Are you thinking of hiring a marketing agency to help you take your business to the next level? Great idea! A marketing agency can be a powerful resource, providing the skills and insights you need to reach your target market and achieve your business goals of revenue, margins and satisfaction.

But before signing a contract on the dotted line, there are a few things to know.

Important things.

In this post we will share with you the top five mistakes companies make when searching for and hiring a marketing agency, mistakes that can cost time, money, and frustration. We experienced these problems firsthand when we were managers and it was our turn to select an agency, and they are constantly confirmed by clients who come to Deep Marketing after going through hell 🙂

Some mistakes cost more than others

Mistake No. 1: Not evaluating customers and markets

When looking for a marketing agency, references can be invaluable. Talk to people you trust and ask if they have any recommendations for you. Once you have a few agencies in mind, contact them and ask for case studies or examples of their previous work. This will give you a good idea of their strengths and capabilities.

The perfect agency does not exist. But if it did exist, it would be the one with excellent clients (big names or excellent names) and in as many markets as possible. A sign of flexibility, competence, and reliability.

In general, agencies that are too "vertical" may derive their competitive advantage more from a business network branched in a specific market, than from expertise. And more from trivial imitation among clients, than from quality of work.

Mistake No. 2: Not considering "boutique" agencies

A sign of the times and a certain inevitable fascination with shiny objects, we are too often led to choose an agency by evaluating who shouts the loudest and who has the most clients. Alas, marketing is a craft, and the best craftsmen value quality of work and client than the total number of clients.

In the jargon, you can find the best quality in "boutique" agencies. They are often excellent, because they provide a mixture of unmatched client attention, professional expertise, and a flexibility impossible for those with an assembly line with hundreds of small clients in tow.

Clearly, not everything is as easy as it sounds: a boutique agency may be too small to guarantee a wide range of services and retention over time. You need to find the right balance between the artisan store and the structured company.

There are few certainties in this field: but you will almost certainly get poor work by targeting agencies with many clients and low prices.

Francesco Galvani, CEO of Deep Marketing

Mistake No. 3: Not defining your goals

Before you start working with a marketing agency, it is important that you have a clear understanding of your goals. What do you hope to achieve? How will you measure success? Without a clear goal in mind, it will be difficult to assess whether or not the agency meets your needs.

In the getting-to-know-you phase, the agency head or account manager will be happy to reason with you about the most reasonable goals. The best agencies always plan on multiple phases of work over time. In fact, the relationship should be growing and with specific times for different activities, so as to better open up to the market without missteps.

And, let's be honest: any goal must be realistic. Right?

Mistake No. 4: Not having an idea of the budget

Another mistake companies make when hiring a marketing agency is not defining and communicating in advance their budget, monthly, annually or-in the best cases-by single phase of work.

Be clear about how much you are willing to spend, even if only spannometrically-this will help the agency create a project that is within your budget and meets your needs. Trying to save money will only hurt your chances of success. After all, good marketing costs money!

Mistake No. 5: micromanagement and role confusion

Exaggerating in control and hyper-decisionism is typical of human beings, as is continuing to create chaos in processes and roles. In our experience we have thousands of examples to prove this. But choosing and working with a quality marketing agency also means becoming quality clients and partners ourselves. It is a path of mutual growth, and one of the greatest benefits of choosing an agency wisely.

When we choose a partner we must, on the one hand, respect his or her expertise (which we pay for) and advice without going overboard in wanting to hyper-structure and hyper-model his or her work, otherwise we dramatically lose the benefits of professionalism. And, on the other hand, it is good to remind ourselves every morning as we look in the mirror that we are the client. Ultimately we have the ultimate responsibility. So it is critical:

  • Giving clear guidelines.
  • Provide firm and intelligent feedback.
  • Don't be afraid to say "no" to a proposal if rationally it is not in our best interest. On the other hand, we are the client, and the agency cannot know everything about our company.
  • Understand that we have the ultimate knowledge of the product and service, the partner does another job. However much sensitivity it may develop, it is not superimposed on our know-how.
How do you create a business or business area in line with the market? How do you grow quickly? How do you find the perfect partners? All this in "Deep Marketing Growth Hacking," a book by Francesco Galvani

Bottom line.

Finding and working with the right marketing agency can transform your business, but only if you avoid making these three critical mistakes. So take your time, do your homework, and find an agency that is right for you and your budget. With careful planning and execution, your next marketing campaign could be the most successful one yet!