How to Hire the Best Digital Marketing Agency

Today, everyone is talking about digital marketing, SEO, social media marketing, digital marketing strategy, pay per click and all terms related to digital. Brands and companies that have been using traditional mediums to market their products are also talking digital. This has given rise to a number of digital marketing agencies and traditional agencies have launched their digital arm almost like saying “we also do digital” With the plethora of options to choose from, how do you decide which is the agency most suitable for outsourcing your digital marketing?

Here are a few general questions you should to take an educated decision –

  • What is your USP? What differentiates you from other agencies? What is your value proposition?
  • How long has the agency been in this business? How many clients you have? What kind of clients?
  • What services does your agency offer? What your speciality area or focus area?
  • What would be the composition of team assigned for my project?
  • How many other accounts do they work on? What is the reporting structure, frequency and format? Do you provide ROI reporting?
  • Will there be weekly and monthly status calls?
  • How do you avoid conflict of interest? Let us say you are working with multiple clients from same industry and both want to rank for same keyword, how is that managed?
  • Can you provide some client reference we can speak to?
  • Can you provide some case studies from our industry or from other industries that you have worked with?
  • What performance guarantees do you offer? What results should I expect from our association?

It would be a waste of time to ask –

  • Whether you are Google adwords certified – It isn’t hard to take the 2 AdWords exams per year, so Adwords certification is nothing to brag about
  • Whether you have direct contacts with reps at the big 3s Google, Facebook and Bing – This is not a big deal as all agencies have these contacts.
  • Whether you have proprietary and fancy tools – All digital marketing agencies use 3rd party digital marketing tools to make their jobs easier and more efficient. No point asking this, as it is not a differentiator

Tough Questions to Ask and Terms to Insist On

Ask the below questions to the prospective agencies and analyze their response as per the below guidelines –

  • You claim to be social media experts? Well give me a proof. If all they show you is the fan and follower count on their pages, there is something to worry about. This is not the right matrix for performance on social media.
  • You claim to be search experts? Show me some proof – which search terms do you actually rank for? Are they discoverable on search engines? If they can’t show you any proof, do not hire them.
  • Ask for a 1-1 meeting with the team who is actually going to work on your project. Interview them to test check know how.
  • Insist on clarity on project, scope, reporting formats, exist clause, non-performance clause etc before signing the agreement

With this information, I feel any brand can do a self assessment of the digital marketing agency and take an informed decision to hire a knowledgeable partner for their digital marketing needs.

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