Choosing the Right Marketing Agency for your Business
As a growing business, you know that it is vital that your marketing efforts are successful. But if you’re still trying to develop into a medium-sized business and are currently managing your own sales, you know that it can be difficult to bring on someone outside of your ranks that has your best interest at heart.
You need a marketing agency for your business, but finding the right one is like finding a needle in a haystack.
Seriously - since Covid, there are thousands of freelancer / facebook ads agencies out there.. and we mean thousands.
And at this point in your business journey, every penny counts. You must make sure that you do not waste your time, money, or efforts on a marketing agency that does not look out for your bottom line or ends up costing you money without tangible results.
Not sure where to start weeding through what is sure to be a long list of marketing agency options? To help you find the right match, we break down tips in choosing the best marketing agency for your business!
Choosing your Marketing Agency
Choosing the right marketing agency is tricky and you have a big decision ahead of you. But here are some things to keep in mind during the process.
Identify your Budget
Choosing a marketing agency comes down to your budget and how much you can afford to spend on marketing.
If you’ve weighed the pros and cons of hiring the different types of marketing teams (i.e., outside help versus hiring an in-house marketing team versus doing it yourself), then you know that outsourcing a complete sales development team is far more cost-effective when compared to hiring in-house sales development representatives. It also saves you a ton of time compared to doing all the marketing yourself!
Beyond identifying what you can afford, you’ll need to find an agency that can give you everything you need within that price range. A marketing agency designed to support small to medium-sized businesses will be able to offer scalable services and will work with you on payment options.
But beware of marketing agencies that charge rock bottom prices as their work is likely to be low quality. If the price is too good to be true, it probably is.
Consider a blended rate or branching off with isolated projects rather than fixed budgets.
Level of involvement from the marketing agency
When choosing a marketing agency, you need to determine how involved that agency will be in your day-to-day.
Look for a company that has the capacity and the capabilities for what you need. If they have only ever made sales calls and left marketing strategy to their clients, asking them to handle a sophisticated strategy may be too much for them. In this instance, you may find yourself providing a lot of support at the beginning of your relationship to get things off the ground.
But, if you like their vibe and are willing to work with them, this type of relationship might pay off. You will find that rates can be more affordable with an agency that is just starting out or just branching into new service offerings. These agencies will work hard to prove their competencies and they may even offer more creative solutions than an enterprise agency that is simply plugging you into a one-size-fits-all strategic process.
Be prepared to spend some time working with the agency to determine the best path forward. Depending on their expertise, your business goals, and what needs to be implemented, this could take as little as a week or it could be several months. If up until now, you have been managing your marketing, this transition may be easier than if you are starting from scratch as you will have a clearer understanding of your audience and the direction you hope to go.
PPC v free marketing strategies
Deciding between paid or free marketing strategies will be a major determining factor in the marketing agency you choose.
If an agency is only versed in providing free content, like blog guest posts or affiliate marketing, and you don’t believe that this will move your company forward, consider looking elsewhere. Or, if you really want to work with them, ask if they would be willing to branch out into paid strategies.
Choosing a marketing agency that is limited in their tactics may mean you will only be able to use them to reach some of your marketing goals, leaving the others up to you or a second agency.
A brief 30-second clip from our CEO Jay Miller on choosing the right agency:
Ask the Right Questions:
Before you have agreed to work with a marketing agency, you need to ask some questions that address your non-negotiables. Sometimes, these questions might seem over the top, but they are necessary to identify whether or not the business relationship will work. Obtain answers to these questions to determine if a particular agency is a right fit for you:
Do they know my industry?
This is a BIG one.
Ever hear of niching down?
It implies to work within a specific vertical or industry.
Some would even say doing a sub-niche of a niche is even more powerful.
Well, this is the same with agencies.
You want to go with an agency that focuses on your specific niche or problem. Now, this does not always mean that the agency has to work within a certain industry. This could mean they work with specific types of clients as well.
For example, there are a few agencies that will work with corporate companies who are second or third in place to try to get them to first place seating in market share (i.e. an agency that would help Pepsi steal portions of Coke’s market share.) There are agencies that only specialize in law firms, such as Kyber Digital. And then there are agencies who only specialize in plastic surgeons or e-commerce etc.
Why is this so important and why not go to somebody who is a "jack of all trades?”
Well, every single industry has its specifics. For example, with law firms, there are a lot of legal limitations as far as what you can advertise. If you have an agency advertising for you that does not know that you could actually lose your bar license if it's done inappropriately or incorrectly.
Alternatively, you could have an agency pitching the wrong types of offers because they don't know your customer base, as well as they, should. You could just be wasting ad spend because the targeting or message is not correct.
Bottom line - chose an agency that knows your industry and your customers as well as you do.
What do they charge?
Sure, it seems like a basic question, but you might be surprised how many people don’t approach a new business relationship by talking about money.
Not only do you want to know the project budgets, but you need to know about hidden costs, payment plans, timelines, and if fees differ based on the project.
Let them know that you might want to consider another marketing style than the one quoted and they can give you insight into how they charge for these changes or add-ons.
How does the marketing agency run its own business and marketing?
This is an interesting question and asking may catch them off guard. That’s exactly why it is very important to ask! If the marketing agency is not prepared to answer this question, be hesitant.
A good marketing company will love to talk about what they do, their partners, and how they became successful because they are proud of the work that they do.
Granted, this does not necessarily mean that a business that does not answer this question right is a bad company. Who knows, maybe they were simply unprepared for you to ask!
But really, you want to know how they run the marketing side of their business as well as whether or not they are a pleasant company to work with. If they are promising search engine optimization (SEO), how do they rank for marketing related keywords? Things like this are something to look out for.
What are our collective KPIs?
Key performance indicators (KPIs) can vary depending on the goals of the brand and marketing campaign, but asking a marketing company about their KPIs will give you insight into their industry knowledge and abilities.
If their KPIs are reflective of vanity metrics, such as the number of likes that a post gets on Facebook, they might not recognize the true effectiveness of their marketing efforts.
A good marketing agency will look at more complex metrics and KPIs like, the number of unique visitors, time spent on a site, traffic source numbers, bounce rates, cost per click, click-through-rates, lead quality, lead conversion rate, or customer acquisition cost (CAC). The KPIs will depend on their goals, but again, they should be knowledgeable about what the KPIs mean for each marketing goal.
Do they allow contractual cancellation? Are there fees?
Canceling a contract and ending a business relationship is a brutal reality, and it is best to ask whether or not canceling a contract is allowed before you get into one that you cannot get out of.
Ending a business relationship is sometimes painful and it might cost both businesses a good deal of money, but it is a reality in B2B relationships. Be open with the agency about your concerns. You might even want to have a lawyer look over the contract just in case.
Better yet, some advertising strategies need no contract if it's something short-lived, like a software subscription, or a month to mont social media calendar. Contracts are typically reserved for full-service campaigns.
Tips for working with your new marketing agency
Early on in this new business relationship, there may be some bumps in the road.
This is normal!
There is a ton of work involved in launching a campaign if it's to be successful.
But of course, with patience and clear communication, you can easily work these things out.
Every partnership is a relationship - the agency is going to vibe you out as a client just as much you are vibing out them.
In the beginning, make sure to nail down your brand’s current marketing goals. If you don’t know what they are, and you aren’t sure what your marketing strategy needs to look like (i.e., PPC, SEO, website design), you can let the marketing agency know and they can perform an audit of your current setup and make recommendations from there.
Don’t hesitate to share both your long-term and short-term goals with your marketing agency. They will be excited to grow alongside your business!
Choose the Right Marketing Agency for your Business
Choosing the right marketing agency for your brand and business goals might not seem hard at first, but if you want to avoid costly mistakes and failed relationships, you’ll need to do some research to identify what it is that you are looking for in a marketing agency, what you can afford, and the ways that they can help you succeed.
Choosing the right marketing agency is easy with Kyber Digital. We are a full-service marketing agency that will always have your best interest at heart. From lead generation to 360° marketing management, we will be with you every step of your journey.
Reach out to us today to receive a free consultation. We can transform your marketing campaign to effectively bring in more leads and conversion opportunities!