Digital marketing is one of the fastest-growing ways of improving brand visibility and increasing profits. If you own a business of any kind, you can probably benefit from the services of a digital marketing agency. But not all agencies are worth your investment and different companies need different kinds of agencies. Here are some things you should contemplate as you search for an agency to partner with, with assistance from Brabble Inc. co-founder and Director of Business Development Pat Mackaronis.
1. Is the Agency Within Your Budget?
One thing that businesses love about digital marketing is the return on their investment. But some agencies charge a large premium for their services, perhaps because they’re aware of just how behind many businesses are when it comes to digital. Pat Mackaronis suggests “Look for agencies that represent other companies around your size and be realistic about your potential for growth. Many firms have scalable services and will be more than willing to expand their operations as your business grows. Determine how much you’re willing to spend and compare quotes from different agencies to see what best suits your budget.”
2. Does the Agency Outsource Its Operations?
A surprising number of marketing agencies seemingly exist only to form the initial partnership with companies. They then outsource all of the actual marketing to subcontractors, often from overseas, as a way of cutting costs. This practice results in miscommunication, ambiguity about the mission, and a lack of direct contact with your creative team. Don’t partner with an agency that will essentially function as a middleman between your company and a cheap marketing shop. Look for agencies that do the majority of their work in-house, and if they do outsource certain things, like video production, be sure the companies they’re working with are up to your standards.
3. Has the Agency Worked in Your Field?
The niche your company exists in will impact the type of digital marketing you need to put into action. Unfortunately, some agencies apply a one-size-fits-all model to their operations. Finding an agency with a proven track record of successfully promoting businesses in your sector is a good way to avoid unnecessary expenditure or poorly planned campaigns. Suggests Mackaronis: “Look at successful campaigns by businesses in your niche and see who executed them, and you’ll have a good place to start.”
4. How Does the Agency Communicate with Clients?
One thing you should absolutely inquire about when speaking with prospective agencies is the procedures they follow for communicating with and reporting to their clients. While some agencies prefer to operate almost completely autonomously, delivering finished campaigns based on a small amount of input, others provide daily updates and speculative versions of marketing materials for you to review. The degree to which you want to be involved in the planning process will inform what agency you want to partner with.
5. Is the Agency Digital-First?
While many older marketing firms have added a “digital department,” these agencies tend to lag behind others in embracing new techniques, since they’re still operating from a traditional marketing background. In most cases, you’re better off partnering with an agency that specializes in digital. These firms understand what gets clicks and sells products, and will almost always do more for your brand and your profits than an offshoot of a traditional agency. Mackaronis and Brabble have partnered with multiple agencies focused on digital marketing efforts, and have experienced rapid growth in their early stages as a result.
By the year 2021, companies in the US alone will be spending nearly $120 billion on digital marketing, and for good reason: it has proven to be one of the most effective ways of marketing to a populace that spends more and more time online, while growing increasingly inured to traditional modes of advertising. Pat Mackaronis’ final thoughts on the matter: “When seeking out a digital marketing agency to boost the profile of your business, consider the things above to make sure you make the right decision.”