Choosing an advertising and marketing firm to work with your business can seem like a daunting proposition – especially for the small-business owner. Trusting a third party to handle parts of your business while paying them for access to your information, creative strategies and social media is intimidating. But we believe it doesn’t have to be nerve-wracking.
Here are a few steps small businesses should specifically look for when deciding on a marketing agency partner.
How an agency handles day-to-day communications with your team is of the utmost importance. Things to note: How hard are they to get in contact with? When you do get in touch, do they have a specific contact for you to work with, or do they pass you around from person to person?
Working with an agency is almost like dating, and you don’t want to be in a bad relationship. Meet with the individuals that will be working on your account and make sure you feel comfortable with the whole team, not just the salesperson working hard to get your signature on the contract.
Use references provided by the agency and feel free to ask direct questions. Having a clear picture of how you expect to work with an agency on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis will help set expectations for both parties.
Expertise in Your Area
Just because an agency has creative ideas or can show great results numbers doesn’t mean they’re savvy in the ways of small business. Any firm can create great content with an unlimited pot of gold, but it can be a much harder task when financial and time constraints are added to the mix. Ask to see examples of how they’ve helped other businesses achieve results that align with your own goals and size.
Being the client with the smallest budget can often mean getting the least attention. If a bigger client has an immediate need, some firms may choose to push your needs aside in order to take care of a more lucrative contract.
Choose a firm that specializes in dealing with similarly-sized clients or has a division specifically for handling smaller businesses. They will be better versed in how to handle businesses comparable to yours and will treat you like the star client you are.
Room on the Bench
Small budget doesn’t have to mean working with a small team. Finding an agency that has a deep bench of designers, marketing specialists, and developers to choose from means never having to worry your work may get put on hold if someone leaves the agency unexpectedly.
This may be the most important consideration. You need to like and understand the work the firm is producing. Look at the standard of product that your potential agency is generating. Is it beautiful? Is it cutting-edge? Do they keep up to date with the latest standards in tech and marketing? Are they able to provide research to back up the decisions they make to reach your target market? The answers to all of these questions should be an emphatic yes.
Ultimately, in choosing the right agency for your brand, you have to be proud of the work that the agency will execute. After all, it is YOUR business that will be represented!