5 Things to Look for in a Marketing Agency

The best marketing agency for our company is the one that has the expertise and capabilities to help you reach your goals. See what else matters.

January 17, 2023

Choosing a marketing agency can be overwhelming. As more businesses realize the value, more agencies work to meet demand. How can you tell the difference between a good agency and one right for you? 

As an agency ourselves, here is our (only mildly biased) opinion of the 5 most important things to consider when choosing a marketing agency. 

#1 Relevant Service Offerings

Not all marketing agencies offer the same services. Some agencies focus primarily on media services, such as photography and videography, while others may focus on digital advertising or search engine optimization (SEO).

These hypothetical agencies could all be successful and point you toward dozens of happy customers, but they won't be the best fit if they aren’t offering the marketing services you need. 

Find a marketing agency that offers the services that will help reach your goals. Are you looking to run a single, extensive marketing campaign or for consistent strategic content, lead generation, and brand loyalty?

#2 Experience

It’s also important to look for a marketing agency that has experience. One of the first questions to ask is if they have any other clients in your same industry. This is often a good sign, as the marketing team may already have a foundational grasp of what you do and how to present your products or services. This shouldn’t mean you’re getting someone else's marketing, though. The agency may have experience in your industry but is still there to learn about your company, goals, audience, and competitive advantages. 

Note: just because an agency you’re considering doesn’t have experience in your industry doesn’t mean they are a good fit. They may have experience with similar B2B or B2C projects that will equip them to serve your company well! 

Workshops, Consultation, Strategy Sessions

Workshops, consultations, and strategy sessions are a subset of experience that can be a great indicator of an agency’s experience and inform some of the other considerations on this list. 

Be mindful when agencies immediately offer to help you and start quoting monthly retainers and projects. Many reputable agencies will offer workshops, consultation meetings, or strategy sessions to help determine your company's needs and how to get started. 

We’ll give you an example. If you need a new website, the price tag on a complete redesign could have 5 zeros attached to it. We offer website consultations for roughly a third of that price, where we help you outline your current sitemap, desired sitemap, and all the primary areas to consider to ensure your website looks good to the search engines and the searchers. 

This consultation provides a clear and extensive starting place so you spend every dollar on your website project efficiently. 

Another example is our Messaging Workshops. Before we start creating content for any of our clients, we hold a multi-day messaging workshop to take a deep dive into who you are and how you relate to your audience. What kind of personality does your brand have? What phrases should we use or avoid when discussing your products and services? What is your vision? Your voice?

Defining your messaging is essential for brand consistency and ensuring that we effectively communicate with the right audience. 

#3 Communication

It’s one thing to expect your marketing agency to handle all your marketing efforts. It’s another to never hear from them again.

Okay, we’re exaggerating, but you shouldn’t only hear from your marketing agency when the bills are due, or it’s time to renew your contract. 

Look for a marketing agency that’s committed to building a relationship. One that initiates meetings, offers project updates, answers questions, and celebrates new clients with you.

Your relationship with your marketing agency should be a partnership, not an informal business transaction. 

#4 Results

And, of course, you want a marketing agency with a history of success. There is more to finding the right agency than choosing the one with the best track record, but no amount of experience and communication can make up for an inability to do what they say they can do. 

Success can be subjective in marketing, but one way to evaluate the results an agency can provide is through case studies. The best marketing agencies evaluate their successes AND failures to ensure they are constantly improving their ability to help clients reach their goals. 

#5 Transparency 

Lastly, you don’t want an agency that only answers your questions with, “don’t worry, we’ve got it covered.”

We talked earlier about how marketing should be a partnership. You may be outsourcing most of your marketing to an agency, but your insights and collaboration are an asset. No matter how much you trust an agency, it’s still beneficial to know what they are doing and why. Especially if you have an internal sales team that will be talking to the leads your agency is delivering. 

Transparency can be as simple as making you part of the process. It can also be a company’s willingness to tell you the truth and own up to mistakes. 

One of our core values at Electro is transparency because we believe it’s essential to who we want to be as an agency. There have been times we’ve met with potential clients where we knew we weren’t the best fit for them. Instead of overselling ourselves for new business, we helped them find another solution, even if that meant sending them to a competitor. We also never sell someone something they don’t need. We aren’t going to tell you that you need every possible marketing solution when you may only need a new website or a monthly content plan. 

No matter your industry or needs, these 5 criteria are a great starting point when choosing a marketing agency. Want to see if we check all your boxes? We’d love to chat. 

Writer: Gabrielle Mingus
Editor: SK Vaughn

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