5 things to consider when choosing a marketing agency

Faye Collings . Sep 14, 2020 . 5 minutes read
Things 5 blog

Choosing a marketing agency can be a minefield, at first glance it can seem like they all have silly names, offices with slides* with staff who wear flip flops to work. Now whilst we are partial to a flip flop, here at Statuo - we do like to think we do things differently.  

Our team is made up of a bunch of talented individuals who excel in their own areas of expertise, We are a fully integrated agency, with Designers, Developers, Marketers, Media Executives, SEO’s, Strategists and Copywriters. Being a tight knit team allows us to work closely on all of our projects - with each of us adding value from our own areas of expertise to develop detailed multi-channel marketing strategies.

We’ve put together a list of what you should be on the lookout for when choosing a new agency, and warning signs that they may not be the agency for you.

Team size & Culture

It’s always good to know how big the agency you are working with really is. Will you be a small fish in a big pond, or a big fish in a small pond? If you’re a small start up, a huge global agency might not be able to give you the support you need. On the other hand, if you’re a huge company - a small agency might not have the capacity to support you in the way you require. It's always beneficial to meet with the agencies you’re looking at to see if the team size and the company culture aligns with yours, that way everyone's expectations are managed from the outset. Don’t be afraid to ask the question on where you will sit in the hierarchy of their client roster - will you be one of their biggest clients? or one of their smallest? This should help you to understand the level of management you will receive.

Budgets

This is always a sticking point when it comes to agencies. Clients often say they don’t have a budget, and then when they receive a quote - say that it’s too high. If you have a number in mind, it's better for everyone involved that you’re honest from the outset. Agencies don’t want to try and con you out of every penny you have, they want to know how they can best get you a return on your investment, and without a clear idea on what you want to spend, it's pretty much a stab in the dark.

The analogy we often use is; When you walk into a car showroom, 9 times out of 10 you know what you want to spend, and you know that you want leather seats, bluetooth speakers and a big boot. If you don’t tell the salesman that you have a set budget, he could easily assume that you wanted the biggest, best and shiniest car in the showroom which has everything you want and more.

Agencies can and do work with many different budgets, but what you get for those budgets varies. Our work is based on time - A small marketing campaign for a select few products will take less time (and therefore cost less) than a national campaign that includes above and below the line marketing channels. It's always good to have your budget in mind, and share that with your agency. That way, they can try and work on a strategy that will have the most impact for your money.

Experience

It’s essential that you take a look at your agency's experience - have they previously done the type of work you’re wanting them to do? There's no point approaching an agency just because they did a great TV ad if you’re looking for someone to run your PPC campaign. Make sure that the agencies you are looking at are skilled in the services you want.

Here at Statuo, we’re an integrated agency - but that doesn’t mean we accept every single job that comes our way. Sometimes we get enquiries for projects we don’t think fall within our skill set, and when that’s the case - we explain that to the client and we point them in the direction of an agency who can help. That brings me onto another point, agencies can, and do, work well together. If it suits your business to do so, it can help to select one or 2 agencies whose expertise compliment each other.

Finally, it's always good to hear from their other clients - ask for references!

Access & Honesty

When you hire an agency to manage your marketing, that also means giving access to your channels advertising accounts (facebook, analytics, AdWords and bing) this requires a level of trust, and is something we know can sometimes feel uncomfortable. We always allow our clients full access to their own accounts, and have a full view of everything we are working on.

We would always recommend working with an agency that gives this level of access & transparency, as it shows how confident the agency that you are working with are in the performance they are producing, they should also be able to not only give you positive metrics but the negative metrics & how they are going to improve these, as there are always improvement to be made & you don't know where you are going, unless you know where you have come from.

Strategy

We might be a digital agency but we still see the value in putting pen to paper. Developing a tailored multi-channel marketing strategy which is specific to a company and its industry is something we pride ourselves on at Statuo. Sometimes a client will come to us and tell us they want to run a PPC campaign, we sit down and we analyse the market, the industry and if we don’t think that it’s the right channel for them - we tell them, even if that means losing the enquiry.

We’re honest, and we won’t spend your money unless we think we can get you a return. We pride ourselves on being good at what we do, and if we don’t think something is going to work - we will make that clear. Nobody (including us) wants to play on a losing team. Our client retention rate is extremely high, and we fully believe that is because we are completely honest at all times.

When choosing an agency, make sure that they are adding value by sharing their knowledge with you on what works best for your business, and your budget - not simply just doing what you ask. You are paying for their expertise and if they're willing to take your money without questioning whether that's where it's best placed, that should start to raise some red flags.

We hope these tips help, and if you’d like to chat about whether or not we are the right fit for you - please do get in touch.

*PS. We’re still trying to convince our MD that an office slide is 100% necessary.

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