As the lines between traditional and digital marketing continue to blur, many brands are looking towards digital agencies for their future campaigns.
How should you go about choosing a digital agency? What makes X different from Y, and would Z better suit your business?
These are questions you need to ask before partnering with any agency, digital or otherwise. In this article we’ll tackle a few of these vital questions and by the end, you should hopefully have a better understanding of where to spend your budget.
Step 1: What’s on offer?
While this might seem like a no-brainer, consider your business, your offerings and your customers. You’re hoping to make the greatest return on investment, so consider agencies whose goals are in line with yours. For example, if most of your customers fall within the lower LSM bracket, there’s not much point focussing your marketing efforts on smartphone apps or technologically advanced campaigns.
Step 2: Niche or broad?
A full-service digital agency is just that – an agency that can provide you with a holistic approach. The benefits should be obvious, as they can offer your brand a truly digital advantage. Some of the channels a full service agency covers include:
- Web development and design
- PPC advertising
- Social media
- Web analytics
That said, if you can already manage many of these aspects in-house, or feel like diversifying your agencies, consider smaller, more niche agencies which focus on specific digital channels.
Step 3: What’s their track record?
There’s no denying it – digital is growing, fast. In turn, digital agencies are becoming a dime a dozen. Because of this, it’s absolutely critical that you look at any agency’s past work. What sort of work have they done before? Have they won awards and were the awards for creativity, results or both? How are they regarded by their competition, and importantly, their clients?
Step 4: Meet and greet
If you think you’re on the right track, organise a meeting and get to know each other. By this we don’t mean sharing a bowl of spaghetti à la Lady and the Tramp, but rather to ascertain whether the company has the values and work ethic that you are looking for.
Step 5: Results and transparency
One of the key advantages of digital marketing is its measurability. From the time spent on a website to what was done after the visit, digital allows us to accurately measure most interactions. This is vital to maximising your ROI. Check whether your preferred agency is entirely transparent with results, and do they allow you access to the data? In addition, what is the frequency of the reports, and what level of detail does the agency provide?
Step 6: Take your time
By now you should have a good understanding of some of the basic questions you need to ask yourself before choosing a digital agency. Remember to consider your goals, the timeframes involved and the needs of your customers. Take your time, don’t rush into anything you’re not entirely happy with, and even consider partnering with more than one agency if that’s what floats your boat.
Jason Warner is a research writer for Quirk Education. Interested in learning about digital marketing? Sign up for one of Quirk Education’s online courses starting soon. Visit: www.quirk.biz/courses/home or tel: 021 462 7353.