Today’s marketing executives face more challenges than ever before. Staffs are smaller. So are budgets. A digital marketing strategy is essential at a time when traditional print and media channels are giving way to personalized experiences that fit on a phone or wearable device. Social-driven customers trust shared reviews over marketing “spin”. Back in the day, advertisers counted “impressions”; now they pore over analytics. The speed of change is staggering.
Where does the marketer turn for help? I respectfully offer six points to consider as you search for an agency partner.
Creativity. Most agencies are creative, so it’s important to find the right people who have a knack for producing award-winning work across multiple media platforms. Review portfolios for compelling 3D, animation and video work as well as digital marketing and traditional print.
Expertise. Multi-dimensional expertise should include knowledge in the following: (1) processes and workflows, (2) industry knowledge, (3) technology and (4) Social media and SEO. Are their processes designed to eliminate waste and drive efficiency? Is their breadth and depth of product knowledge in your industry, or in something totally unrelated? Most importantly, how will they improve your online presence and make your product more attractive to customers?
Teamwork. Do the interdisciplinary teams function seamlessly, saving you the hassle of shopping pieces of jobs to multiple agencies? Can they turn a print catalog into a digital flip book with ease? Is it possible to collaborate with creative and web teams to build a custom website or a digital marketing campaign?
Commitment. Does the culture take ownership of the assignment from start to finish? Will they care as much about the job as you do? Look for a “We got this!” attitude that ensures that challenges and roadblocks will be overcome.
Delivery. Simply put, do they meet deadlines, so you can hit your objectives? Are you confident that they will make the extra effort to ensure that the work meets or exceeds your expectations?
Value. Where do you achieve the greatest return for every marketing dollar that you spend? While the lowest bid might not be the best option, the highest one could make ROI hit diminishing returns. In the end, if you’ve done your homework on the previous four points you should have a good idea if you’re receiving a good value or high mark-up.