When it comes time to get serious about their marketing goals, most companies hire an ad agency. For obvious reasons, that’s great for us. Agencies, when used properly, provide a tremendous amount of value to a business. But, finding the optimal client/agency fit is essential. Our goal with this post is to show you how to hire the best agency for your business.
Before we get started, it’s important to know that we firmly believe the old-school model of agencies “pitching” for business is dead. We’re huge fans of having good old-fashioned sit-down meetings. Here are a couple of pointers we believe will help you find the agency that best fits your business.
Ask a LOT of Questions
An ad agency’s job is to help solve your business problems. Instead of having them put on a dog-and-pony show for you, flip the script and ask a ton of questions. Ask about their business model, the industries they specialize in, who is responsible for what, what is their history, etc. You’ll be amazed at some of the things you’ll discover when agencies veer away from their typical elevator pitch! Get to know them and ask a lot of questions. Don’t be afraid to ask tough questions, too. Probe them about transparency in things like pricing and reporting. Pay close attention to how they respond.
Don’t be in a hurry
Most people don’t get married after one date, so treat this process like you’re dating. Get to know the agency you’re planning on entrusting with thousands of your hard-earned dollars. If you have an immediate need to fix a problem, consider outsourcing a freelancer or that agency to fix the problem first. Don’t rush the process. Trust us when we tell you that you’re way better off taking your time on this decision. A sign of a great agency is one who is not too pushy or desperate to get started. You want an agency that needs to make room for your business, not one that has to have it.
Pay attention to the questions they ask you
Again, we’re big fans of taking a conversational approach to business development. You’re evaluating us, and we need to evaluate you. Great agencies want to know as much as they can about their potential clients. Pay close attention to the questions they have for you. Are they asking good questions? Do they seem to have a good grasp of your expectations, goals, and pain-points? Asking good questions matters.
Discuss how you work
Clients come in all sizes, shapes, and forms. We’ve dealt with the Type-A’s, the egomaniacs, and everything in-between. That’s okay, and we love working with different personalities. Communicating how you work, on the front-end, is vital. Do you check emails once a day or only respond to calls after 2 p.m.? Great, just let your agency know that on the front end. Does your mind start working at 5 a.m. and that’s when you typically have your big ideas? Fantastic, just let your rep know so they can manage your expectations. Everybody works differently, so make sure to explain your communication preferences on the front-end. Having a mutual understanding of how the relationship will work prevents so many headaches in the future.
When it’s time to make your decision, trust your gut. Your instincts will probably be right about whether or not an agency is a right fit for your business. And as painful as it is for you to hire the wrong agency, it is equally as painful for an agency to be the wrong fit. Hopefully, this blog will give you some things to look for when making that big decision. The client/agency relationship can be a beautiful thing that is mutually beneficial. Best of luck searching for the right agency for you!