For businesses who have never worked with a marketing agency before always asks a few questions, Do I need a marketing agency? How do I know which agency is best? How much should I spend on a marketing agency? Should I just do it on my own?
We’ve got you covered on those answers in our next blog for sure! But for now let’s look take a look it answering the question of ‘How do I know this marketing agency is right for my business’ , once you’ve started working with an agency.
Below are some thoughts about how to evaluate your current marketing partner, and how to ensure you select the best advertising agency to help grow your business.
First Things First– How Good Is My Current Agency?
Evaluating your advertising and marketing partner all comes down to what we like to call ‘ABC’ – Advantage, Billed, Create. Have you noticed the advantage to working with an agency? Is the return on investment greater than the bill you? Has the agency created new opportunities for your business?
Here are some key metrics your advertising agency or digital marketing company should be briefing you on regularly. If they are doing their job, you should have the answers to the questions below.
Since advertising costs vary by industry and target audience, it’s also best to look at the metrics basing it off a similar business or industry, or with a professional. Give us a ring today with the relevant information and we’ll be happy to go over it with you.
Billed – Branding
What is the cost to reach 3,000 people in your target audience?
What is the frequency in which this target audience sees your ad?
Is it more cost effective to use mass media or digital marketing channels to reach your target audience? Is your media spend allocated appropriately given the difference in cost?
Are your social media platforms and email lists growing? Is the agency targeting the right people (demographics and geography) in these channels?
What are your engagement levels on social and open rates for emails? What’s the benchmark for engagement in your industry?
What’s the average time a user spends on your website (analytics?
Which platform is performing the best?
What is the ‘bounce rate’ for your website?
Billed – Lead Generation
What is your average cost per lead?
What is your marketing cost per dollar of revenue generated?
If you can’t track / answer #2, has your agency offered to help you track qualified leads and sales resulting from their leads within your CRM? If not, do they ask you to report back to them as to lead quality?
What is your most cost effective lead generation channel?
Has your agency explained why this is your most cost effective lead generation channel?
Which lead generation channel produces the greatest volume of leads?
Does your agency buy leads or likes? Is it included in your price?
Is your agency able to track incoming phone calls from mass media ads by channel and creative? What about phone calls from your website by keyword or social channel?
Are they able to generate leads via social media channels? Are they more or less expensive than leads from search engines?
Do they provide access to your Google Analytics account?
Create- Personal Experience
Are your advertising and marketing communications integrated? For example, does your agency engage prospects, clients and consumers using appropriate messaging for each stage of the marketing funnel across multiple touch points like email, social, search, mass media and your website to drive targets towards a defined goal?
Does their marketing team have strategic input on the creative to ensure messaging reflects their insights and objectives? Are the marketers consulted prior to new creative being developed?
Do your social media post link back to your website? Is your agency using different Call-to-Action buttons on your social media posts?
Does your agency recommend new strategies, channels and tactics every 6 months?
Do you have ability to community directly with developers, designers, writers, artists, or do you only communicate with your account manager?
Do you receive regular updates regarding optimization, trends and measurable results for your marketing campaigns?
Do they use templates and themes for website development projects, or do they know how to code custom solutions?
Are website visitors being retargeted?
Now– How to Find a Top Advertising Agency
Advertising and marketing is all about two things people and results. Experience does play a large role in the effectiveness of an Ad agency. Smarter people are a factor as well. Yet, in all our years of working with tons of clients, from the hardworking entrepreneur whose building his startup, to the local restaurant that serves the community, and even sitting amongst some of the biggest companies in the world, we realized that the right people will get the job done.
Here’s what we mean by that- we had a client who spent thousands of dollars working with ad agencies on a particular segment of their business. They worked with some of the biggest agencies in the U.S as well as locally. However, they still found themselves searching for the “right fit” as the CMO said to us prior to our presentation to them. We had the opportunity to pitch our ideas to them through some networking. Long story short, we ended up working with the client. The end result was that we achieved the goals that were MUTUALLY set forth and the client was satisfied. Now that didn’t mean that we were any better than the other agencies or that we were any bigger; at the time we were a very small agency with 3 employees. We were just a fit for what the client wanted.
We say that to say, it doesn’t matter how big the agency is, or how much they charge, it’s about finding an agency that’s the right fit. Finding an agency that aligns with your culture, goals, visions, and budget as a business. The right people ensure the right process is in place.
Finding the right people can take time. Since you can’t possibly meet with every Fort Lauderdale/Miami advertising agency or digital marketing firm, here is how you can narrow your search:
Is their website dynamic, appealing, clear, engaging?
Are they local?
Do they offer what your business NEEDS?
Where do they list on Google for keywords like advertising agency and marketing company (add the city name to your search)?
What can you learn from online reviews, Facebook and LinkedIn?
What kind of clients do they have? Do they service mostly retailers and professional services clients, or does their roster include consumer brands, resorts, hospitals, universities, multi-nationals, and technology companies?
How good is their work? Does it grab attention and deliver a focused message?
Once you’re ready to make contact, answer these questions:
Was it easy to contact them? If you used an online contact form, or had to leave a message, how long did it take for someone to get back to you?
Did the account manager listen before speaking?
Did the account manager have some knowledge of your business?
Who will be working on your account?
Will the agency principals be involved? How?
Will you have access to everyone on the team? Does the agency want you to meet them? Can they answer your questions about how they plan to execute the strategy?
Can the agency work with your budget?
Is the agency asking you to spend more to get more?
Did your account manager go over KPIs with you?
What’s their process to deliver solutions to meet your objectives? Does it make sense to YOU?
There are many other questions you should likely ask that would be specific to your industry and objectives. However, keep in mind that nothing is more important than who will be working on your account.
Like we stated before, don’t make the mistake of thinking you have to hire a bigger advertising agency, or even one that specializes. Bigger isn’t necessarily better. Again, what matters most is who within the agency and how they fit your business. When it comes to our clients in the local area, we like to visit them. Sometimes we’ll invite our clients for lunch or coffee. With so much of today’s world being online, we think that putting that good ole’ face-to-face in the mix can go a long way.
If you’re seeking a top advertising agency or digital marketing company, we invite you to discuss these topics with us in person. We have the right people and process in place to help you succeed where other may have failed.