4 (More) Questions to Ask Before You Outsource Your Marketing
Taking your business to the next level is no easy task when you’re operating at a deficit of time, resources or niche expertise. Without the right support to power continued growth, it’s easy for your in-house team to feel frustrated and maxed out. If it’s time to bring in ongoing marketing support that empowers you to do more than tread water, finding the right fit for your business is crucial.
Here are four more questions to help you navigate the marketing agency search with confidence.
1. What will my company need to provide you for marketing success?
Regular reporting and analytic review are essential elements in ensuring that everyone is working toward the same goals and that those initiatives are still in line with big picture business goals. Agencies typically work in their own office, away from your business which makes it especially important to keep in touch and everyone in sync.
The combination of clarity and communication are key. Any marketing agency worth their salt can provide suggestions and clarity, but will need in return, at a minimum, decisions from you and some general guidance. While you won’t need to draft logo ideas or specifically outline design projects, key items like your core company values and a clear picture of your ideal customer really drive the creative and marketing processes.
Social media gets a special asterisk here: know that each platform is designed for a particular user, but all social networks are designed for humans to connect with humans. The more organic content you can provide, the better your social media results are likely to be, and when in doubt, send photos, images and stories to your ongoing marketing support team and let them decide how and what to share (and track the results).
2. On average, how long have you been working with retainer or repeat clients?
This can be very telling, especially for creative agencies that have been in business for more than a few years. If you’re looking for an array of services – someone who can handle copywriting, social media, website hosting and maintenance, design for marketing and event materials, email campaigns and regularly report on progress – the real red flag is a company with several years under their belt, loads of experience and little to no repeat business.
3. Do you feel confident in your ability to scale (in volume and number of services provided) with my company as we grow and our needs increase?
Effective marketing is, in many ways, laying the groundwork for growth. Great marketing brings great customers who grow your business, feeding the need and budget to fuel more marketing, and thus the cycle continues. Having to pause during a great growth spurt to swap agencies can wreak havoc on your bottom line. Don’t be afraid to bet on your success by checking in and making sure your creative partner is betting on it, too.
4. How do you collect customer information? Do you have a preferred CRM?
Many creative agencies have a favorite CRM (ours is HubSpot) and it’s handy if you’re on the same page. This isn’t a make-or-break topic, but it’s good to know what kind of support you can expect and if you’ll be chatting in the same “leads and deals” lingo.