BY CHRIS HICKMAN
So, you need to find a marketing agency. All companies want to work with an agency that has the talent, knowledge, and resources to get their project completed. But when it comes to choosing the right agency, the process must take into account the size and structure of your company.
Find Your Agency
Before you can begin finding a marketing agency, you’ll need to understand the company and how its size affects the decision-making process. The process differs for companies of different sizes. Here’s a breakdown of company sizes and the considerations for each.
1 – 50 Employees
As a small company, you’re going to have many individuals involved in the decision process. That’s because the employee pool is smaller. Lower-level employees may have to work closely with the agency to provide input and feedback. In tiny startups, everyone might have input. The agency has to be comfortable working with however many decision makers you put into the project.
Thus, you’ll need to ask which company sizes the agency prefers to work with. Some love startups where they get to know the team closely and others only want to work with large enterprises where they speak with just a few major decision makers.
You also need to think about why you need the agency. Are you looking for them for a one-time project or are you wanting them as a partner indefinitely? Quite often, smaller businesses need to look at agencies that cover multiple domains because there’s not enough staff.
Know what your needs are and don’t be too ambitious at the start. The more marketing irons you throw into the fire the more expensive your marketing costs will be. Work with your agency to determine exactly the channels you need to focus on so you can scale to the next level safely.
51 – 1,000 Employees
In mid-sized companies, you’ll mainly have senior staff and some mid-level employees making the decision. They will be the ones involved in the day-to-day work with the agency and will be responsible for seeing the project or projects to completion. Whoever is responsible for communication with them will need to have access to all of the knowledge the agency will need to do their job and the authority to make decisions about the campaigns.
Depending on your size and audience, you may reach a point where working with just one agency isn’t enough. There may be too much work. When this point is reached, there are two roads you can go down. First, you can hire specialized agencies to take over certain parts, like hiring an agency that just does social media or hiring PPC specialist from Adficient and another that just does content creation and direct mail. Second, you can turn to an agency with the workforce and the tools to handle larger companies. Cost will be a major point of either decision, so judge the benefits carefully.
If you feel you have to split or move up, you’ll need to get a full understanding of your current campaign so that there is a seamless transition.
Large companies will only have a C-level and senior staff making the decision when it comes to choosing an agency. While lower level staff members assist with the research or offer suggestions, they won’t be involved in the decision.
As a large organization, you have the advantage of being able to choose from any agency you want. You can work with top names like Pentagram and Ogilvy. These agencies hire only the top talent, so you can ensure your projects will turn out exceptionally. However, enterprise-level agencies aren’t going to allow a lot of room for scope creep. Thus, you may also want to have some smaller agencies on retainer as well to help you out with projects as needed.
Working with exceptional comes with a price tag. Depending on the agency and job, you may be looking at prices in the high hundred thousands or millions. Having a pool of trusted agencies means you have choices. For general ad campaigns, you can entrust smaller agencies, and for high-stakes projects like product launches, you’ll want to put as much money into it as you can by going with your big names.
Begin the Search Process
Now that you have an idea of what the process entails, you can begin your search. Sometimes you can find a great agency by conducting a Google search for agencies in your area. You can also use a search engine like Clutch to find firms and apply filters such as minimum project size, average hourly rate, client focus, locations, and more.
Understand that regardless of your company’s size, the selection process is an important process. It can take months to finish. Marketing agencies handle your reputation, so you want to choose them with care. But it will be worth it when you find the right fit.
Chris Hickman is the Founder and CEO at Adficient with 15 years of experience in search marketing and conversion optimization. Since 2006, he founded GetBackonGoogle.com, helping businesses and websites suspended in Adwords to Get Back on Google