Five questions to ask before you hire a digital marketing agency

There’s no shortage of agencies to choose from, but which creative digital agency  should you choose?

There’s no shortage of agencies to choose from, but which creative digital agency  should you choose?

Do you get three quotes and go for the middle? In a crowded and competitive marketplace, basing a decision on price alone isn’t a good strategy.

Here are five questions you need to ask to make sure you don’t get bowled over by the hype and unrealistic promises of even the most persuasive sales pitch.

1. Do you know what digital marketing is?

This is a key question that marketing decision-makers need to ask themselves. Believe it or not, there are subtle differences between a marketing agency, an advertising agency and a digital marketing agency. All these agencies have different areas of expertise and while there are agencies that offer every available service, do you need the one-stop-shop or are you after something very specific? Digital marketing can mean all or any of the following:

  • Email marketing
  • Mobile marketing
  • Online advertising
  • Digital content
  • Geolocation
  • Search engine optimisation
  • Social media

2. What’s the agency’s core business?

This is the key to understanding where an agency’s strengths lie. You want to know that the agency you’ll trust your company’s image with has a real interest in and talent for digital marketing and isn’t just offering it as an optional extra to get you in the door.

It’s also worth asking if the digital agency has experience dealing with your industry. Every industry has its own set of unwritten rules about marketing that come with years spent in the trenches, and it would help if your digital agency knows a few of them.

3. How do they test, measure and report?

Digital marketing can often take considerable amounts of time and energy to achieve the desired results, and the goal posts are always shifting thanks to the mercurial way technology changes every few months, but measuring and reporting results is always possible.

The best digital marketing agencies are happy to provide detailed analytics reports from your marketing campaign, and provide guidance on how to evaluate the report’s data. Good reports mean that you can see what is working, and use that to make smart decisions in the future.

4. Are there any advantages to going local?

With the 24/7 availability of the global interweb, it’s easy to think that there are less and less advantages of choosing a local business, particularly when there are offshore agencies that deliver 24/7 helpdesk services, round-the-clock customer support and great offshore exchange rates. But buyer beware, and first revisit Question 1. What exactly are you after? If you want a creative agency that:

  • you can build a reliable working relationship with
  • has an office/studio that you’re welcome to visit
  • has an in-depth knowledge of the local digital environment

Then check out what’s local first.

5. What the terms and conditions?

Last but definitely not least – how does the agency operate contractually? This question should be on any list of any service you’re looking for. Are you signing up for a monthly service for 24 months or are you after a one-off campaign? What are the payment terms? Is payment tied to results?  And bear in mind, that when it comes to seeing changes in Google page rankings and growing a social media audience, genuine results are delivered over time. Allow approximately three months to measure progress.

At iFactory, we’re happy to answer these five questions and any others you might have. We’ve been an award-winning digital agency in Brisbane for over 10 years, delivering creative digital marketing solutions, measurable results and outstanding customer service to a wide range of clients than span a diverse range of industries. Call us to discuss how we can increase the online presence of your business.


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