Selecting the right marketing agency for your business can deliver ROI in spades. But getting there is often a challenging and complex process. How do you know which agencies will talk the talk and walk the walk? How can you be sure that an agency gets you and your business (especially in the B2B space)? What if they say all the right things but you just don’t click?
While the process can be disruptive and time-consuming, it’s worth it. The right agency will act as a true extension of your team, energizing your marketing with fresh perspectives, ideas and skills, and expanding the impact of your team and your budget.
So, what can you do to help make sure you don't miss the mark? We’ve put together a comprehensive roadmap to help guide you toward a fruitful partnership, from assessing industry experience and culture fit to aligning on budget expectations.
To start, check out Episode 1 of our video series, Movers + Makers, on how to find the right agency partner. LoSasso’s Chief Strategy Officer, David Fabbri; Group Account Director, Tracey Glibowski; and our VP of Business Development, Julia Parisot, sat down to discuss how to approach an agency review and set the table for a productive long-term collaboration.
Movers + Makers | Episode 1: Finding the Right Agency Partner
What to do before searching for an agency partner
1. Evaluate your current business needs, goals and expectations
Begin by reviewing your current marketing outcomes and business goals, especially in light of the rapid pace of change in the industry. Determine where your existing strategies might fall short, particularly in reaching and engaging with your target market.
2. Determine your skills gaps
B2B marketing often requires specialized knowledge, such as understanding niche markets or complex sales cycles. Identify areas where your internal capabilities could benefit from an agency's expertise, such as digital marketing, analytics or creative development.
3. Develop a list of "must-haves"
Create a checklist of essential attributes and services your ideal agency should offer, considering factors like industry experience, service offerings and cultural fit.
Get to your top agency shortlist faster
Interview agencies like employees
Approach the agency selection process like hiring a high-value team member. Evaluate agencies based on their strategic thinking, creativity and ability to deliver tangible results. A willingness to collaborate transparently and bring valuable insights is crucial.
The right-sized agency for your business can offer personalized attention while having enough resources to handle complex campaigns. It's important to find an agency that's big enough to meet your needs but nimble enough to prioritize you as a client.
Communication is key
Look for an agency that is transparent in its communication, especially regarding budgeting. Clarity in financial discussions lays the groundwork for a realistic and productive relationship.
Questions to ask during the agency interview process
Evaluate their digital marketing capabilities
To ensure you find an agency that truly amplifies your digital marketing impact, it's crucial to ask targeted questions. These will help you gauge their digital expertise and fit with your media strategy:
How do you stay ahead of marketing trends and technology? Inquire about the agency's methods for keeping up-to-date with the latest changes in digital marketing and technology, ensuring they can offer cutting-edge solutions.
Can you align your strategies with our specific goals and budgets? Discuss how the agency intends to tailor their strategies to meet your goals and how they handle budget constraints to maximize the impact of your investment.
How do you measure and report campaign success? Ask about their approach to tracking the effectiveness of marketing campaigns, including the use of analytics and reporting. This reflects their commitment to transparency and results-driven strategies.
How will you enhance our digital presence across different platforms? Explore their capability to manage and optimize your presence across various digital platforms, adapting to the unique dynamics and audiences of each.
Your choice of agency should be a strategic fit for your business, not just in capabilities but also in vision and approach. These questions will help you uncover an agency's potential to be a true partner in your digital marketing journey.
Use these questions to probe deeper into the agency's compatibility with your business's unique objectives and culture.
Do you have industry experience and/or adjacent experience? Direct industry experience is great but not always a must-have. Often, adjacent experiences can provide a baseline understanding of shared marketing practices but with a fresh perspective.
Do you have an established client onboarding process? What does it look like? A proven client onboarding process, including a 30-60-90-day plan, can help shorten the learning curve and set shared expectations early for long-term success.
As an agency, what are your core values and goals? The most successful partnerships are between organizations that share similar values and goals. Disclosing this information early on helps to build trust and a deep, lasting relationship.
What do you need from us to be successful? Client-agency relationships are a two-way street. Sharing this kind of information can help move both teams forward in the right direction from the jump.
What excites you most about my business? This answer reveals a lot about the agency’s passion for your business and the opportunity as well as the kind of energy they will bring to your engagement.
Sample Agency Question Sheet
We’ve created a downloadable worksheet to help you gather responses to these five essential questions as you vet your potential agency partners.
Assessing the potential for a long-term agency partnership
Choosing an agency isn't just about addressing current needs; it's also about considering the potential for a long-term partnership. A successful client-agency relationship can offer a big advantage, helping to protect and grow market share. It's important to assess whether the agency can adapt and grow with your business over time.
Look for signs of flexibility and a willingness to evolve
The best agency relationships are those where both parties can collaborate with honest communication and transparency. The marketing landscape is always changing, and the insights that enable great work often come from collaborative efforts toward a common goal.
Evaluate their commitment to your success
A good agency should not just be accountable for their creative output but also committed to your business results. They should be as invested in the overall success of your campaigns and business as they are in the quality of their work and results.
Finding the right agency partner involves more than just evaluating creative and strategic capabilities; it's about finding a team that you can work with effectively and enjoyably. By carefully considering these key points, you can establish a partnership that addresses your immediate needs and fosters long-term growth and success.
Are we a good match? Let’s find out! Reach out today to learn more about what LoSasso can bring to your business.