These questions could mean the difference between success and failure with your partnership.
ASK YOUR MARKETING AGENCY THE RIGHT QUESTIONS!
We’ve learned that many clients come into meetings with agencies without proper expectations. They rush into hiring an agency because they needed their campaign yesterday. And because they rush into it, they don’t spend enough time vetting the agency they work with.
The result? A difficult work relationship, tons of wasted time and effort, and customers left to deal with poor marketing and experience. All of this could have been easily avoided if expectations were properly set at the beginning!
Let’s avoid this. Here are five things you can ask the next time you request a pitch:
1) Are you fulfilling my requirements internally or are you outsourcing the work?
Many marketing agencies seek the help of freelancers, part-time creatives, or other agencies to fulfill their clients’ marketing campaigns. While this is an industry practice, it’s good to be aware of those boundaries. You should be familiar with what your marketing agency fulfills internally and what they outsource to other people. This will allow you to manage expectations better and hold your agency responsible for the output.
Be sure to ask your marketing agency what are their core competencies (these should almost always be fulfilled internally) and what work requires additional help.
2) Have you done previous work with a company similar to ours?
Your marketing agency will have had extensive experience working with companies of all shapes and sizes. However, you should seek to know if they have done work with companies more similar to your own. Not necessarily just industry. Consider also the number of people on your team, the available marketing resources, and how quickly decisions are made.
For example, some agencies work with a client’s internal marketing and creatives team. Others, take on that entire role entirely. Some agencies do well working in large, complex organizations. Others, prefer to work in the lean and fast environment of a startup or medium-sized business.
The more familiarity your marketing agency has with companies similar to yours, the easier any work relationship will be. Both organizations have to find the perfect fit!
3) Have you done work in our industry before?
One of the biggest challenges of any marketing agency is getting familiar with an industry. You can’t blame them! It takes years to be an expert in a certain field. Most agencies will bring in their marketing savvy while relying on you for much-needed insights about your specific industry.
It would be a huge advantage to work with an agency that has found previous success working on products or services similar to yours. Be sure to ask them for a case study and have them share some of their learnings. This can help you better gauge how well they’ve learned from their previous experiences.
Also, be sure to get confirmation that they are not currently working with direct competitors OR they do not have any current non-compete clauses in previous engagements.
4) How much was the biggest media budget you ever handled?
Running Facebook or Google ads is not for the faint of heart. It’s extremely easy to burn your financial resources if you do not know how to setup and scale paid advertising campaigns properly.
Your marketing agency should have previous experience managing media budgets similar to the one you are considering. It also matters where they have spent this budget. Facebook ad campaigns are not exactly the same as Google ad campaigns. Both require different skillsets and expertise in order to scale properly.
The agency should also demonstrate a deep understanding of data beyond the vanity metrics like followers or impressions. They should be able to explain to you how they are going to spend your media budget and where it will be allocated.
5) Have you delivered this scope of work in the past?
Last question to ask is often overlooked!
You want to work with a team that has already delivered a similar scope of work to previous clients. No two accounts are going to be exactly the same. However, you will be more confident knowing that your marketing agency has successful implemented similar projects in the past.
It’s also good to inquire about the times they delivered the scope of work but did not achieve the goals they set out to achieve. The experience will benefit you because they can help you avoid careless mistakes. When they talk about their recommendations, it would be best to listen!
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