10 Questions to Ask Before Making It Official with an Agency

October 31, 2019

Finding the best growth marketing agency is a bit like dating: it’s complicated. You’re in the market for top-notch business consulting, and there are plenty of contenders. But you’ve been burned in the past by the smoke and mirror tactics of subpar agencies who made promises regarding their digital consulting services that they just couldn’t deliver. So, how do you choose “the one” without wasting your time, money and sanity?  

The following list of questions is meant to help you and your team streamline the decision-making process. Use them as a baseline and customize the list to your company’s needs. But before making it Facebook official with one agency, here’s what you should ask:  

Can you describe your Growth Agency’s work ethic?

When hiring any company to help you navigate the labyrinth that is digital consultancy, you want a company whose values are in alignment with yours. Identifying the agency’s structure and practice to determine if your values, mission and goals are in sync is a good place to start.

How do you measure success?

Marketing strategies are multifaceted; and success, however it may be defined, doesn’t always come fast or easy. It takes time to discover what yields results, and what doesn’t. Whatever firm you choose to provide your business the consulting it needs to prosper must be specific to what your unique brand of success looks like, and you both can’t agree on what success looks like, instead of success you could be heading for disaster.   

What metrics will you monitor and report on?

ROI, number of visits, CTA click-through; you can measure just about anything these days – but not all metrics are equal in importance. Determine what’s valuable to you and cut out the rest.

Who will we be working with on a regular basis?

You’ll want to know who makes up the team and if you’ll be assigned a main point of contact to handle the day-to-day management of your account. Here, you’ll also get a feel of the agency’s culture and determine if it will be a good fit with your team.

How often will we meet with your team? What can we expect from these meetings?

First, ask yourself, how often do you want to meet with someone on digital consultancy? Or instead of business consulting, do you instead just want to hand over full reigns, so they can implement the strategy and check-in on a weekly or bi-weekly call. Determine what you’re comfortable with and set your expectations from there.  

What services do you offer?

Web design, copywriting, video production; get yourself a growth agency that can do it all. Versatility is key here. If any component will be outsourced, you’ll want to know that too.

Do you have experience managing paid social campaigns? 

Paid advertising has blown up in recent years, so you’ll want to make sure the agency has experience with writing and placing ads.

How many clients are you currently working with?

Whether it’s 5 or 15 – it’s your call to decide how much is too many. But at least you’ll get a better idea of the agency’s ability to time manage effectively and how much one-on-one time you can realistically expect.

What is included each month within our agreement/contract?

Cover what’s included in your scope of work – from deliverables right down to turnaround times.

When can we expect to see results of SEO?

Be wary of any agency that tells you they’ll get your business to ran within 1 or two months from the get-go. It takes time to climb the rankings; an established agency will run an analysis on your company before they come up with an SEO strategy and will never guarantee first page results in “x” amount of time.

Next steps

So, you went on your first date and got the answers you needed. Now what?

Determine if there was chemistry

Ask yourself: did you feel a spark? Was there natural synergy? Do you see yourself (and your team) establishing a successful and fruitful partnership with this growth agency? Our advice here – although somewhat cliché – is to go with your gut. When you know, you know.

Google them  

Most of us wouldn’t buy a new blender without pouring over reviews online, so why sign into a legally binding agreement without doing the same? Ask all the questions, do your research and truly understand the team you’re buying into. Are you about to jump into a year-long commitment with an ad agency that hasn’t changed its approach (or their website) in the past 30 years? Or are you partnering with a seasoned team that’s evolved their skill sets and strategies beyond the overused and outdated models of a traditional agency?

Ask your friends

If it’s an established firm, chances are someone in your circle has heard of it, and even may have the inside scoop. But if the search turns up empty, dig for client references. Since most agencies provide their client list on their website, it shouldn’t be too difficult to find a company where you may know an employee or have mutual connections on LinkedIn.  

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