10 Questions to Ask a Digital Marketing Agency

Dec 2, 2015 | Inbound Marketing

Reading Time: 3 minutes
Kevin Fouche

10 Questions to Ask a Digital Marketing Agency

Posted by Kevin Fouche, Pixel Fish Director

Kevin handles the planning, design, launch and training of every website that Pixel Fish creates. He ensures that every website is highly engaging and aligned with our client’s goals. With over 20 years of design and web industry experience to draw upon, Kevin aims to pass on his knowledge to our clients and like-minded businesses wanting to grow their online presence.

As we advance further into the digital age, there is no question: digital marketing agencies are booming. As experts in the space in which consumers now spend most of their time, they can be crucial partners to optimise your internet marketing efforts.

But of course, this rapid rise in digital agencies can also bring with it sensory overload for many clients, who don’t know how to pick the best partner for their needs. To help you overcome that problem, here are 10 questions to ask when choosing your digital marketing agency.

1. What Services Does Your Agency Offer?

This first question is crucial. ‘Digital’ is a broad term, and agencies may specialise in PPC, social media, or other sub fields. You want to be sure that your new partner’s expertise overlaps with your needs.

2. How Well Do You Know My Industry?

Next, you should make sure that in partnering with you, the agency does not enter uncharted water. Every industry comes with different marketing needs and challenges, and your new partner should be aware of them before entering into a partnership with you.

3. How Do You Define Success?

You can ask this question in a variety of ways (an alternative: how do you report?), but the gist remains the same: your agency should know what ‘success’ means in a marketing sense, and be able to report on it on a regular basis.

4. What are Some Client Success Stories?

Next, it’s time to look at the agency’s current and past work. While their website will likely have some type of portfolio that partially answers your question, it never hurts to ask for more in-depth information and case story. Bonus points if the agency can share information about clients in your industry! And it never hurts to check your references as well by calling up current clients and asking for their opinion on your potential new partner.

5. Who Will Work on My Account?

You will want to know as early as possible who your main contact will be when working with the agency. This account representative will be your gateway to the creative hub of the agency, which means you should make sure you can work well with them.

6. How Fast Do You Respond?

Setting expectations about response time early can be crucial for a successful long-term partnership. Particularly smaller shops may not be able to respond to your email immediately at all times, but you will at least want to know whether expecting a response within 24 hours is reasonable.

7. How Do You Charge?

Naturally, your agency will charge overhead in addition to actual campaign costs to support their business. But just how they charge that overhead depends on each agency: some may simply offer a flat rate agency fee, others determine that agency fee as a percentage, and yet others tag on individual fees to each campaign. Knowing what to expect not only helps you plan your budget, but also avoids potential conflict down the road.

8. How Would You Evaluate My Current Efforts?

Use this question to get honest feedback on what you are currently doing. Your agency’s response will give you a good feeling for their marketing philosophy, helping you forecast potential future directions in which this agency could take you.

9. How Often Will We Meet/Report?

Marketing, particularly in the digital space, is a fluid endeavour. Campaigns change, reports point out flaws in campaigns that didn’t previously exist, and you’ll want to know about these changes as soon as they happen. That’s why you should ask your agency just how often they plan on getting together with you and going over reports, as well as mapping out strategic plans for future efforts.

10. What Do You Look for in a Client?

Finally, this last question allows you to gauge your agency’s philosophical fit with your business. Some agencies like a tight-knit relationship with constant communication and feedback, while others prefer to ‘do their thing’ and only update their clients periodically. Asking this question is a crucial last step in making sure you and your agency will be a good business fit.

Considering the plethora of agencies now vying to take you on as a client, finding a digital marketing agency that can be your long-term partner can be a difficult proposition. Asking these 10 questions allows you to find an agency that helps your business find marketing success. And if you’re still looking, we’d love to have a chat!

Contact us today to start the conversation.

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