How to Evaluate a Digital Marketing Agency

Top Advice: How to Evaluate a Digital Marketing Agency

If you are in the market to hire a digital marketing agency, it is absolutely essential to have a set of parameters or criteria to evaluate the different agencies you’ll consider.

How to evaluate a digital marketing agency thus becomes an important question to answer. An agency that will manage critical activities such as your advertising campaigns, content creation and marketing budgets should be thoroughly vetted before bringing on board.

Let’s look at our top advice when evaluating digital marketing agencies.

How to Evaluate a Digital Marketing Agency? Do Your Homework First!

Figuring out what you need from a digital marketing agency is important before you hire one. If you’re looking to solve one problem in your marketing plan (let’s say SEO), you would want to hire a digital marketing agency that specializes in SEO.

Whereas if you need help with your whole marketing plan, a full-service digital marketing agency would be more suitable.

Discuss with your team tangible performance-based goals that you’d like to achieve with the help of an agency. These preferably need to be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound (or SMART) goals.

For example, maintaining a $25 cost per lead across your mid-funnel marketing campaigns. Once you’ve arrived at a goal, your search can truly begin. Discuss with the agency to refine these goals and bring them in alignment with your business objectives.

A Good Agency Will Bring With It Reputable Accreditations and Affiliations

Serious digital marketing agencies that practice what they preach will have relevant professional association memberships and industry partnerships.

There are several continuing professional development programs and accreditations that you should be on the lookout for while evaluating an agency.

The digital marketing arena is filled with a plethora of leading tools that can enable you to get a competitive edge.

A good agency will ensure that its professionals are proficient in the use of these tools by the way of acquiring certifications such as the Google Partner Agency and Google Analytics Certified Partner Agency accreditation.

Furthermore, a good agency also keeps abreast of the latest industry standards and best practices by joining industry association memberships such as the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and the Marketing Association.

A Good Agency Will Have a Diverse Portfolio of Work Within Your Industry

Most digital marketing agencies publish their portfolio online and it is best practice to check those out before engaging with them in a conversation.

The portfolio will portray the length and breadth of work the agency has done and the challenges solved for various other clients. The portfolio is sometimes supplemented with detailed case studies as well.

Case studies follow a problem-solution format and are a good depiction of the kind of projects the digital marketing agency has been involved in.

Ask for more detailed case studies during your conversation, specifically highlighting their content creation abilities (whitepapers, case studies, infographics, brochures etc.) as well as their SEO/SEM and paid advertising abilities.

Knowing tangible results the agency has achieved for another client is always a good measure of their success and versatility.

A Good Agency Tells You Exactly How It Will Meet Your Marketing Goals

It is easy for an agency to make broad statements about building a ‘marketing strategy’ and project plan to achieve your marketing goals. However, you must dig deeper and ask how exactly the agency plans to achieve those stated goals.

A good agency will describe its engagement model right at the start. That model will include the number of resources it will dedicate to your business, the frequency of interaction with your marketing team and also information about the marketing automation tools they’ll use.

But it should not stop there. An agency must treat you as a partner rather than just another client.

It should not shy away from training your in-house team on the automation tools and best digital marketing practices along the way.

Similarly, working with your subject matter experts for content creation and promotion should be a seamless process where the agency comes across as an extension of your in-house team rather than another external team that your experts have to adapt to.

A high performing agency will act as a force multiplier to your own marketing efforts. That’s why finding the right one is so important. You owe it to your brand’s success to do thorough due diligence!