It’s that time of the year. The wonderful people who sit on the board at your workplace have given you some pretty lofty goals to achieve for the next financial year, and on top of that they want you to pull together a marketing plan that’ll knock their collective socks off.
It goes without saying that someone of your ability will relish the challenge of meeting those lofty goals, but pulling together a standout marketing plan? That puts you in the hands of your marketing agency, and let’s face it, their creative is about as inspiring as wet socks.
You just aren’t getting the results you need, right?
And that nod of your head suggests you’re ready to start the search for a new agency. So how do you go about finding an agency that will be a true partner for your business? An agency you can trust to deliver the goods, time after time after time?
Here are the key questions you should be asking.
Do they ‘feel’ right?
Reach out to people from the agency and organise a visit to their office to check out the vibe and meet the head honchos. How did it feel? Did you walk away feeling that there is the potential for a strong, long-term partnership? Can you trust them to be honest with you, even if it risks losing your business? The last thing you want is a bunch of ‘yes’ men and women who will happily say what you want to hear, not what you need to hear.
Does the agency align to your values?
Are they a good ‘fit’? You should be looking for the Abbot to your Costello. The Tom to your Jerry. A successful partnership that you’ll both benefit from. Start with some questions. Do they really understand your local market? Are they independently owned and able to focus fully on you as a client? Or do they answer to a higher power over east, or worse, overseas? You want an agency that is local and collaborative and can work at all levels of your organisation, from the CEO down.
Are they established and stable, or a bunch of newbie cowboys?
Do your research into the marketing agency’s history and look at how they started. Have they been in business long? Do they have a strong financial standing? Do they have the connections with key industry players to get you the best rates for TV and radio, and to get you access to the super private social media giants?
A newbie agency may give you the big sell, but it’s best to have an experienced hand.
Does their portfolio match their pitch?
Marketing agencies will roll out a reel of their best work to persuade you to sign-on with them. Some key things you should be asking yourself while you check out their portfolio include; whether you’ve seen the ads before, whether the ad impressed you or not, did the ads win any awards or commendations, and did they give you the feels and blow you away.
A reputable marketing agency will likely mention any awards they have won. Awards convey credibility. But what you should be looking for is an agency that has campaigns that are both award winning and effective with case studies to back them up.
Do they do a good job of their own marketing?
When choosing a marketing agency, nothing is more appropriate than evaluating how it takes care of its own marketing. Look for strengths and weaknesses in their communication channels. Are their social networks up to date and engaging? Do they respond to comments in a respectful and meaningful way? Does their website impress you, or leave you feeling a bit underwhelmed?
What’s the word on the street?
Word of mouth is a key goal for most businesses, as nothing speaks louder than a personal recommendation. Reach out to your networks, talk to the head of marketing whose work you’re impressed with, and ask them about the agencies they’d recommend. They may even put you in touch themselves.
Which brings us to Rare.
It’s highly likely that you’ve seen or heard our work in action on the TV, radio, cinema screen, billboards, social media feeds, and more. We’re WA’s largest independent integrated agency and every day we work our wonder for clients big and small, local, national and international.