November 22, 2018
Six Questions to Ask Your Prospective Digital Marketing Agency
Hiring a digital marketing agency is a big decision. It’s the decision to bolster your existing marketing efforts with outside agency resources coupled with which agency will be the best fit for your organization. Picking a marketing partner to work with can be risky because of the time and effort that go into kindling that relationship. You can, however, reduce the risk by asking the right questions up front when selecting a digital marketing agency. Learn how your prospective agency will work, how that will align with your needs, and if it makes financial sense before you engage in a partnership.
Here are six questions to ask your prospective digital marketing agency during the interview process to help ensure a good fit.
1) What is your typical scope of work?
The most important part of asking this question is that it allows you the opportunity to align your needs. Digital marketing is a very broad term that encompasses many elements- blogging, social media, paid media, etc. How each agency scopes digital marketing and the areas they focus on will vary. Find an agency who does what you need. If you only want somebody you post on social media for you, make sure you find somebody who specializes in social and not Google Ads. If you aren’t sure what you need, a full-service agency might be the ticket.
2) What does a partnership look like to you?
Asking your prospective marketing agencies what a partnership looks like will help align your needs with how the agency normally operates. Are you looking for a strategic partner to help guide and implement your marketing? Or perhaps your marketing is on lock, and you need somebody to simply put your own marketing plans in motions? Find an agency that operates that way you need them to operate.
This is critical because if you don’t have alignment here, your relationship will ultimately implode. If you desire a marketing partner to create a full strategic campaign with persona insights and specific tech recommendations (*ahem, Lake One*), you’ll be disappointed if the agency you contract with only does exactly what you say. The inverse of that is absolutely true as well; you don’t want to be fighting over control of strategy if it isn’t something you’re willing to partner on.
3) What is your billing structure and fees?
This one is self-explanatory, but you will, of course, need to talk to your prospective agencies about money. How much will it cost you to work with them? What’s the duration of a retainer? And really, do they even work on retainers or do they go by another structure like an allocation of hours, by campaign cycles, or something else? Next, ask about their invoicing structure. Some agencies will bill monthly while others will expect payment to be made at the start and completion of a sprint. Consider what will work best for your company and be transparent about the budget you had in mind.
Typically, when it comes to retainer amounts, the scope of work can be scaled to meet your budget. Work can be slimmed down if your budget is small or vice-versa. Keep in mind that a large budget usually generates more results. This is simply because more work- meaning things like blogs, additional paid ads, workflows of greater complexity- can be completed in a given timeframe when the budget is greater.
4) Can I see examples of results?
It’s perfectly reasonable and expected to ask your prospective agencies for examples of success stories and wins they’ve accomplished. The hard numbers tend to speak for themselves. Don’t forget to consider the softer wins like website redesign, sales team enablement success, and increases in website traffic, as well. These things are sometimes hard to quantify and measure specifically but can be incredibly impactful to a business.
5) What technology do you use?
Will working with an agency require you to change your current tech stack or CRM? If so, is that okay? Perhaps it’s better to find a tech-agnostic agency that will make recommendations but can work with any platform. Consider what you currently have, if it’s working, and where you’d like to go. Then ask your prospects how their tech will fit into that equation.
6) Can you provide references?
Lastly, when you’re about ready to make your final decision, you can ask your prospective agencies for references from current or past clients. Ask for references from businesses that operate similar to yours and have the type of relationship with the agency that you’re seeking. Here are a few questions you can ask the references provided:
- How long have you been working together?
- What has been the most impressive and disappointing?
- Is the agency’s team easy to work with?
- Are you happy with your results so far?
By asking these questions to determine marketing agency fit, you’ll be able to align your company’s needs with an agency who can create results. Think Lake One might be the agency for you? Request a consult!