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Hiring a Marketing Agency: How to Choose a Good Partner

posted by Michael Epps Utley Michael Epps Utley
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When hiring a marketing agency to work with your business, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the options. There are lots of traditional and digital marketing agencies, and most of them have solid reputations and great reviews.

So how do you narrow down your options when choosing a marketing partner? And how do you know you’re headed in the right direction during your marketing agency consultation?

DodgeballSEO recommends considering 3 main parameters when looking for a marketing agency. Making these three choices simplifies the way forward.

How to Choose the Right Marketing Agency

Approach: Traditional Agency vs. Digital Marketing Agency

When you’re working to choose a marketing agency, it’s prudent to decide on your approach. Do you need a traditional ad agency or a digital marketing agency in your corner to get your business where you need to be?

  • Traditional ad agencies’ bread and butter is offline advertising. If you’re wanting to do radio ads, billboards, and TV spots, finding an advertising agency you trust will get you to those goals.
  • A digital marketing agency is focused on reaching your target audience online. Their strategies are more metrics driven, measurable, and tailored to your business.

It’s difficult to know for certain that your campaigns are getting results if you’re relying only on traditional advertising agencies to spread the word about your products and services. A digital marketing agency can help you identify both specific, shorter-term improvements to make to every campaign and data-driven long-term goals that will keep you from wasting time and money.

Focus Area: Local vs. Regional or National Focus

Some marketing companies have a very local lens. They serve local clients, and focus on marketing for the dominant industries in your geographic area. Others have a more regional or national lens, and can manage larger campaigns.

Someone in your organization with a more traditional, corporate background will likely be more comfortable with someone who is local. Others on your team might be ready to take a risk in favor of a wider reach. Here are some things to consider when you have all the decision-makers at the table.

  • If your products and services have a local focus, local agencies know the neighborhoods on a micro-level. They can get very “niche” in how your campaigns are designed and executed based on the neighborhoods and communities that surround your business.
  • A regional or national marketing agency will be able to help you cast a wider net in campaigns. Since they have worked with a greater number of clients, there’s more likelihood of finding experience in your industry.
  • A regional or national agency might be located somewhere with a lower cost of living than your city. Outsourcing online marketing work to one of those areas can help you save on your marketing costs.

While local agencies do have knowledge of local markets, they’re not the only ones. National agencies will have a detailed process for gaining in-depth local SEO and marketing insights already in place. There’s also a strong likelihood that they’ve already served clients in your area, and that they’ll be familiar with your industry.

Goals: Branding and Website Shop vs. Performance Marketing Shop

You’ve made some important decisions. You’re almost ready to hire a marketing team. But there’s one more important step. When you know the reach you want from your marketing agency, and you know you’re ready to go digital, it’s time to talk shop.

Each online marketing agency you’ll interview has their own areas of expertise. Marketing services tend to fall within two larger categories: websites and branding or performance marketing.

  • Branding and website shops are a good choice if you’re starting a new business, or gearing up for company-wide re-branding. They can help you define who you are, create a logo, find a brand identity, and discover your unique value proposition.
  • Performance marketing agencies are more data-oriented. Their work goes beyond a vision board or a brainstorming session. They can help you meet specific goals related to brand exposure, website traffic, and lead generation.

If you’re just getting started, a branding and website shop can help you get oriented. When you know who you are, and you’re ready to start getting leads as efficiently as possible a dedicated performance marketing agency is poised to help you get results that help your bottom line and boost your return on investment.

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