Every organization has its own unique marketing needs. Some organizations need highly personalized strategies that require hours of work to create, while others prefer simpler strategies. The key to finding the right marketing agency is knowing exactly what you want before you hire one.
Depending on your budget and needs, and with some preparation ahead of time, you can avoid over or underspending where needed. We like to use the screwdriver, mechanic, and engineer as metaphors for these types of situations.
- The Screwdriver: Your entire strategy is already in place; you know what you want and how you want your strategy to function. All you need is the right tools (someone or a platform) to implement your strategy for you.
- The Mechanic: You have a pretty basic idea of what you want; however, you may be interested in some guidance as well as someone who is able to implement it.
- The Engineer: You are lost—you have no idea how you want your strategy to function or where you want to go, so you reach out for in-depth guidance from an expert. You’ll be a partner in the learning process.
If you’re more interested in the screwdriver, you could easily become frustrated with hiring the engineer. The engineer will strategize with you and recommend certain ideas that you could completely disagree with based on your own existing strategy. If you want the engineer, you won’t get anything done hiring the screwdriver. With the screwdriver, you’ll need to plug in all your strategy and details to implement work; without these, your deadlines will never be met.
Identifying and Prioritizing Your Needs
As discussed above, there are a variety of ways you can work with a marketing agency. Each agency is different and will provide you with different strategies and ideas to help your business thrive, so you need to sit down with your team and figure out what you want to get out of the agency before signing the contract.
Again, this process may take some time—don’t get impatient if you feel like some of your team members disagree with your choice. It’s important that everyone is on the same page before you begin working with a marketing agency. You wouldn’t want one person to be in contact with the agency and providing information and confirming projects, only to learn that another team member disagrees entirely with how things are being done.
Hiring a Marketing Agency
Make sure you’re upfront with the agencies you consult with. Let them know if you’re looking for the screwdriver, mechanic, or engineer. Most agencies will clearly identify their role in your relationship, and if your needs will be met when working with them. Don’t be discouraged if you consult with an agency that isn’t a perfect fit. It’s best to know that ahead of time, before signing the contract, rather than down the road when you’re stuck working together.
If you’re looking for the screwdriver, there are various online platforms that you can plug information into, schedule campaigns go be launched, and monitor for analytics. The mechanic and engineer may be a bit more complicated, but they will be providing ideas, strategy, platforms, and implementation all within their services.
Spend some time getting to know the agency. Don’t make a rash decision based on a 10-minute sales call. Have an in-person meeting, make another phone call, check out their case studies and testimonials, and more. Keep records of all your communications with the agency as well so that you and new team members can reference them later. You never know which team member will catch a red flag or point out a good agency that you may not have considered as intently.
In the end, don’t be afraid to walk away. Just because you spent a lot of time getting to know a particular marketing agency doesn’t mean it was wasted. If you’ve come this far, you now know exactly what you want. Again, it’s better to learn this now before signing the contract.
Finding the right marketing agency is a process—one where you shouldn’t take shortcuts or cut corners. Your success depends on effective marketing that aligns with your business goals and appeals to your audience. With some hard work and research, you’ll be able to find the perfect marketing agency for your needs.
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