Updated: Nov 1, 2018
Not all marketing companies are the same. It’s a fact that in the service offerings of many marketing agencies out there that there will be obvious differences in specialisation, and also in the quality within those services.
So how do you evaluate the best marketing services and make sense of the competing offers of your shortlist of marketing companies?
One of the key pieces of advice we can offer is that research and due diligence really pays off. Just as if you were an investor in a potential company (which as a potential client you actually are) you should take in and research as much of the information as there is available from the company concerned.
Don’t be afraid to ask about a company’s credentials, qualifications, experience and type of clients, also about their budget expectations. The last point is important as many potential marketing companies can be ruled out immediately if they are positioned well above your budget in terms of their entry level fees.
Depending on the specific service you are looking at, get an idea of the type of work the company specialises in. Don’t just take their word for it that they are fully expert in the service you are seeking. Look for evidence of this in their work. There should be abundant samples available and in most cases actual case studies for you to read and compare.
Many marketing agencies will have expertise in a narrow field of operation, such as SEO, digital services or the more traditional design for print or media advertising. Try to find what the main thrust of your prospective company’s offer is and if they really have the depth of experience you are looking for.
Testimonials and social proof are always handy desk research tools to use. This simply means looking at the reviews they have received from other clients of a similar size and service area to you.
Try to see common threads in the comments and if any negative comments are visible anywhere. Social proof is about looking into the variety of other online connections of the business and interactions that can tell you about the business in more depth. For example, comments on the Facebook page under posts can be more honest than testimonials the company has hand-picked to display on the website.
When it all comes down to it and you have a very small shortlist to choose from it can come down to gut feeling and after the research has done the sorting out of the wheat from the chaff, that’s the feeling to trust and go with.