How To Select Your Marketing Partner

Marketing is an essential part of growing your company/brand. But selecting a marketing partner can be a daunting task. When every dollar counts in business, it is important to do your research to find an agency who works with you to achieve your main goal: growing your business. Here are some things to keep in mind when selecting your marketing partner

Pay attention to how well the agency strives to understand your business and your objectives.

Do they listen to you and ask probing questions in order to gain a comprehensive understanding of your business or product? Do you come away from your first meeting with a good feeling—that they can not only help you, but that you’ll enjoy working with them? You will be working with them for some time and you want that time to be pleasant.

Ask them to detail the process they will follow to identify, understand, create and execute your opportunities for success.

They should be able to explain the process they follow in working with you—the steps they will take to get you from where you are now to where you want to be. Do you understand it and find it compelling?

Find out how they manage complex projects involving multiple media.

What talent and expertise do they possess in order to effectively, cost-effectively and efficiently market your business or product? How many different media do they have experience in that might be relevant to your marketing? Do you have a sense of confidence in their ability to execute what you will need?

Determine if they have knowledge of your product/business market:

If they are experienced communicators and marketers, they may not necessarily need specific experience in your market, but it is certainly a bonus if they do.  The learning curve will be much shorter.

Determine if their specialty fits within your needs:

Every firm has a different wheelhouse of skillsets and service offerings—the things they do well and the things they don’t handle.  Find out what those are so you can compare firms. Ask about the breadth of experience of the people who will be involved on your business.

Before you hire an ad agency, determine why you’re hiring them.

Decide what services you need.  Come to the meeting prepared to express this so they can respond accordingly. Recognize what your capabilities are and what you need help with.  Be honest with them, then be open to hearing their ideas and recommendations—if they surprise with you with something you never thought of that’s great.  You want them to provide you with ideas, approaches and thinking outside of your own.

Match the size of your company to the size of the firm.

Kind of like Goldilocks and the Three Bears, you’re looking for a firm that’s not too big, not too small, but just right.  You’ll get a sense of that.  Come in with an idea of your budget.

Find out what “above and beyond” services they offer.

Do they offer web development and SEO, financial services, access to investors or funding, go-to-market plans for products in development, or legal advice?