7 Things to Know About Hiring a Marketing Agency

We're giving you the steps to find the right marketing partner for your business.

What should I expect from a marketing agency?

Expectations are very important when hiring a marketing agency. Not only will you need to have expectations of them, they will also have expectations of you. When first meeting with an agency, be honest with what you are looking for and what you expect. If you are looking for a more informal initial conversation, let them know. If you want them to give you the full she-bang, give them a heads up so they can prepare a full presentation for you. Letting an agency know what you expect from the beginning will allow you to find the best fit for you.

To help you find the right fit, here are some helpful questions to ask:

  • What services do you specialize in?
  • How do you handle communication with your clients?
  • What do you do best? What could you improve at?
  • What type of business do you most often work with?

An agency that is invested in you, will ask questions, want to know the ins and outs of your business and get to know your team. Make sure you are hiring a marketing agency that is invested in your success and your expectations align.

Should I choose a marketing agency with a specialty?

Depending on your marketing needs, you should hire a marketing agency that specializes in an area where you need some extra help. Agencies can specialize in a lot of different areas, one agency may develop killer websites, another is passionate about branding, and another could boost your business through digital. When hiring an agency, make sure your internal team is clear on what marketing goals you want to accomplish so you can hire an agency that will help you best accomplish your goals.

Should I hire a marketing agency that’s local?

There are benefits to hiring local agencies and agencies out of state. When deciding whether to hire a marketing agency in state or out of state, consider the following questions:

  • What kind of communication do I want with my agency?
  • Does the size of the agency matter to me?
  • Is meeting the team important to me?

Every business is unique and has different needs. These questions will help you discover what type of agency is best for you. If face-to-face communication is important to you, consider hiring a local agency. If you are not as concerned with communication, consider searching nationally for an agency. By opening up your search, you will have more options to choose from enabling you to pick an agency of a specific size, specialty and industry focus.

Is one agency enough?

Some agencies do it all, and others have a very particular niche. How do you know what agency to choose? As we’ve said before, knowing your marketing goals is very important when hiring a marketing agency and deciding if you need more than one. If you are looking to re-brand, hiring an agency who specializes in branding is a must. However, if they don’t have as much experience in website creation, you may want to consider splitting the difference and finding another agency that focuses on web design and development. If you need multiple different marketing projects completed, you may want to hire a full-service agency that has the ability to do it all.

What type of technology does a marketing agency use?

Before you hire a marketing agency, it is important to know what type of technology they will be using. Marketing agencies use a variety of different tools and technologies to help you with all your marketing needs. The options are endless, but here are a few to get you started:

  • Drupal: An open source platform for building websites. Built in PHP, it is a highly interactive and user friendly.
  • Figma: A designers dream tool! Figma allows you to prototype an idea, create a design, update and store feedback, all in real time.
  • GoDaddy: Largest domain name registrar and web hosting company.
  • Google Ads: Google’s online advertising platform where you can pay to display advertisements for your business.
  • Shopify: A widely used e-commerce platform that gives you everything you need to sell online, on social media or in person.
  • WordPress: User friendly, powerful and commonly used content management tool. WordPress is an open source website creation tool written in PHP and powers over 32% of websites on the internet.

What type of agency culture should I be looking for?

An agencies culture is a very important aspect when hiring a marketing agency that is right for your business. Your marketing agency will be your partner, an extension of your business, so it is important that you both share the same values, work styles and communication methods. The closer you are aligned with your marketing agency, the easier it will be to work together. Plus, chances are you’ll meet some pretty cool people that care about the same things you do!

Want to know about agency culture first hand? Here’s a sneak-peak at a day in the life at Bigfish.

How does pricing work?

Everyone’s favorite topic, and perhaps one of the most important, pricing! Pricing will play a big role in hiring a marketing agency. Every agency is different, but here are a few typical pricing options that are used by most:

Retainer: This pricing structure is where you and your agency will decide on a specific number of hours allotted each month to complete any marketing request you have. A retainer is more flexible than other types of agency pricing. If one day you want a digital design and the next you want creative copy, a retainer will cover it all.

Project Based: Unlike a retainer, project-based pricing relies on a strict contract that adheres to agreed upon timelines and deliverables. Hiring a marketing agency for a specific project takes a lot of upfront planning. If you know what you want, have a strict timeline and have hammered out the details, project-based pricing is the way to go.

Performance Based: Less common than project based and retainer, this method is based entirely on goals and agreed upon payment. If you have very specific goals that you want to achieve, this pricing method is the one for you.

No matter what pricing method is best for you, your agency will provide you with a Statement of Work or SOW. This is basically a contract that outlines everything that you have agreed upon. Make sure you read through this SOW carefully to ensure all of the details are accurate.

Whether your company is big or small, hiring a marketing agency can help you gain exposure and meet your business goals. In conclusion, choosing the right agency is an important choice for your business. Make sure these topics are considered when you are searching for the perfect marketing partnership.

Want to learn more about hiring a marketing agency?

About the author

Jr. Account Manager

Although born and raised in Arizona, Katie moved to Seattle where she studied marketing before [...]