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5 questions to help choose the right marketing agency

May 18, 2021

The average marketing spend per year can be anywhere up to 12% of total revenue. So, whether you’ve decided that you simply no longer have the time to elevate your marketing strategy as you scale, or you’re looking to replace your current vendor, it’s a huge investment and one that takes much research and deliberation. 

Like any decision to be made for a business owner, it can come with their typical pain points. To ease the process, we’ve put together five key questions that will help you find the marketing agency that fully understands your goals and knows how to get you there. 

1. “Are you a full service marketing agency?”

Kicking things off, we recommend jumping straight in and identifying if the agency is a one-trick pony, or if they cover everything you need (and in some cases, more)!

A full-service marketing agency will look at your challenges with a panoramic view. From web development to social media assistance, right through to sales material. The team will consist of individuals who specialize in a diverse range of disciplines that can deliver a fully coordinated campaign for maximum outcome.  

Unlike a PPC-focused, or social-media-management-only team, a full-service agency understands the importance of cohesiveness. Like a jigsaw puzzle, your marketing efforts across various disciplines need to work together to convey a unified message. Enabling, in turn, allowing you to strengthen your brand’s identity as a whole. 

2. “What are your specialist areas?” 

What works for a global tyre manufacturer may not necessarily work for a local shopping centre. Identifying whether an agency has a niche focus in a particular industry, or showcases a portfolio ranging across a diverse range both has its benefits.

An experienced team in your field may result in added confidence that your goals can be met at an accelerated pace. For example, you may think you need to spend time growing your social presence but their experience will advise you that it’s an updated SEO strategy that you need. Expect that some agencies will show loyalty to their existing clients, and a conflict of interest can arise.

Alternatively, despite any experience in your area, a marketing agency working with a variety of industries shows adaptability. Don’t hesitate to ask what steps they will take to come to grips with your space. 

3. “Can you explain the start-to-finish process of a typical project?”

Whether you have experience in the past working with an agency, or not, it’s important to note that how one agency operates is not reflective of another. While there isn’t a one size fits all approach to any project, the response to this question will serve as a benchmark for a typical project process. It can help you vet agencies based on their operations, and not just their promises. 

From brief to completion, you should address what is required from your end (i.e. logos or access to platform accounts). Also, which individuals from your team will need to be included, and at what stages. 

4. “How do you communicate with clients day-to-day?”

Service is just as important as the final deliverables, and when out-sourcing work, communication is paramount to a project’s success. 

Therefore, a good marketing agency will have steady ongoing engagement with clients. They may use project management tools such as to keep you in the loop. When discussing communication between both parties, you additionally may want to find out: 

  • How often can you expect updates 
  • Your dedicated point of contact
  • What happens on the occasions that you’re unable to reach your main point of contact

5. “Do you have any recommendations based on my industry and my goals?”

After giving a potential vendor an idea of your challenges and aspirations, we recommend flipping the conversation around and posing this question. The benefits of doing so are two-fold: 

1. You’ll quickly get a sense of the degree to which they understand your goals

2. They have the opportunity to showcase their adaptability and creativity, on the spot. 

It’s one thing that an agency has the team, knowledge, and tools to offer you the brand development or the communications support that you need, but establishing how aligned you both are is the key to ensuring your goals are met. Similarly, an agency that simply ‘does what they’re told’ won’t help you progress beyond what you are already capable of. Ultimately, the response to this question should leave you excited for the partnership that you’re about to embark on together.

Gray’s communications is a full-service marketing agency that becomes an extension of your team to achieve your business goals. Ask us our 5 key questions, and find out if we can help transform your business for the better, today. 

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