Agency Dating 101: The do’s and dont’s of finding the perfect agency for you.
Be a Creeper
If a friend were to hook you up with a blind date what would your first instinct be? I know what mine would be….CREEPING. That’s right, no shame in my game. I would be on Facebook looking at their profile pictures, mutual friends, interests, and possibly previous posts. Sounds a little weird I know, but some things are better not left to chance. When selecting a marketing agency, you should have the exact same mindset. Look at their website, previous work, company culture, reviews, etc. Whatever it takes to paint some kind of picture before you blindly sit down to have a bunch of smoke blown up your ass.
Don’t Be Afraid to Date Around
“Never let a fool kiss you, or a kiss fool you” – Joey Adams
Though the goal is to find a marketing agency that “actually gets you” on the first try, that’s easier said than done. How many first dates eventually turn into full-blown marriage? A whopping 3 percent, according to a 2013 study. Yeah…sorry to burst your bubble you “hopeless romantics” and “love-at-first-sighters”, but these are the cold hard facts. The same may apply to your relationship with a marketing agency. Things start off rosy, they tell you everything you want to hear, then it never really goes anywhere, your eyes start to wander, some crying and bickering may ensue, and boom before you know it you’re back on the market. There’s nothing wrong with this scenario, and in fact it’s prevalent in an industry that experiences high client turnover rates. If your agency isn’t toeing the line with your standards, you need to start seeing other people.
Expectations, boundaries, and rules. Every relationship has them or won’t last long without them. If the expectation is to be in an exclusive relationship (i.e. not dating or seeing other people), then you better not meet up with that cute friend-of-a-friend at the local coffee shop. The same ethic applies to your agency. If you’re signed up for a digital package that includes: six blogs, an email blast, and a video per month and your agency comes to the deadline with four blogs, an email blast, and no video there’s definitely a problem. Ultimately, a breach of expectations can cause distrust, resentment, and possibly a breakup.
Cheaper Is Not Always Better
Cheap dates can save you some coin, but don’t expect a five-star meal. We all know that price matters, especially with marketing budgets that always seem to get tighter. But you shouldn’t be such a tightwad that it creates an adverse effect on your business. A downgrade in your marketing plan can hurt the quality of your agencies output resulting in generic, bland, or boring content. If the analytics shows that your current (pricier) marketing efforts have translated into more sales, new leads, and more success you should instead focus on other areas of your budget to tweak. At the end of the day, the money you take out of your marketing plan can translate to revenue taken out of your own pocket.
We hope these tips are helpful the next time you’re faced with a revolving door of flannel wearing, beanie-clad, “digital growth hacker” specialists.