The new year is upon us, and you’re probably re-examining company goals and re-evaluating strategies and budgets. Marketing should be a significant piece of that budget. Advertising is a growing industry, and many companies still think they can do all their marketing and advertising in-house. But if your sales have become stagnant with no new leads, hiring an ad agency can help you grow. Advertising and marketing communications are critical in the digital age to increase your customer base. The right ad agency can refine your company’s messaging and reach your target audience.
Outsourcing to an advertising agency can feel risky to you, but you need the agency’s skills and expertise to move your company off that plateau. Advertising and marketing can be very exciting but many companies use the wrong criteria in selecting an agency to support them.
We’ve outlined four steps you should cover before making a decision:
1. Research agencies
Go ahead and research. There are many different kinds of agencies out there of different sizes and specialties. Don’t exclude an agency based on its size. Let me remind you of the quote, “good things come in small packages.” Take the time to learn about the agency. What kind of services do they offer? Are they a full-service ad agency? Do they only concentrate on traditional? Or do they only concentrate in the B2B industry?
Research the team. What experiences and skills do they bring? Are they knowledgeable in their field? Company blogs can reveal a lot. Don’t forget to check out their website as well. Is it designed well? Is it mobile friendly? This is very important especially if your business’ website requires a redesign.
2. Research yourself
You might ask research myself, why? If you don’t know exactly what your company’s goals are, how will you convey it to potential agencies? They can’t help you if they don’t know your goals. Define how you want to represent your brand. It should be clear to the agency and your company employees. Mixed messaging is one of the worst things you could do for your brand.
When defining your goals and your brand, decide what your brand’s needs and problems are. The ad agency will help you with this, but it’s a good idea to give them a starting point. A good ad agency will analyze your current status along with strengths, weaknesses, and competitors. Overall, determine what you need before you look for that agency.
3. Dig into the agency’s case studies
Once you’ve narrowed it down to a few agencies, dig deeper. It’s important to not get caught up in a beautiful presentation. Case studies are essential in showing proof of their marketing results with other clients. No proof is a huge red flag and you should steer clear. Case studies are one of the most effective tools available. Have they grown their clients’ businesses? If the agency continues to spin their wheels with no results, find another agency. Look to see if they have won any awards or have been nominated. This also gives reassurance that the marketing agency can achieve similar results.
4. Make sure they measure results
Ask them how they will report their tactics and results to you? A monthly marketing report can be a good indicator how campaigns ran the previous month. How do they report success or failure? Ask them what their number one way of measuring marketing effectiveness is? Make sure everyone agrees on clear key performance indicators.
Last but not least, find an agency that creates a spark and you would enjoy working with. Find an agency that supports you and makes you the hero. An effective ad agency understands your company’s needs and is focused on the needs of your brand.