There are dozens upon dozens of marketing agencies swimming around in the advertising pond; ranging from the international giants based in London to the smaller, locally-focused agencies operating all around the country. We know that the endless options can make it difficult to confidently decide on who you should hire to help your brand and your business come to life. While there is always the right company out there to suit your needs, plenty of reputable companies can turn out to be a bad fit, and there are always less reputable companies hanging around looking to play on the average businesses lack of familiarity with the industry. And so, although good marketing is always worth the money, bad marketing can be a dangerous drain on your treasury and harm your ability to reach out and affect audiences. Below is a roadmap of all things you should consider before making your choice; considerations that we believe will help you navigate all the confusion, find the right marketing agency, and get the biggest bang for your buck.
The first thing you should ask yourself when looking through marketing agencies is simple: how forward thinking and adaptable are they? The marketing landscape is an ever-changing place, and the changes in it are often as unpredictable as the consumers we’re trying to reach, so always take note of how prepared the agency is for situations that they cannot predict.
A good example of a marketing agency that is adaptable and forward thinking is one that uses social media both for itself and for its clients. This is because social media platforms, such as instagram, are the places where modern trends and shifts in consumer habits take place and are most visible. Having a strong social media presence, then, means that the agencies are not only tapped into the trends as they emerge, but that they can also participate in how they change. They're part of the big, ever-evolving conversation and can better adjust to all the subtle shifts occurring within it.
Companies that stick to traditional and non-digital marketing, or who avoid social media in general, are instead at the mercy of trends they can’t see coming; trends that they are barely able to understand, let alone respond to. Companies of this kind, even if they have a great track record in the past, will almost inevitably struggle as the ground shifts beneath their feet in the future -- and that also means that they will struggle to effectively advertise your business and brand. They won’t be as attuned to shifting demographics, changing habits, and new attitudes, and their lack of inslight will translate into poor results for you. To save yourself the headache, go instead for an agency that understands the changing face of the industry. An agency that is in touch with the people you’re trying to connect with and one that will, in view of their better attunement, better connect you to those people when you work with them. To put it simply: hire an agency that is already talking the language that people are currently speaking. In the resulting collaboration, good marketing is basically inevitable.
This consideration naturally feeds into another duo of attributes you should look for in an agency: pragmatism and open-mindedness. You can gauge whether or not a marketing company has these attributes by simply judging them based on how much they listen to you and, in conjunction with that, how diverse their services offered are. A company that is pragmatic and open minded won’t jump into discussions with a microwave-ready idea of exactly how your marketing should be done. Instead, they will go in with the mindset that every idea should be built from the ground up in line with your goals for the marketing and the relevant target audience. If you encounter a company that doesn't craft marketing with solely you in mind, but instead focuses on what they’re used to making or what they feel best at making, you’ll soon find that you’re stuck with an agency unwilling to drive their marketing through crucial insights and innovation -- and this will do nothing but harm the volume and reach of your voice.
Speaking of services, it's important to be wary of agencies that offer one service that, in their words, is the data-proven and scientifically superior way of doing marketing. These companies, although professionally presented, ignore the fact that a great deal of marketing, and in reality the most powerful and resonating marketing, is that which rests on common sense. In other words, marketing works when it connects with people by focusing on what matters to them, and that means using whichever form of marketing appropriate for whichever demographic you’re trying to reach. It also means keeping things simple and memorable so that people associate you with good feelings. Putting all your eggs into the scientific and often paid-for approach might bring you some business, but it's a short term and grossly expensive way of making yourself boring and forgettable. An honest and dependable agency won’t hide behind the numbers and will instead focus on helping your craft an image that brings in business by revealing the human side of your company -- which will bring you better consumer engagement in the long run.
Finally, look for a marketing agency that wants to work with you as an extension of your team rather than as just a group of people you’ve hired. This will not only allow the agency to better understand who you are and the image you want to present, but it will create the conditions for the best kind of communication that will quickly open everyone up to the ideas that will best serve your marketing needs and grow business. Also, it tends to create a positive energy that will be felt in whatever marketing you produce. When it comes to picking the right team and working productively with them, you can’t do much better than this.
Now that you’ve been shown what you should look for in your marketing agency, why not stick around and look at our services? Perhaps your ideal marketing agency is a lot closer than you think.