Every day, new advertising agencies pop up and promise you the moon to get you to sign up.
How do you pick out of this sea of opportunity? We think you need to find an agency that fits your company’s attitude and culture, and one who is honest with you. Here are five questions we’ve found that can help you quickly and efficiently find a partner who will meet your needs with a strong, long-term relationship.
1. What’s Your Approach? The first sale an advertising agency makes is selling themselves to you. Ask about the process they use and approach they take to all of their campaigns. If the firm can’t paint you a clear picture, they can’t paint one for your customers either.
2. What Makes You, You? Each agency you come across will have a different set of core values and culture. Ask your potential agency partner to define their culture and show how it impacts their work. An agency who touts original content shouldn’t be relying on untouched stock photos. Partners with a technology focus need to tell you exactly how you can monitor and measure success. It’s easy for anyone to say they hold specific values. You want an agency who can prove it.
3. How Do You Communicate? Advertising is as much art as it is science. It takes time to get art right and have it meet the concepts in your head. You can speed up the process by working with an agency who communicates regularly and on your schedule. If you prefer to have a meeting in person or need Skype support because you travel a lot, make sure your partner will accommodate you. You’re hiring the advertising firm, so you should never feel like you have to chase them to get a question answered.
4. Do You Have Longtime Employees and Customers? Longtime customers are a hallmark of great companies. Longtime employees mean you can expect to get the same quality of work as samples an agency highlights on its website or during a presentation. If there’s specific work you see and like, ask about the team that worked on it. If clients and employees only last for a campaign or two, you can expect to start the search all over again soon.
5. Can I Meet You? The digital world isn’t an excuse for an ad agency to not let you meet the staff in person or see their offices. Agencies are expected to entertain clients, so it should be okay for you to visit before signing on. Always meet the people who will be working on your brand. You’ll learn if they stick to the culture they espouse and if the agency is a good fit for you. You’re building a relationship, and you deserve to know everything you can about the agency on the other side of the connection.