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How to choose an agency to work with

Most companies take the support of agencies today to succeed with their digital marketing. Not everyone knows everything about everything, and luckily it is! Then it is good that there are skilled marketers who are specialised in their particular area and channel.

Ulrika Viberg - 26/11/18

Agency collaboration is like ballet

Last week, UNIKORN was invited by Svenska Möten to come and hold various discussion threads with their members about what to think about when hiring an agency for their marketing. Not only was it very nice to come and discuss these important topics, it was also incredibly interesting to hear what members thought about procuring agency services.

Of course, we want to share what we talked about and came to, so here are some tips on things we think you should think about when you are about to enter into a partnership with an agency. If you have more tips, feel free to add them to the comments!

1. A good relationship is everything

The first advice is to trust the gut feeling and if it feels like you will be able to trust the agency that they do what you order and have your company's success in mind. Are they listening to you? Have they thought about your company when pitching, or is the first presentation mostly about name-dropping all the big companies they've ever worked with?

If it does not feel good to you, it does not matter how many other companies they have worked with. A good relationship also means that you will have extra time to understand things you do not feel confident about the first time, as the reports.

2. An agency is not a plug-and-play success solution

The second important advice is to understand that hiring an agency, is no going to make your marketing efforts rocket without you even touching it. Even if you feel you know nothing about marketing, or do not have time for it, you can not buy yourself get-free card from the work altogether. As a responsible person at the company, you must get involved in creating good requirements for the agency, read through their reports and be their partner for ideas improvement.

3. Make clear requirements

The expression shit in - shit out, has a basis in poor or no requirements given to the agency. A good brief for the agency contains information about target groups, target images and expectations.

Moreover, the agency does not work on your company and does not know what the companies specific tonality or specific expectations look like, so you should also be clear about the brand and what you like.

4. The reporting should happen and be understandable

One of the ways the agency should give you feedback in, is by telling you in numbers that your money is being used in a good way, and in how your investment paid off. This means that you will receive reports on the work you have hired the agency to do.

The most important advice about the reports, is that if you want them in a certain way, you should get them in this format. If you want a dashboard, or an email or a pdf or a presentation, you should be able to get it without any hassle or having to ask multiple times. The data you are interested in should also be included. Be a little patient though, both statistics and report templates may need time to grow.

5. Follow-up with suggestions for improvements

If your agency is really on edge, they will ask for a follow-up meeting once every six months to evaluate the collaboration, and to elevate your relationship a level. At that follow-up meeting, they will probably sell more services, and if it's a good agency, the new proposed services will be exactly what you've been thinking about you are missing.

Good luck with your agencies!

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