How to Pick a New Agency

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Five questions you should ask

1. What is most important: Proactive client service, sales increase, brand image improvement?

All three are important. But which is most important? Will you fire an agency that doesn’t improve your bottom line fast? Then that’s your goal. Are your sales consistent and you’re trying to grow your brand presence? Ok. From our point of view, the most important variable for a successful relationship is having a clearly defined expectation so we all know when to adjust process or celebrate wins!

Recommendation:
Beyond a SOW, create a SOE (Scope of expectations).

2. Identify your maximum travel radius.

New York agencies sound cool. So do LA agencies. But nothing beats being able sit face to face and discuss what is needed. It makes a difference if you are looking for a long-term partner, or simply looking to speed up turnaround times. So, we definitely recommend being nearby your agency partner. Down the street. A short drive. Or an easy same day flight out-and-back.

Recommendation:
Pick an agency within a 2-hour travel (train, car, plane) distance.

3. List what you think you want to make.

Website redesigns, YouTube videos, Paid Search, TV, Events, Outdoor. What does your marketing team think you want to make? Put it all in a list. Now, take off the things that aren’t realistic, based on budget, time frame, or simple logic. Too often, a business gets caught up in the glamour of possibly making a big budget TV ad, and chooses an agency to do it. Then they come to the reality that they really just need a web design partner who will also improve their paid search ROI.

Recommendation:
List what you need. Then, choose only agencies based on their ability to execute on those needs. Excellent project management resources familiar with those processes will keep things moving.

4. Be honest about your approval process.

How will your work be approved within your organization? By you? The CEO? A team of ten people in a monthly meeting? The more people, the slower the approval process.

Recommendation:
If you have a large approval team, it’s OK to go with a larger agency. You move slow, they move slow.

5, Decide if you like being told what to do, or not.

Some agencies are in business to help you achieve your vision. Some are there to create a vision. Choose one that is clearly aligned with your needs.

Recommendation:
Be honest with your own desires. If you know what you want, pick an agency that executes. If you don’t know what you want, pick the smartest agency you can find.