Choosing Your Agency Partner

In a previous post I spoke about when you have marketing needs, do you “Do it Yourself or Hire it Out?” If you are in a place where you have discovered that it makes sense for you to hire out, how do you pick the right partner? Making the wrong choice with this could be costly and damaging to your brand. It’s important that time is taken to evaluate who to choose carefully.

Maybe you already know who you’d hire for your work, or maybe you don’t have a clue. How do you find someone? Here are a few ways:

  • Perform an online search for your area based on your needs.
  • Ask your business colleagues for their recommendations or suggestions
  • Look at companies whose marketing you like and find out who does their stuff.

Once you’ve found a few candidates you’d like to pursue, how do you decide if they are the one? Let’s quickly talk about the obvious things:

  • Do you like their work? Do you feel like what they have done for past clients is representative of what you need or that you can see their inherent talent can execute on your message?
  • Do they have the skills, experience, and expertise to accomplish your goals? If you have very specific technical needs or outcomes, can they shoot your commercial or build that enterprise-level e-commerce website?
  • What is their reputation in the market? What are people saying about them on social media or other channels? Have you asked around? Check their references, a couple of phone calls may save you quite the headache.

Experience, quality of work, reputation and breadth of skills are important, but they are not the most important things in my opinion. Here’s what I’d ask:

  • Are they truly going to function as your partner?
  • Do they fit with you culturally?
  • Do you like the way they think and operate?
  • Do you like them?

Engaging the right partner is much like picking the right relationship. You want your relationships to be long and fruitful and you want to spend time with them accomplishing great things. You are going to potentially spend significant time together, so the right fit is important!

Another thought to ponder, can they add to what you are doing? Can they bring value in way that directly impacts and benefits your organization? Many typical agencies are order takers. Waiting to be told what to do. Maybe they are very skilled, but they are working for you, not with you for your success. A partner is working with you, to know your needs and bring value proactively for the collective benefit, not reactively and without thought.

You need to pick a partner that is philosophically and culturally aligned, believes in what you do and why you are doing it. A partner that is looking to build relationships, become part of your team, and develop a thorough understanding of what you do. Their primary goal should be to understand and become entrenched in your organization’s culture and to become a functioning part of your organization. Their team should have the same level of ownership and engagement with your brand as your own employees would. The deeper they are integrated, the better they can deliver effective marketing and find the best ideas together. You want someone who is looking for the best ideas not just theirs, someone that is truly on your team.

MC2 is striving to go beyond the typical agency. Our relationships are integrated with our clients, utilizing our team as an extension to our clients organization, helping them achieve their business goals. We are always looking for new partners to help grow with, but we also recognize that not every relationship is kismet. We hope that you find the right fit, a marketing partner that can integrate with your team to achieve your goals and grow through mutual success.

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