Are you looking to hire a marketing agency, but struggling to know where to start? There are countless agencies, both local and national, that advertise they are the best option money can buy. So how do you weed through the sales talk, and understand who actually produces results — and if you’re going to enjoy working alongside them?
B2B digital marketing is about communicating effectively and honestly. When selling to a business, your approach is most often different than that of selling to an individual consumer. Business buying is often done with multiple stakeholders involved and is more about appealing to the senses than the emotions. This all boils down to knowing you’re hiring an agency that has B2B experience and is willing to cater a plan that works for you — not just what has worked in the past.
However, the only way to get these answers is to interview potential candidates. So clear your calendar, and let’s start setting up meetings. Here’s what to look for when hiring a digital marketing agency.
You need to trust who you work with. You’re going to be paying these people to help advertise your business, therefore, they are technically an offset employee of yours.
- Can you trust them?
- Do they seem level headed and honest?
- Are they genuine?
Your B2B marketing agency is going to have access to sensitive information about your business, and they are going to be the ones reporting back to about the success of your campaign(s). You can definitely get jerked around for a while with false numbers and narrative before you realize your agency just isn’t produce real results. Thus, you need to know whether good or bad, the reports and communication you are receiving are truthful.
Does the agency specialize in one area of digital marketing? Maybe you are looking to run only one type of digital campaign, say SEO for example. But what if SEO takes too long to see results or fails altogether? You’re going to then need to find a new agency and start the process all over again. Often times it is beneficial to work with a full-service agency that offers multiple advertising options to businesses.
This allows for diverse strategies to be tried and a greater likelihood of finding a campaign-style that best fits your business model and target audience. Sometimes more options are a good thing. Look for an agency that offers services like SEO, PPC, organic social media, email marketing, video, influencer marketing, website design, and more.
It might sound too elementary or simple, but you need to like the people at the agency you’re working with. A sense of similar company cultures and values helps better align you and them. Ultimately, you need to be able to effectively communicate with the other party and if there is a disengaged relationship then working together might not be so easy — which could hurt the success of your campaign. As business owners and co-workers, we all want to enjoy the people we work with Monday through Friday, so keep that in mind when talking with these agencies.
Experience and Results
Maybe this is the most important factor to you, and the only one you really were considering before reading this article. It is true, you want to give your marketing budget to an agency that knows what they are doing. Some critical questions to ask include:
- How well do you know my industry?
- Have you worked with similar companies in the past?
- What case studies can you show me?
- How would my results be measured?
- What indicators point toward campaign success?
- What can your agency do to help me that others cannot?
You’re really going to want to thoroughly vet the potential agency. Make them provide answers that carry substances, and not just fluff. Ask for real-world examples of their past work and results. You need to feel confident that your business is going to improve with the help of the agency, not stay stagnant or regress.