by Stephen Mumford on September 12, 2017 | Digital Marketing Resources

Ever wondered what the right decision is when looking at hiring an agency? The agency Vs. in-house debate has been discussed previously, so what do you look for when hiring an agency? Watch this video to find out.

Video Transcription:

Could I talk for a few minutes about what to look for if you've made the decision to hire an agency? I've spoken before about the pros and cons of in-house versus outsourcing to agencies. I don't think there's any right or wrong answer to that. There are a number different considerations, but if you've made the decision to hire an agency, what should you look for? Well, I think the first thing to look at is the time and effort that an agency is willing to invest in the process of understanding you, your business, and your prospects.

At Rocket, we have a methodology. It's a codified way of working. It's proven. It's structured. We take clients through it. If clients don't want to go through it, it's already a red flag that, perhaps, they're not as serious about digital strategy as we are. So the first thing we do is a half-day discovery workshop. The knowledge we have after that workshop, the blind spots we've unearthed give us a completely different perspective on the kind of work the client should be doing and the understanding we have of that client's business. It's a great process.

I think any agency that wants to rush in headlong and throw ideas at you and throw tactics and proposals at you after a couple of meetings, run for the hills. So a really thorough discovery process. And I will add that that also helps us qualify how we can help and what we can do and if we can help to the extent we want to be able to with lead generation. Because our business is built on, you know, successful engagements with clients. We want to be absolutely 100% sure we can help. So discovery. I think the second is transparency and structure. If you're engaging in, let's say, a six-month arrangement with an initial engagement, is there a clear outline of what's going to be done and when? We produce a road map, for example, that is very clear on what's getting done during every month of the engagement. There's some flexibility there in terms of timing because things can shift. We have to be flexible, but it's very clear what's being done and what the clients are getting during that period. I think it's important not to micromanage an agency. There has to be mutual trust there, and that transparency is part of that. It's accountability, but it's also recognizing that you need to give an agency room to breathe. There may be things that need to be done initially that aren't particularly sexy.

From our point of view, that's, for example, benchmarking. You got to go in and make sure we're all on the right track in terms of analytics and data from the beginning, otherwise, we're making presumptions with clients' media spend and investment in our services that are wrong because analytics wasn't set up correctly in the first place. So give an agency room to make those adjustments and get that benchmarking right. I think it's also important that the agency you work with challenges your own presumptions and doesn't always agree to everything that you're saying about your business. Again, it comes back to the workshop and finding those blind spots. You're paying for some objective input as well as expertise in the different digital channels. It's good and it's healthy if an agency does challenge the agreed way of thinking. Again, you are looking to get out with perception coming into your business.

These are some of the things that are important to us, but just as important is KPIs, goals, objectives. What's important to you as a client isn't always manifestly easy to look at data. And there are masses of data in digital that'll say, "Well, clicks and conversions are just everything we're interested in."

There are other things above and beyond that digital data that are overarching objectives. It might be winning certain quality of clients. It might be longer-term engagements that you're ultimately looking to get from the investment you put into marketing. Have those conversations with the agency. It's often enlightening when we ask those questions in a workshop. "What does success look like, and what's important to a client?" So two-way relationship. Give the agency room to do what it does, ensure there's continuity from discovery right away through to execution. Ensure those people stay with you and remain on the account, and ensure there's open and transparent level of communication and expectation setting from day one. Get that right.

Have built-in flexibility to make changes in any strategy. For example, if, you know, one particular channel completely outperforms and outdoes expectations, there should be room for manoeuvre to put more media spend into that to stop doing something and move into another tactic. That's all good. It's all healthy. And that goes towards a successful lead generation campaign.

At Rocket, we love helping our clients take their digital marketing campaigns to the next level, so if you think you need help with your AdWords Campaigns get in touch with the team at Rocket today.

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