and they MUST) how an agency works through business problems in order to provide effective solutions, the partnership will be a strong one that will benefit both of you.