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Most business owners have a limited budget when it comes to marketing spend, and that means you can’t afford to misfire when you’re looking for a digital marketing agency to collaborate with. Choosing the wrong company can at best waste your time and money, and at worse leave your company in a hole with penalties from Google and dropping rankings.  That being the case, what are the main features you should look for from any digital marketing agency which you’re considering?

 

Consider execution vs. strategy

 

Some agencies have personnel on hand who are experts at analyzing, planning and strategizing, but that tends to be the limit of their expertise. While these kinds of individuals can be extremely helpful, it will be a serious limitation if they don’t also have the wherewithal to execute those strategies. Some other agencies are specialists at the execution side of marketing but may lack expertise in the planning and strategizing parts of a campaign.

 

When you are looking for a digital marketing agency to partner with, you should be aware of what their strengths are, and whether or not those strengths align with your company’s needs. 

 

Experience in your industry

 

It can be helpful to align yourself with an agency that already has experience in your particular industry. These agencies will have an understanding of what your pain points are, and they’ll be able to help you develop marketing campaigns that are specifically aimed at your target audience. When you do find an agency that has experience in your industry, you can narrow down the list of candidates by asking whether or not they have participated in a campaign similar to the one you’re envisioning. 

 

With that being said, don’t rule out an agency that doesn’t have experience in your industry. If they’re able to listen and understand your pain points are while leveraging the correct data, this can sometimes be a better fit. It’s all about an agency’s approach and whether they have a track record of success.

 

A great website

 

Any marketing agency which has an up-to-date website should also be incorporating good SEO practices, and that means you should find them pretty easily when you’re doing an Internet search. Their website should be modern-looking, and it should have some compelling content on each page. It should also include most of the major elements that an effective inbound marketing strategy would normally incorporate. For instance, there should be an active blog, intuitive navigation, responsive design, an effective conversion strategy, a clear call to action, and a visually interesting overall design.

 

A terrific marketing team

 

Any really good marketing team is comprised of a number of individuals who bring diverse talents to the table. A good marketing agency will be proud of such a team and will have them featured on their website so that you’ll be able to get a feel for their backgrounds. You should be able to tell that they have experts in development, design, SEO, brand development, social media, and content strategy.

It would also be helpful to know if the owner or founder is still involved with the business, and whether you have access to them so you can have serious conversations if need be. A good marketing team is what really drives an agency, and if you can find a company that has this kind of team, it bodes well for collaboration.

 

Tools and expertise

 

It’s worthwhile for you to check out what kind of tools any candidate agency might be using, and also whether they have the expertise to put them to best use. For instance, you should know what kind of project management software they use, what their inbound marketing program consists of, what they use for social media analytics, any email marketing software they use, and whether or not they incorporate CRM into their business.

 

A good modern marketing agency should make effective use of all these kinds of software tools and should be aware of the kind of value they can provide. These days, it’s critical to make the best use of all information that can be provided to a marketer, because data-driven strategies are pretty much always the most effective ones.

 

Can they practice what they preach?

 

Here’s something which you should really pay close attention to. Any marketing agency which is promising you outstanding campaigns, or some kind of cutting-edge website, should have both of these as part of their own makeup. If an agency makes all kinds of promises about what they can deliver, but they don’t incorporate those same strategies in their own business, it should be a huge red flag for you.

 

Another example of this would be an agency that promises you a high-quality, popular blog – but they have no blog on their own website. Would you hire an agency to manage social media accounts for you, when they virtually never post to their own social media accounts? The point of all this is that any marketing agency you choose should practice what they preach because that will show that they believe in their own methods, and are willing to base their own business on them.

 

All in all, there are a lot of things that boil down to choosing the right agency for your marketing. If all of the above are things that your prospective agency has but it doesn’t feel right, go with your gut. At Odd Dog, we always recommend to our prospects that the relationship/partnership dynamic is an important one and this is something that always needs to be considered. If you find an agency that “gets you”, trust them and go for it.

Want to see if we’re a good fit? Drop us a line! We’re always happy to chat.