Thinking about working with a design and marketing agency? Agencies come in all shapes and sizes and many focus in specific areas, such as: influencer marketing, graphic design, digital marketing, branding, web design, event marketing, or social media. Which agency is right for you? Here are some questions to consider as you begin your selection process.
1. What area of your business do you need help with?
Before contacting potential agencies, spend some time identifying your business needs and goals. It will save you a ton of time--and headache--if you already have a good idea of what you need help with, what you hope the outcome will be, and what type of budget you can allocate to these efforts. This doesn’t need to be an exhaustive exercise, but you will need to be able to articulate this information to prospective agencies.
2. What does the agency’s ideal client look like?
Ask about the types of businesses and industries with whom they typically work. It’s fine to request past-project specifics like client size, goals, and budget; agencies are often asked to provide this information. If the agency hasn’t worked with a business like yours, inquire as to why they’re interested in working with you and how they’ll come up to speed in your industry or market.
3. How does the agency manage projects?
These are critical questions: How does the agency stay organized and how will they communicate needs and progress with you? Do they use a project management tool? What’s their preferred method of communication? With larger agencies and multi-channeled projects, you may have upwards of 10 people working on your account. Knowing who’s in charge, how expectations and deadlines will be communicated, and what the approval process entails are important points to consider.
And that brings us to ...
4. Who will be doing the work?
Always, always ask who will be working with you. In some instances, agencies make the “pitch” with their senior executives--their show-stoppers who know how to wow you and get you excited about the work they can do. When it comes down to actually getting the work done, it’s likely passed along to other, less-seasoned staff members. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but the agency should be transparent about their work process. Ask for full staff bios and/or to meet (in-person or virtually) with the people assigned to your project.
5. Does the agency feel like a good fit?
You’re entering into a relationship with your agency. Healthy relationships require communication, commitment, and collaboration from both parties. You’ll spend many hours in meetings, on the phone, or video chatting, while evaluating ideas, setting goals, and examining results. Are they innovative risk takers (like you), or are they more measured and reserved in their approach? Do you enjoy their sense of humor? Are they fun to work with? Chemistry is an important element to consider.
We hope this information is helpful as you begin your search for a design and marketing partner. Feel free to reach out with questions or comments!