How to Choose the Right Marketing Partner

How to choose the right marketing agency

Choosing the right marketing partner is an important and often overwhelming decision for most small to mid-sized businesses. Once you have made the decision to hire an agency, what comes next? There are a few things to take into consideration.

Groundwork

  • Look for an agency with specific expertise and experience that fit your goals, vision and values.
  • Know your budget before you start and make sure your goals are clear and defined.
  • Before you start it’s important that key-decision makers and team members are clear about the selection criteria and desired outcomes. This will save time and potential frustration later on.
  • Ask for recommendations from local businesses. Are there any local brands you admire? Ask who their marketing partners are.
  • Review the websites of marketing agencies in your area. Check out their prior campaigns, do background research on the agency and the kinds of clients they work with.

Contact the standouts

Contact the agencies that stand out for you. Provide them with information on your current marketing strategy and how it’s working/not working. Outline your goals for the future. Provide basic information about your customer type, where they can be found, sales/revenue, client growth and expectations for future growth, tactics and your marketing budget. You may consider writing an RFP or a less-formal RFI. These documents help tell agencies what you are looking for and give you a baseline for evaluating offers.

Of the agencies that respond positively, narrow your list down to the ones you think will be the most compatible with your business model and goals.

Interviewing

Here you will be looking for compatibility with your organization and business culture. You are making an important investment into the future, so take your time and make the most informed choice. If it’s possible to meet representatives face-to-face, do so. Try and have a standardized way with which to rate them against each other. It’s wonderful if they are charming, but it’s important that they can deliver and have the right skills for your needs.

Key Interview Questions:

Do they understand what your marketing needs are? Do they understand the nature of your business?

Are you on the same wavelength?

Ask them to tell you about similar clients. How did they deal with challenges? What were the outcomes? Here you are looking for their ability to demonstrate critical thinking and find solutions to problems.

Ask about their level of expertise in both traditional and digital marketing. Who are the marketing experts that would be working on the marketing strategy? What are their backgrounds and experience?

What tactics do they see as the most important?

Get an idea about what they could provide with different budget levels (high, medium, low). Don’t be afraid to provide your budget or a range that you are comfortable with. Most agencies can offer tailored solutions to fit your needs. If they can’t speak candidly and transparently about cost – take it as a red flag and proceed with caution.

Important. Do they ask you the right questions? Are they really listening to your specific needs and requirements? Do they seem able to develop creative and innovated ideas on delivery?

Is the energy there to follow through?

Choosing wisely

Make sure you have done the background work on verifying the success of prior campaigns. Ask for references.

Do they have a good track record?

Meet with relevant team members and measure the finalists against your detailed selection criteria.

Choose!

Try starting with a small project or short-term contract to get a feel of how they work and how you work as partners.

Remember: you don’t want a service provider; you want a partner as invested in your success as you are.

Are you looking for the right marketing agency in Winnipeg, Canada or North America? You can contact us and get your questions answered.

Read about our other posts about Marketing…

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in September 2015 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

 

Recent posts

and get a FREE website audit.

SEO specialist

Gary Singh

Gary is responsible for managing Organic SEO campaigns for all the projects. That includes strategic planning and implementation of various optimization techniques on client sites to increase their online organic traffic. He has strong command in Organic SEO for Google, Online Reputation Management and Technical audits for website performance.

Founder & President

Donowan Fowke

Winnipeg, Canada

Chief Strategy Officer & Partner

Alan Boyd

Operations Director

Barindra Nath
Minsk, Belarus

Bari’s CV reads like a who’s who of international company experience, best-in-class business certifications and methodologies, and an all-round knowledge and experience of technology and processes, he would put us all to shame. With that he manages and maintains commitment and delivery across all departments and teams. So essentially for us, he’s our operations quarterback ensuring that all plays are in place, and everyone and everything gets to the end zone on-time, in-budget, and with sanity’s intact!

Marketing Specialist

Stanislav Dylenok

Minsk, Belarus

Work as digital marketing team-lead specialist for canadian clients in Symbicore’s team, providing strategic marketing for customers in fields of christian education, logistics, realty business, IT, and etc
I graduated from the IPM course (under the CIM program) “Marketing Professional” as the best in the group. I also have a diploma in working with key employees of client firms (Up & Up course). At the moment I am undergoing training in CIM on the specialty “Digital marketing Strategy”

Senior Developer

Andrey Mikhaltsov
Minsk, Belarus

As Senior Developer, Andrey leads our development department, and when not coding and testing himself, he oversees the work of the development team in delivering robust, efficient, and secure solutions that deliver real value for clients and company. Specializing in PHP but always with an inquisitive and learning eye on other languages and frameworks, Andrey looks to expand the horizons of what’s possible with code, so that our customers can be sure they’re ahead of the game, and in front of audiences everywhere – online, on mobile and in-cloud.

Developer

Inna Gutsaliuk
Minsk, Belarus

Specializing in WordPress, Inna codes and develops websites of increasing complexity with inherent simplicity. Not only to ensure our clients have the most effective and functional presence online, but their customers have the best user-centric experience possible, Inna works with a can-do attitude and a will-do work ethic.

Art Director

Anna Kozlova
Minsk, Belarus

With in-depth and comprehensive experience in all aspects of design, both online and off, Anna heads our design department in delivering exceptional design-led communications, imagery, and iconography. Working quickly and iteratively, whilst keeping the focus on the end-user, she generates concepts and ideas that have meaning as well as purpose.

UI/UX Designer

Olivia Akulich
Minsk, Belarus

Olivia specializes in UX/UI design to deliver online customer experiences and user journeys that are innovative as well as intuitive. With an emphasis on style complimented with functionality, Olivia designs to ensure everything not only looks good, but importantly, works well – essential for creating value for clients and their customers alike.

QA Specialist

Aleksey Ermak

Minsk, Belarus

Aleksey is a quality assurance specialist whose activities are aimed at improving the software development process, preventing defects and identifying errors in the product.

Graphic Designer

Victoria Petrova

Minsk, Belarus

Victoria a graphic designer with more than 17 years of experience in the field of packaging design from concept to production and accompanying promotional products and printed materials (flyers, leaflets, brochures, booklets, catalogs, posters, banners). She also proficient in prepress, color separation layouts, supervision of the implementation of projects (print labels, packaging, tubes), rebranding and layout correction, elaboration of the elements of corporate identity (logo, business cards, letterheads, postcards, calendars), and others.

Project Manager

Diana Albakri

Minsk, Belarus

Diana is responsible for process and quality control, planning and prioritizing tasks on a daily basis to assure that we are meeting our deadlines and keeping our clients satisfied, as well as handling the internal and external communication.

Financial Business Analyst

Ulyana Grib

Minsk, Belarus

Marketing Specialist

Camille Aguila

Winnipeg, Canada

Discover the key marketing trends and forecasts that will impact your business strategy this 2022.