Outsourcing portions of your marketing plan execution to an agency can make a lot of sense. In the right situation, a marketing agency can serve as an extension of your in-house team and often adds a level of expertise that your team previously doesn’t possess.
While there are a lot of positive reasons to outsource to a marketing agency, it’s critically important that you ask the following questions to ensure the agency knows what they’re doing and confirm they’re the right fit.
Have you worked with anyone like us?
Many agencies specialize in working with select types of companies and often stay within particular industries. The reason for this is that is allows the agencies to really focus and fine-tune their ability to serve particular markets.
Working with agencies that focus on companies like yours can really contribute positively to the success of your project. This focus allows agencies to really understand a particular niche audience, leading to a higher success rate through deployment of more effective, targeted strategies.
Do you outsource or do everything in house?
Agencies often outsource some of the work they do for clients. It’s a tried and true model, and having worked for many years on the agency side, I can attest to its value. That said, you want to be sure to understand who is working on your projects, so it’s important to ask your agency of choice how they handle these things.
If the agency brings in freelancers, that’s not a bad thing. The key is for you to understand things like how those freelancers are selected and what level of access they might have to any private information about your company. Ask questions to understand how your project will run and how the freelancers will be involved.
Will you provide references?
I know what you’re thinking. It’s not a job interview. Why ask for references? Turns out, it’s actually very similar to a job interview. Think of hiring an agency like hiring a big bunch of team members all at once. After you’ve interviewed them, you’ll want to get references from the agency’s other clients to get honest feedback about how their experience went working with the agency.
If a client is willing to speak with you and provide their feedback, that’s a good sign they were happy. Unless, of course, they’re just so bitter they jump at the opportunity to tell you how much they hated working with the agency in question. Either way, you get solid information on what it would be like to be a client for the agency you’re considering.
What do you need from us to be successful?
A successful working relationship between company and agency requires cooperation from both sides. For this reason, be sure to ask what the agency needs from you in order to do their best work.
This allows you to get the resources in place to help the agency help you, and it also allows you to learn more about the agency’s processes. Like any good relationship, it’s all about collaboration.
There is a lot of value in working with an agency. You just need to be sure to takes steps to understand the relationship and to get the pieces in place to enjoy success (for both you and the agency).
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