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January 27, 2021

How Do You Find a Great Digital Agency?

By John Caruso 3 Minute Read

2020 certainly brought a lot of changes. Changes that I don’t have to discuss. The only one worth mentioning is how 2020 magnified the importance of digital.  If this new spotlight on digital marketing has you looking for ways to bolster your digital presence, you might be interested in partnering with a new agency.

Maybe you currently have an agency. Or you are considering working with an agency for the first time, because you are seeing the drastic shift of business in the digital world. Either way, this blog should help you understand the things to look for in a new digital agency, and the things to avoid.

Evaluate an agency by examining their core values and their process. How do you discover this? Asking the questions below is a great way to learn if they live up to the claims on their website.

Can You Meet the Team?

A lot of agencies, especially bigger ones, will often bring in the big guns to pitch you and put on the razzle dazzle, only weeks later you realize your account has been passed onto the B-Team. I urge new clients to meet with our team and get to know the people who will be working with them from day one.

If an agency is alarmed or uneasy when you ask to meet those who will handle your account daily, it might be a big red flag.

We see a kickoff meeting as an opportunity to get to know one another, and to determine if the client matches our culture. If our team and yours doesn’t mesh, it might not be a good fit from the start. Make sure your agency commits to introducing you to your potential team before signing.

Does the Digital Marketing Agency Want to Sell You Something, or Help You?

Obviously, you can’t expect an agency to help by providing free services. But, if they are making suggestions and helping to either share their knowledge, or point you in the direction of a solution, this is a great sign.

Our mantra is based off the Inbound Methodology developed by HubSpot. We aim to help where we can, up until the point where we must charge for our services. Chances are, if an agency only wants to sell you things, they are interested in your account for all the wrong reasons.

Will the Agency Explain Their Strategy?

Some of the best clients I have pitched are always very interested in how we approach our work. I would be willing to say that if an agency doesn’t talk about developing a strategy or including it in the first part of working together, it may be a problem.

Most successful agencies have a tried-and-true method for diving into your business and learning what you do, and more importantly, the types of clients that you do it for.

When it comes to marketing or advertising, failing to plan or execute from a strategy is a recipe for failure. Not to mention a colossal waste of time. Make sure the agency walks you through their process, and more importantly, make sure that process covers the necessary items to develop a solid and effective strategy.

How Will My Account be Managed?

How your account will be managed on a day-to-day basis is very important. Make sure you review with your prospective agency how often they plan to speak to you on a regular basis. They should also ask your preferred method of communication.

In our experience, dependent upon the type of work we will be doing, we set up a normal cadence of check-in meetings, and sometimes utilize additional tools to send changes or updates to work. We will also simultaneously add them to our project management software.

Our approach works seamlessly so that tasks are added, updated and reviewed on a timely basis.

This ensures that your vision and our expertise help to complete tasks in a speedy fashion.

Is the Digital Marketing Agency Transparent About Pricing?

One of the most important aspects of partnering with a new agency is price. Agencies vary widely in their pricing structure, and oftentimes that degree of variation is associated with the service.

A decision made purely on price is one that an organization may regret.

I always recommend discussing your project or account in detail, then discuss how you will work together. The best outcomes come from a true partnership. An agency should be able to accurately explain their rationale for the budget. Remember good agencies aren’t cheap, and cheap agencies aren’t good.

By asking these questions when reviewing a new agency, you should learn three important details:

  • How that potential agency will help your organization achieve its goals
  • Who will work with you to achieve these goals
  • How much with this cost

An agency search can be stressful and sometimes time consuming, so hopefully this blog helps eliminate some stress. These five questions sound basic, yet they provide valuable insights to help you meet your digital marketing goals.


John Caruso
About the Author
John is the Director of Business Development at Vendilli Digital Group. Outside of work, you can find him fishing, hunting, or canning vegetables from his garden.

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