If you have decided to work with an agency to handle your marketing and communication needs, you need to make sure their approach is in line with your needs as a business. Here are 8 questions to ask your agency before signing a contract with them.
- Do they have the skills to do the work you need done?
Before starting a relationship with an agency, you need to make sure that they offer services that fulfill your marketing needs or if they have to outsource any of the work. It’s good for you to know that you have an agency that has experience and success doing the kind of work you need.
- Who will be working on and managing your account?
Sometimes, if an agency is larger they will delegate a lot of the work to junior consultants or interns so they can have larger profit margins. Don’t be afraid to confirm who will be working on your account and managing the day to day execution.
- Do they have case studies/a track record?
Be wary of an agency that either avoids or refuses to provide case studies and examples of their work.
- Do they practice what they preach?
If an agency is trying to sell you on a strategy that you “absolutely must be doing” then check up on them to make sure they are also doing it well for their own business. If they make lofty promises about your social media accounts but they haven’t posted in the last 6 months, then perhaps they aren’t for you.
- What is the communication/connection process? How often will you talk?
You need to be comfortable with this process, whether it’s a weekly or monthly meeting or phone call, a monthly written report, etc. You also need to know that your agency will be available if you need them (within reason!). If you have to wait for 2 days to hear back from them to answer a question, it can get frustrating.
- How long will it take to see results?
Be wary of agencies that overpromise results – they normally under deliver. It takes time to see successful results where you marketing strategy is concerned – it could be 3 – 6 months, but some projects can take up to a year before you see significant results. Clarify this before you get started so you can adjust your expectations.
- How do they measure success?
Certain tactics are harder to measure (in terms of data) than others, but if you talk to your agency you should be able to come up with a way to determine whether the strategy is successful. Otherwise, you won’t know if you are successful or not!
- How are they different from other agencies?
There are a lot of agencies out there offering a variety of services. Your agency should be able to tell you why you should pick them instead of another agency. This will speak to the character fit between you and the agency.
Candace Huntly is the Founder and Principal at SongBird Marketing Communications, an award-winning agency working to take organizational and individual brands to the next level. With a passion for all things related to creativity and strategy, she specializes in business intelligence, marketing & branding, content strategy & development, media & influencer relations, and social media. Basically, if you need to put your brand, product, or cause in the public eye, she will find a way to do it, while making the approach unique to you.
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