When it comes down to it, selecting a partner to support you with digital marketing is just plain challenging. The landscape is crowded. The jargon is overwhelming. Sometimes it can feel like you’re not quite sure what you’re looking for. So what should you consider when selecting the right digital marketing agency for your needs?
You need to determine if you like the people first.
No matter how qualified an agency is, it’s the people you (and your team) will need to work with every day. Try and assess the ways you’ll work together and how you feel about the people at the other end of the proposal. They say hiring an agency should take as much thought as hiring a full time employee. Trust is essential, and if you can even get away with truly liking each other, then you’ve got a great fit.
They should make realistic promises.
Of course you want your agency to help get you results. And they should want to help you make strides too. But, if an agency makes big promises like “We guarantee to optimize your SEO to get you to the first result!” or “We can increase your conversion rate by 50%!” they’re not likely the real deal. With most digital marketing approaches, there are so many variables involved that it’s impossible to predict exactly how something will turn out. Measurement plans and incremental growth? Sure. But if an agency is telling you they can move mountains, they’re probably lying to get your business.
Get a feel for their scope and depth of work.
Deep industry experience is important. It helps the agency truly understand your business, its quirks, your customers or prospects, and more. You can skip a lot of on-boarding and ramp-up based on their familiarity with the subject matter. On the other hand, you don’t want an agency that delivers you copy + paste style solutions because they think they’ve got it all figured out. Past success doesn’t always equal future results. Sometimes a solid range of experience across sectors can help deliver the expertise seek an agency for in the first place.
In the end, every situation is different. Give yourself the time to think things through and consider how the agency will best be able to help you reach your goals. Sometimes it’s the things you can’t grade on a rubric that are the most important.