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How to evaluate a marketing agency

It can be hard to find a good digital marketing agency in Nashville (or anywhere for that matter) as some agencies are more focused on increasing sales than providing a great service for their customers. As your business grows and you’re ready to evaluate online advertising services, it’s important to understand that not every agency is built the same. So, if you’re considering taking on a digital agency to empower your marketing strategy anytime soon, take a look at our top tips for agency evaluation. 

Things to look for in a digital marketing agency

Everyone will have their own checklist, and there are many more characteristics of a good marketing agency to consider than we can cover in this article. These are the most important things that, in our opinion, every digital marketing agency in Nashville (and across the globe) should have.

Things to look for in a digital marketing agencyThings to look for in a digital marketing agency

Integrity

A quality digital marketing agency in Nashville will do what they say they’re going to do. This means they show up to meetings on time, provide resources they said they were going to provide, and not make excuses.

Custom campaigns

Any reasonable marketer understands there’s no “one size fits all” marketing strategy. Your account manager should ideally have a thorough understanding of your business before ever proposing a marketing quote for online advertising solutions.

There are many best practices, but they are all built on understanding how a client and their products or services will be positioned in a market. If your prospective agency isn’t able to start describing a roadmap for how your business will begin attracting more clients, then they may not know how to build an effective long-term plan for your company.

Overgeneralizations

Your agency point of contact should be able to outline their intended marketing strategy and the activities to help you reach your goals. Overgeneralizations or using jargon may be an indication that they have minimal or no knowledge of how such concepts work in practice: consider this situation a red flag!

A seasoned professional will explain complex concepts in a simple way, instead of making you feel small for not understanding their terminology. If you notice this happening to you, a great strategy is to ask second-level questions like:

  • When is it the best time you use X?
  • How does Y help me achieve more business or recognition?
  • Tell me how you used Z successfully for one of your other clients?

Don’t let your marketing agency bring you down with non-sense jargon. Instead, find an agency that’s willing to take the time to bring you up to speed with their strategy to get more business. Besides, what could be more important than a business leader, like yourself, navigating your client acquisition strategy.

Questions to ask when evaluating a marketing agency

When evaluating a vendor, it’s always a good idea to have a few questions in your back pocket to establish if this agency meets your criteria for a successful online advertising partner before signing the marketing retainer contract.

Questions to ask when evaluating a marketing agency

Why should I hire you over any other agency?

This is a question you should ask any long-term vendor you are considering. Any competent agency will know what sets them apart from their competitors. If they can’t answer this question for themselves, then how are they going to help your business stand out to your ideal clients in your target market? Some of the common things that set Take the Stairs apart are:

  • We send our clients a monthly task breakdown of exactly how we will use their marketing retainer hours every month.
  • Our 3-tiered keyword research strategy helps us have a clear path to ranking keywords with potential.
  • We offer brand identity workshops to help small businesses and startups build their marketing strategy.

What activities is my money going toward each month?

One of the things we frequently see is marketing agencies that make big promises in their marketing quotes but are unable to scope and oversee the execution of adaptable tasks on a monthly basis. We recommend adopting a flexible online advertising plan that allows you to implement different services in different months depending on your business’ needs.

This can be a challenge, so it’s important to ask any prospective agency how they’re going to break your money down into lead generation or brand-awareness-related activities that help your business grow.

What digital marketing tools do you use?

You won’t necessarily have heard of all the tools at a digital agency’s disposal but discussing what tools they use for different purposes should give you a good sense of how they intend to use those tools to benefit your business. Keep in mind that a big advantage of partnering with a quality marketing company is benefiting from the expensive subscriptions they have. These tools help them understand the health of your digital presence and find opportunities for improvement.

What’s your company’s why?

Take the Stairs takes “why” statements very seriously. Uncovering your “why” is an essential part of any business’s marketing communications. If your prospective agency doesn’t understand their purpose and drive for existence, it’s difficult to see how they can help you create messaging that comes off as authentic to your company’s mission.

How long are your contracts?

Some digital marketing agencies in Nashville will try to lock you into annual or even multi-year marketing retainer contracts so it’s important to understand what kind of contract you get into. Be sure to ask questions about everything in the quote they give you – even the things that seem self-explanatory – to make sure you’re on the same page.

At Take the Stairs, we only use month-to-month marketing retainer contracts for online advertising services because we believe transparency and communication are better tools to help build trust and long-lasting relationships.

Connect with our digital marketing agency in Nashville

Choosing a marketing agency you can trust is a big task. Fortunately, Take the Stairs has an answer for each of these questions that reflects our transparency as an ethical digital marketing agency in Nashville. We can show you in detail how we could help you take your business to the next level with digital marketing, and we’ll do it all without generalizations or vague terms.

Contact us today to set up a discovery call or discuss a marketing quote.

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