When you decide to hire a digital marketing agency, by default you check their KISSmetrics management, ability to drive traffic and engagement. You can even check their understanding of your domain and evaluate their pitch.
Being really smart, you also consider other aspects such as:
Did the agency ask you the right questions?
Have you heard any excitement or buzz around their existing customers?
Do industry leaders or companies and entrepreneurs you admire hire this office?
Is that enough? No, due diligence is not perfect. Ask yourself four more questions to avoid a potentially disastrous partnership.
1. How happy are their current customers?
Always ask to speak to some current customers. Satisfied customers are more than ready to recommend the office. Another way to measure customer satisfaction is to see how well connected they are on social media, how often they chat on these platforms and what kind of relationship they share.
Here is some information you should look for:
How do they manage the client-office interface? Do they have well-defined touchpoints and clear communication expectations?
Do they act like true partners and take responsibility for results?
How long do customers stay with them on average?
How much repeat business have they earned from current customers?
Have their client accounts grown in size over time?
2. Do you like their previous work?
Did any of their past projects make you say, “Wow, that’s cool”? Do you find yourself wishing, “Oh, we should have done that”? If you answered yes, the office is probably right for you because you think the same way. You enjoy building off each other’s ideas and you win. Definitely hire them.
3. Is there a cultural fit between you and the digital marketing agency?
Are you committed to building a remote culture? Do you believe in playing as hard as you work? Addicted to Slack, Hipchat or Reddit? Do you prefer four-day work weeks and just as comfortable pulling all-nighters? Glorious. Check that your office is too.
You and your digital marketing agency need to be able to keep up with each other, step by step. The journey is more fun when shared with people who enjoy the same challenges as you. Look for enthusiastic, fast learners who make it easy for you to work with them.
4. How important is your company to the agency?
You want a digital marketing agency that:
Appreciate your business
Gives your brand the focus it needs
An office with a huge client list may not be what you really need. If the agency you choose is very large and has many large accounts, your agency may get lost in the clutter. A smaller agency is more likely to be hungrier for your business and more motivated to help you achieve your marketing goals.
Whatever size you want, choose an office that doesn’t force you to fight for attention.
After asking these four frequently asked questions and seeing that the agency ticks all the boxes, sign the contract. Congratulations, you just avoided a partnership disaster!