Let’s face it, choosing an ad agency can be a daunting task. After spending hours comparing firms, you’ve probably concluded that most of them offer similar types of services and a wealth of portfolio pieces that make your head spin. So how do you choose the right one for your needs when everyone is saying, “We’re the best at what we do”?
- They aren’t just selling pretty. Not only does their work look great, it performs! An agency worthy of consideration is going to offer you true business and marketing solutions based on solid strategies and experience. While effective visual design is a key component to your marketing materials, you will only achieve the results you’re looking for by combining it with a clear message, proper strategy, and well-executed tactics.
- They’re a good fit. It’s just like dating. When there’s a good fit, sparks fly and a long-term relationship develops to build extraordinary results. Your agency partner needs to respect your views, listen to what you are telling them (not just hear it), and professionally challenge you to collaboratively develop the best solution.
- They ask the right questions and make you think differently. Is the glass half empty or half full? If your agency partner is truly engaged in the process of understanding your business, they will relentlessly ask questions and apply their creative insight to explore ideas you may not have considered before. Your point of differentiation against your competitor is not only your product or service, it’s the strategy you execute.
- They offer value. You should always get more for your money. A good agency partner will create value by offering information and proven experience to assist you with decision-making, honest recommendations about your budget and ways to make it go further, as well as inspirational design and creative ideas that engage your customers.
- They are confident. Not condescending. If your agency is confident in their abilities, they won’t need to throw around big marketing terms (although they can drop them if needed for that next big stakeholder meeting!). You should be able to “just talk” with them about your ideas and feel comfortable exploring new ones.
How an agency proposes to work with you and approaches projects will give a good indication of whether they will move from being good on paper to becoming a valuable partner in your marketing arsenal. And that’s worth thinking about.