Marketing and Online Dating Go Hand-in-Hand. A lot of Options, Yet A lot of Swipe Left. Here’s What You Should Look For:
Online dating revolutionized our love lives; from the comfort of our keyboards, we could search for our perfect mate, weeding out lackluster matches with the click of a mouse. And guess what? Finding the right marketing agency is a lot like online dating. You can set your unique search parameters, discard the obvious mismatches and identify potential suitors.
But unlike your relationship preferences, which only take your needs and wants into consideration, finding the right marketing agency involves envisaging and balancing the interests of your colleagues, customers and company’s budget. It can feel overwhelming. So, let us help you understand what you should look for in a perfect marketing partner:
Experience. This sounds like a no-brainer, but a marketing agency should be bursting at the seams with experience. That’s not to say the only good options are long-established agencies; plenty of start-ups (ahem!) are stacked with experienced professionals. Research not just an agency’s collective experience—i.e., clientele, campaigns, reputation—but that of its employees and leadership as well.
Creativity. Your business is unique; a boilerplate approach to meeting your marketing needs simply isn’t good enough. The right agency will demonstrate creativity in how it strategizes and executes a campaign.
Transparency. You should know from the get-go what an agency’s capabilities are, who your team is, and what, exactly, you’ll be billed for. There’s no two ways about it: honest, forthright communication is the foundation of any trustworthy partnership. Settle for nothing less.
Relationship oriented. The best marketing agencies value more than billable hours; they invest in and value relationships, both in-house and with clients. You want a team with good synergy—one that respects its members and works well together—who likewise recognizes your worth beyond being a source of revenue.
A deep bench. Beware the agencies who claim to be full service, but really only specialize in one or two aspects of marketing (like SEO or copywriting). Look for an agency with a deep bench of experts who can support all of your marketing needs, from brand strategy to coaching, content development, editorial support, digital and website, social media strategy, and everything in between.
Thought leadership. Beyond demonstrating an ability to execute marketing campaigns, the best agencies will also (or at least should to some extent) exude thought leadership in the form of blogs, published bylined articles, podcasts and more. After all, if an agency doesn’t do a good job of positioning itself as an industry leader and marketing its own expertise, how will it do it for your business?
Culture. In addition to looking good on paper, your agency should feel right. Consider whether an agency’s culture—its personalities, mission, communication habits, management practices, etc.—is a good fit for your business. After all, just because there is a cool, trendy office in pictures doesn’t mean it’s the best match in real life.
Just as you (hopefully) wouldn’t settle for an imperfect romantic match, you should insist on a marketing agency that meets high standards. Dedicating the time to consider characteristics like those mentioned above will serve you in the long-run. Trust us. You won’t regret it.