What To Look For In A Marketing Agency
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Every company needs a marketing agency, unless they’re big enough to handle all their efforts in-house and effectively. If your company’s not in that boat, you still have plenty of options, so long as you know what to look for. The right marketing agency for you should have everything from talent to acumen to affordable prices.

Does your company need a marketing agency? You won’t have trouble finding one. Nowadays, there are ad agencies, interactive marketing agencies, email marketing agencies, and more. These categories represent countless companies from all over the world and, thanks to the Internet, most of them could serve you from just about anywhere. But that doesn’t mean they should. Before you go putting your eggs in the wrong marketing agency basket, think about the following when considering your options.

Business Acumen

This might seem like a no-brainer, but look for this in any marketing agency you interview and you’ll soon see why this is so important. Nowadays, interactive marketing agencies are a hot choice. What a lot of people don’t know, though, is that many of them started out as web design firms. While that can be a huge advantage, it can also mean that while they understand SEO, SEM, analytics, and web design, they may not know how to use these tools to best serve your purposes.

When interviewing options, expect that they’ll show up with a solid grasp of your company, your market and how they’ll help the two connect.

Design Abilities

Like we just covered, a lot of interactive marketing agencies will already have design chops because that used to be their bread and butter. This is something you should look for from just about any marketing agency. Having an agency that can both handle marketing and knows how to get your web design on the same page is invaluable. Otherwise, you’re stuck with the challenge of syncing the two up on your own.

Proven Success

No matter what kind of company or individual you’re interviewing, you obviously want to make sure they can prove they’ve succeeded in the past. You probably don’t want to be the first client for your marketing agency, after all.

However, one interesting place to check their abilities is their own web presence. If they’re experts at SEO, you should expect that they’ll show up pretty early in terms of page rank. If they’ve boasted about their social media talents, you should expect that their Twitter account is updated and has an enviable amount of followers.

Marketing agencies are in a pretty dense market to be sure, but this is still worth considering. If you’re unimpressed by what they’ve done on their own behalves, feel free to bring it up to them for an explanation.

Testimonials

Even if an agency did well by a client, that doesn’t necessarily mean that company would recommend them. Plus, many agencies will simply show you a portfolio. Just because a web page, billboard, or campaign looks great doesn’t mean that it actually was, in terms of dollars and cents.

Asking for testimonials isn’t a bad idea. However, an even better one is soliciting them on your own. This way you know you’re getting the information you want right from the horse’s mouth and don’t have to worry that their kind words came in exchange for a discount of some sort.

Pricing

Obviously, pricing is always an important factor to consider when hiring a business to help yours. However, things can get a bit tricky when you’re looking for a marketing agency that will handle your online campaigns. When it comes to things like SEM (Search Engine Marketing), agencies can charge by percentage of the total media cost, cost per action or a number of other ways. How they charge you will affect more than your budget; it may also affect how incentivized they are to truly help you.

Find Out Who Will Be Working on Your Account

Agencies these days hire all kinds of people. Everyone from web developers to social media experts are often under the same roof working to help market their clients. It’s a fair question to find out who will be working on your account and what their background is. Just about anyone can be a social media expert these days; it doesn’t mean you want that person responsible for your account. Resumes may not always tell the whole story though, so be open to hearing about their accomplishments.

Working with the right Chicago marketing agency can make all the difference in your company’s future. However, if you don’t use the above to find the right one, it could also be the worst thing that ever happened to it.


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