It’s no secret that joining forces with a digital marketing agency can add value to your brand. But with so many out there, how do you know which to choose?
Not every business has the same needs, so it may be a very specific agency would best serve them. But no matter what kind of business you are, mom and pop, fortune 500, or a startup e-commerce, there are five things you should look for in a digital agency before you sign the dotted line.
The first thing to consider is whether or not your companies see eye-to-eye. What are your core values? Do they appreciate them or even comprehend them? It’s best when they naturally share those values with you. If you’re a faith-based organization, you may want to work with someone with similar beliefs, or at least, an agency that will respect yours and uphold them in all joint endeavors.
Once you are sure that they appreciate your core values, you may want to see how they actually do business. Do you approve of their methods and how they treat employees and customers? It’s better to take your time than to rush into a deal and regret being tainted by association further down the line.
And of course, you want to enjoy working with them. Does the agency have a fun, upbeat atmosphere? Do you get along with the representatives? Believe it or not, personality differences can be an Achilles Heel when it comes to making a successful partnership. Address your differences up front to see if you can work past them. If not, save your time and look elsewhere.
Of course, you also want to ensure that your agency can actually do what they say. Take a look at the quality of their previous work. Does it meet your standards of perfection?
If you have a friendly relationship, you can always suggest changes to include your input. After all, it’s a partnership and the work you do is a joint effort. While you’ll have an influence, the agency should have a trademark that you are eager to encompass in your digital brand.
It’s also a good idea to check out the consistency of their work. Have all their work been promising, or only 50-50? A mature business will have the portfolio to show for many projects gone by and to show the consistency of their proficiency.
Another valuable asset to look for in a digital agency is insights. Sure, they have a job description, but if the agency can go above and beyond, that’s even better. One of the best things about working with an external partner is that they provide new perspective and bring new information to the table.
That they have knowledge of your industry is a plus. That they have knowledge of multiple industries is even better, and here’s why — it’s a little thing called intersectionality. When you take standard solutions used in other fields and apply them to something else, you can create an entirely new solution to long-held issues. That’s the power of intersections!
And when it comes to problem-solving, that an agency can empathize with and fully understand your situation will be very useful. That they have foresight and can see potential consequences will be invaluable as the relationship develops.
At the end of the day, you hired a digital agency to create results. Can your agency deliver? You don’t want empty promises. You want guarantees.
If you’re an international company with over 100 branches, size may be an issue. In many cases, size won’t be an issue, especially if you only have one set of digital assets to maintain. Just make sure that you have the right engine for you’re the vehicle — your business and all the weight it carries.
So you’ve met the guys, and you’re confident they can do the job. The only thing left to configure is budget. What’s their asking price, and does it meet your budget?
While camaraderie will play a key in being flexible with pricing, each company knows what it can afford. You don’t want to underpay your partner, but you aren’t made of money either.
On the other hand, you may have to invest more than you are comfortable with, but you’ll be compensated tenfold. The rate of return on your investment is the ultimate deal breaker.
Is it a good fit?
At the end of the day, intuition is still important. After initial negotiations, you should have a good idea as to how you feel about the partnership.
Do you have any hesitations? Try to find the root cause and measure them against your anticipation. Are they valid? If so, explore that and even discuss it with your partner to see if that helps.
At MBDM Group, we want to work with you as an external partner. We pride ourselves on being reliable and eager to communicate. Give us a call to start exploring whether we are a good fit for your business.