Building your business takes all of your focus and energy, and knowing what to prioritize can be challenging. But whether you’re a new startup or an established business, continuing to build your brand is imperative.
How Can You Evaluate Marketing Agencies?
Living in the digital era, you may expect the best place to begin is with a Google search. However, a personal recommendation would be more reliable. Despite the technology at hand, ask a colleague if they can make a recommendation. An agency referred by one of your colleagues can be one of your company’s most trustworthy sources.
If you are doing a Google search, selecting 15 to 20 agencies to start with will give you a nice pool of options. You can then reach out to each of your top agency choices, either by direct mail or via their web forms. You can provide them with a short introduction to your company and share your:
- Overall brand vision
- High-level marketing development plans
This will help you narrow your search and put you a step closer to your perfect partnership.
3 Tips for Finding the Right Marketing Agency
1) Evaluate their track record
Past results reveal a lot; the more you can learn about what a marketing agency accomplished for other clients, the more you can envision what they can do for your business. A marketing agency that takes pride in its work and results should make its portfolio — including case studies, client testimonials, metrics and analytics, etc. — available to potential clients.
2) Verify their commitment
A marketing partnership is a long-term relationship. Therefore, you don’t just want to partner with an agency you like and does excellent work, but you also want an agency you can rely on to take your calls, answer your questions, and address your concerns. You can evaluate their commitment level by paying close attention to their effort during the sales process. Do they respond quickly to your inquiries? Do they always follow up?
3) Communicate your budget up-front
Developing a marketing plan without a defined budget can be the downfall of any partnership. Don’t be afraid to communicate your budget, regardless of its size. You never know how a marketing agency will respond unless you try.
A great place to start when selecting a marketing partner is deciding between two main types of agencies — full-service and specialized agencies.
When to Choose a Specialized Agency
Specialized agencies have expert experience in one or a few areas of marketing and drill down into a specific problem to identify every opportunity needed for success. Although they have the depth of knowledge to understand the problems and solutions in their area of expertise, the downside is that’s all they know. They don’t usually have the breadth of knowledge to branch into other areas of the marketing process. If an unexpected problem arises, you might have to find other agencies to address new issues. That said, if your company already has a functioning marketing team with a wide range of capabilities, it might make sense to bring in a specialist to fill a specific gap of expertise.
Why Choose a Full-Service Marketing Agency?
As your business scales and evolves, your marketing needs will also change depending on the type of business you have. For example, legal services web design is very different from dental practice design. When selecting the optimal marketing agency to partner with, how can you determine the best fit for your marketing needs?
A full-service marketing agency offers everything that your business needs for its marketing efforts from start to finish — all under one roof — including:
- Branding and brand development
- Marketing strategy
- Advertising and PR
- Website design and development
- Content creation
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Social media and email marketing
- Video marketing
- Sales collateral development
Smaller companies (e.g., 10-50 employees) may not be able to afford to maintain multiple agencies specializing in a particular component. For these businesses, the best option would be a full-service agency. Even if you do choose to go with specialized agencies, you will still need an organization that manages the individual components to ensure continuity and brand consistency.
Breadth of Knowledge and Expertise
A full-service firm is a group of highly-skilled, trained, and qualified marketing professionals offering a set of comprehensive and non-exhaustive marketing services to your business. This means the range is wide, with multiple marketing channels, and the opportunities are endless.
Another benefit of hiring the right full-service firm is that they bring a cohesion factor to all of the marketing initiatives that are often lost hiring a great web agency, then a media planning firm, then a video production agency team, etc.
Conversely, a specialized marketing agency offers very specific services. They provide a single or a select few of the services listed above. For example, they may specialize in website design or SEO services. While a specialized agency may be a good fit for businesses with one or two specific needs, full-service is decidedly preferred for the comprehensive objectives of most companies seeking marketing help.
Having great assets is fantastic, but winning opportunities requires a team working together, intentionally in collaboration, on all links of the chain. With a full-service marketing firm, you also get the simplicity of having one point of contact with a holistic perspective on your business.
At Jungle Communications, we understand that the needs of every brand and business are unique and dynamic. As a full-service marketing agency, we offer a wide range of expertise across a variety of industries.
We are delighted to work with businesses at every stage of the marketing journey. Jungle Communications is here to help whether you need a single service or are looking for help to build your brand from the ground up.