You may be thinking about hiring, or replacing, an advertising agency for your business. Consider approaching the hiring process from three different perspectives.
- Why do you need an advertising agency?
- What do you want to ask prospective agencies?
- What do you want prospective agencies to ask you?
Why Do You Need a Marketing Agency?
Before you begin the long and sometimes frustrating process of interviewing, evaluating, and finally hiring an agency, you should have a clear understanding of why you are enduring the procedure.
- What services do you need. Determine if you need sales letters, radio or television ads, an email promotion, a marketing video, a local advertising campaign, or a global push.
- How much is your marketing budget and is it flexible? You may find you can only afford a few services from a larger agency. A smaller agency may be able to offer more services for a lower cost.
- Do you want to work with a local marketing agency? Today it is possible to work with agencies around the world, or in your neighborhood.
- How big of a fish do you want to be in your pond. If you are a small business working with a very large agency, you should understand their top agents will be working with their biggest clients.
What Should You Be Asking?
The agencies you will be interviewing have only one purpose – selling! If you hire them, they will be selling your business. Until they land your account, they are selling themselves. Have questions prepared to help you learn what you want to know – not just what they want to tell you.
- Tell me about your clients. Who was the worst client you’ve ever worked with and why? Who is your best client and why?
- Tell me about your failures. What was a big flop? What happened, and why and how did you respond and recover.
- Discuss our possible relationship. How will our account fit into your advertising agency? What will you do to get to know my business?
- We all want to be successful. How do you measure your success? How will you measure our success?
- Tell me about training. What continuing training do you provide for your staff and how do you make sure they are current on the newest ideas?
- How about competition? Who else are you working with in my industry?
What Should They Be Asking You?
A prospective marketing agency will have done some due diligence on your business and will present you with facts and figures they have discovered. However, they should also ask questions they didn’t find in an online search in order to offer you the best possible service.
- What are your goals? What will be the biggest opportunity for your business to stand out during the next 12 months?
- What are your current obstacles? What keeps you awake at night? Tell me about your biggest struggle with your top client?
- Tell me about your industry? What are common mistakes and misconceptions about your business? How do you handle these issues?
- Can we improve your reputation? What do you need from us to make your brand a household name?
- Who is your competition? What makes you different from your competitors? Why are you better? What are they doing that you are not and vice versa?
Hiring an agency is a monumental step toward a more profitable business. With a little preparation, you can make the process much more enjoyable and ensure a highly satisfying outcome.