Every business is unique and there is no business that functions without having clients, customers or consumers. For a business to exist, it must have consumers/customers, willing to pay for the product or service the business is offering. One of the proven ways for a business to keep in touch with current consumers/customers and prospects is through effective marketing and advertising communication channels.
Connecting with consumers means that a company would have to run marketing and advertising campaigns using an “intermediary” known as an agency. This article will provide you with the qualities and capabilities to note while hiring a marketing agency as a business decision-maker.
1. Your Company Goals and Vision: A business has a powerful guide by virtue of the vision statement, where the business owners aim for the business to be in the long term and how they hope to be seen in the eyes of their customers, employees, advisors, investors etc.
This vision summarizes the core values, ideas and encapsulates the business plans and directions. The aim, therefore, is to find an agency that understands this vision and is willing to run with it to achieve the business goals.
2. The Reputation of the Agency: The repute of an agency is one of the factors to consider in agency recruitment. To identify the reputation of the agency, focus should be on the value of the work done and the employees who are the first ambassadors of the agency. The way the agency produces the work they do, their transparency in their dealings with clients, the quality of communication done with their audience, the return on investment per project, and reviews from their clients and how the agency has been able to meet and fulfil their clients’ expectations.
These and many more are concerns that should be treated to determine if the agency is the right one for your business. Here you also internalize and determine the size of agency you want, the skill set of the agency staff and how knowledgeable they are in handling marketing solutions.
3. Demonstrated Experience: Nothing beats experience, when searching for the right marketing agency, apply the demonstrated experience rule. Assess the case studies and previous work done by the agency. Identify the problem statement, campaign objectives, proposed marketing strategies and method of execution of the projects. Ask questions such as ‘Does my business fall within their clientele’? ‘What are the ways they’ve helped businesses overcome their marketing challenges’? ‘Have they handled arising challenges well enough?’, ‘Do their strategies feel right’? And more importantly ‘Is this agency the best fit for my business’ goals?
In hiring the right agency, it is salient to treat the hiring process as one would do when hiring an employee. The agency must be the right fit for your business by having similar values with your organization and a level of success that can be measured.
4. Clientele: The agency’s relationship with their clients can suggest if they are the right fit for your company. Look at their client portfolio, the testimonials and reviews on their website and through third party opinions. Be sure to find out information about the length of time with which the agency sustains a relationship with their clients. Are the clients one-off, intermittent or repetitious? If you can, reach out to their current client database and find out more information about the agency. From the mouth of two or three witnesses, the truth shall be established.
5. Budget: The next point is the operational budget available for marketing activities. It is consequential to consider the agency’s flexibility or rigidity in working with a company’s marketing budget. Are they willing to deliver quality work howbeit small based on your marketing budget or are they bent on their price or nothing? Are their services also scalable? This discussion will avoid budgetary challenges in the long run.
An agency that is used to working for the big brands and have not imbibed the knowledge of manoeuvring through small budgets for medium-sized organizations may find it difficult to adjust to a small or medium budget.
However, an agency that has proven to provide marketing strategies that match budget spend would avoid unforeseen circumstances and be the best fit for your business. Dynamic agencies will provide marketing plans that are unique and best suited for both your organization’s vision and marketing spend.
6. Processes: Look closely at the way they execute their projects, end to end; from the receipt of the brief to the submission of the strategy documents to the operational execution of the marketing plan. How do they function? Do they accept corrections and what is their communication style? How is reporting done and who is the key point of contact? All these will guide you to know if they are the best fit for you and should the contract be long term in managing your marketing campaigns.
7. Versatility: As a business, you will need an agency that has experiences that cuts across a span of industries, one that can offer various ideas that is unlimited to just your business. Consumers’ trend can be very dynamic, a good agency will always be ready to adapt their strategies in this dynamism. Even if the agency is a BTL agency, do they have affiliations with a digital marketing agency? Have they gone beyond their primary experiential and event marketing to incorporate online campaign strategies? Or have they been keen on innovating marketing strategies with technology? This part showcases the resourcefulness, flexibility and adaptability of the agency.
Do not just hire any agency without due knowledge and considerations. During the hiring process be sure to discuss all critical concerns, current and unforeseen challenges. Be open to let the chosen agency know your business direction so they can serve you better.
Brandlife Limited is a marketing service agency that encapsulates all the above points and more. We are a business-oriented agency that aims to make life easier for our clients and more enjoyable for consumers across Africa.