When selecting an agency to partner with, there are several aspects you must consider. Agencies come in all shapes and sizes, and analyzing the advertising market can be a tricky task as every company will know just how to put their best foot forward and capture your attention.
One of the first things to consider when shopping for an agency is analyzing their size in accordance with your budget. Larger agencies are unlikely to pull out all the stops for smaller clients. They know that their best return will be on bigger projects with national clients. Be aware that if you can find a bigger agency, you may not be their top priority. With this in mind, a smaller agency may just be the perfect match.
At the end of the day, you will do the best work with a team of people who resonate with the same core values and goals that you do. Chris Carter expands on the importance of hiring an agency that replicates a similar strategy that yours does, “We’ve had a lot of success winning new business because our partners and prospects believe what we believe. Our core values are reflected in our work and in every business pitch, we focus on why we exist as a company, over the how/what. Simon Sinek’s “Golden Circle Theory” explains this thought process in greater detail. – Chris Carter, Rep Interactive
Furthermore, ensuring that the vision for your brand is compatible with the agency’s capabilities can confirm a successful relationship between your businesses. Making sure you are both on the same page by assigning designated point people to the agency will make your brand accessible and understandable. If an agency has to deal with multiple people, it can lead to more misunderstandings than productivity. Understanding where an agency comes from and where they see you going can be a major indicator of the kind of work they will produce.
Be sure you have an idea of what their corporate culture is like and if your companies will work well together. For example, are you a laid back tech start-up? You are going to need an agency that understands the style of work you do. If you are more on the corporate side of things, likewise, an established corporate agency will be the best fit for you. Whether they are transparent workers or operate using “black hat” tactics, you need to think of your agency as an extension of your workforce and hire them using the same standards.
You might find it surprising how much you can foresee about a partnership from an agency’s ability to be authentic and likeable. How did they treat you when you visited? Had they done prior research on your brand before your visit? Did the employees look happy and motivated? By holding the agency to the same standards as your own company, you will not only make better partners but also better marketing.
One last little-known fact to consider when choosing an agency to partner with, is evaluating their leadership skills. Do your research. Does their executive team participate at conferences and contribute to notable publications? Have they really been able to get into the head of their target market in the past? You can compare one agency’s skills and capability to another all day long, but unless you have compared leadership skills, you can have less to work with than you may think.
While agencies are some of the most swiftly changing entities in the business world, it is pinnacle that you remain consistent in your own values when selecting one. By taking these factors into account, you will be sure to find a match.