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The Friday Digital Roundup is a witty take on the weird world of the internet. With fun stories from around the globe, it’s the only email newsletter you’ll actually read and enjoy!

We do love writing it, but clearly not as much as people like receiving it - just look at the response we got when a technical hitch meant it wasn’t sent out on time!

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@Spaghetti_Jo
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Spaghetti Blog

Wednesday 19th June 2024

The Eleven Most Important Questions To Ask Your Prospective Digital Marketing Agency

Digital marketing, Digital marketing agencies, Digital marketing agency

There’s no doubt that outsourcing your digital marketing to an agency can be a very efficient and successful way to market a brand, company, or business. 

However, choosing one – and even just knowing where to start – is a sizeable challenge that can put off even the most determined person. 

From small boutique to massive London agency, you’re spoilt for choice. 

So after you’ve got 1,080,000,000 (lots of) results in 0.59 seconds, how on Earth do you choose one, two, three, or 6,000 digital marketing agencies to contact?

Well, we’ve got your back, partner!

Here are the ELEVEN key questions to ask your next digital marketing agency to ensure they’re the right fit for you. 

The Eleven Most Important Questions To Ask Your Prospective Digital Marketing Agency  

Why ask questions? 

Firstly, why ask questions and what do you do with the replies? 

Questions are the best thing you can do when you engage with any new supplier but asking the right questions because you need the right answers is key. 

It’s also not just the answer they give that’s important; it’s the willingness to reply and of course, the quality, honesty, and manner in which they reply. 

So asking great questions is key… so here are nine to get you started. 

 

1. “How long have you been around?” 

We’re not saying don’t choose an agency that’s only a few months old, but we are suggesting that you consider the sheer number of agencies that come and go. 

Of course, being in business for 5 or more years isn’t a guarantee that they’ll stick around, but can be reassuring as they’re statistically more likely to succeed if you believe the common data that suggests that most businesses don’t make it that far, and those that do continue to grow.
 

2. “Do you have any experience in our industry?” 

Many agencies niche to only work with specific sectors or verticals, but some don’t. We find it’s easier to onboard a client when we have experience with a client in the same or similar industry or have a good understanding of it. Again, it’s not always a deal-breaker – especially if they nail the other questions – but one to consider, especially if you’re in a very complicated industry. 

 

3. “How will you work with us?” 

This should be made really clear before you agree to work together. When we sign up a new client we talk them through our onboarding process and then set out expectations for the coming months. 

Maybe you simply won’t be able to give them what they need to do their thing? Some agencies create fairly generic content that needs little help from you. Agencies like us create more bespoke and personalised content so we’re quick to point out that we’ll need you involved. 

Get clear on this first. We’ve learnt from experience what happens when a client hasn’t fully understood their involvement and what we’ll do for them. It’s not much fun for anyone. 

 

4. “What do your existing clients think of you?” 

We outline case studies and testimonials in our proposals but your prospective agency should be happy for you to get in touch with an existing client to chat about their experiences. 

Sure, check Google and Facebook reviews, head to Yell, Yelp, and even the company directors LinkedIn if you like, but there’s no substitute for contacting (and speaking to) their existing clients. 

 

5. “Do our personalities gel?” 

When choosing an agency, you want to work with people you can get along with. Sharing the same values, personalities, or goals can be a great sign of a relationship that’s going to be positive.  

Think about your company culture. If you’re a fun, lively company with a lot of energy, you may not want to work with an agency that’s serious all the time and uses lots of marketing jargon. Or, if your company is all about professionalism and predictability, you might not want to work with the laidback start-up that’s all about being different and quirky. 

 

6. “What marketing do you do for your own agency?” 

Do they walk they walk? Do they believe in the very thing they’re selling? 

We often see social media agencies who send one automated tweet a week because they’re busy focusing on their clients. That’s fine, but we like to walk the walk and practise what we preach. That’s why we make sure we’re creating regular fresh content for ourselves as well as our clients. 

It’s not a massive issue if it’s not an issue to you. This is kinda personal to us (and core to our brand) but we feel it’s important to know if the agency selling you SEO, PPC, social media and content is putting bread on their own table because of their skills. 

 

7. “How much will it cost?” 

This question is inevitably going to involve some conversation. You’re also highly advised to have a budget – a monthly one – for your marketing spend. 

Some marketing may come with added costs like PPC spend or PR outreach, design, or added SEO costs. 

Ask for the prices early and match that with your budget as soon as you can. 

At Spaghetti Agency we’re very up front about pricing. We’re also upfront in initial calls to sense check that we’re going to meet budget objections early. It saves time on both sides, and one of our core values is honesty so it makes sense to discuss this upfront. 

 

8. “What input will you need from us?” 

The old adage “you get what you give” applies to your relationship with your digital marketing agency just as much as it does in your personal relationships. To ensure the client/agency relationship stays healthy, and for your agency to do their best work, you’ll need to establish clear methods of communication, including honest feedback. If you’re too busy to be approving content and collaborating when needed, maybe there’s someone else on your team who you trust to coordinate the bulk of communications? 

 

At Spaghetti Agency we’re clear on our expectations from the outset. We’ll take a lot of the hassle away from you when you work with us, but we will need your input and approval on the work we do. This only takes a few minutes per month but is essential for us to get you the best results. 

 

9. “How do you stay organised?”  

At Spaghetti Agency we rely on a mixture of technology and (wo)man power. We’re very big on process and we’re very keen to share how we work with you and what tools and systems we use. 

Why? Because it ensures things get done, it means you’re never forgotten, and even when things go wrong (things can go wrong) we have the systems and processes to sort it quickly. 

Understanding how meetings are booked, time is allotted, and when and how your account will be managed will be essential to have success in your new relationship. 

 

10. “How long will it take to see a difference?” 

You don’t want to use a digital marketing agency under the expectation that your conversions will instantly skyrocket if that’s not the case. 

 

Digital marketing can take time. Even paid ads take months not days to get going. 

Establishing clear understanding and expectations saves awkward conversations weeks after you start working together just because neither side agreed what the plan and expectations were. 

 

Inbound marketing requires an enormous amount of trust from your audience, and it’s the backbone of any solid marketing strategy. So if your potential digital marketing agency trumpets their ability to bring you results in a month’s time, you now know better than to take the bait. 

 

11. “How do you get feedback from your clients?” 

At Spaghetti Agency we think it’s vital to have regular check-ins with our clients so we can find out what’s going well and what could be improved. That’s why we hold quarterly reviews and ask a series of questions to make sure we understand any changes in the business. It’s an opportunity for our clients to give their honest opinions about the service they’re getting, and for any issues to be fixed. This helps us to build on our client relationships and work on any improvements. 

 

We’ve started… now you finish 

Obviously, this list is just a guide. 

 When considering working with a digital marketing agency, you’ll need to ask the questions that matter most to your business’ success, so what you should really be asking is what’s most important to you.  

When you’re speaking to a marketing agency, there’s no such thing as a stupid question, so ask away, and best of luck with finding the right agency for you. 

  

If you’d like to chat to us about whether we might be a good fit for each other, please contact us and we’ll book a call.  

 


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