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How To Hire an Agency Part 1 of 2

How do you find the right fit for your business when you’re looking for an agency? This is a common question we are frequently asked. The fourth quarter often finds us helping organizations make decisions for the New Year. As an integrated marketing agency, we support everything from strategic planning to formulation of RFP’s that serve as foundations for successful business partnerships.

Here at MCCI, initial meetings with potential clients give us insight into the company culture and vision. In that first meeting, we talk through their goals, definition of success and how it will be measured.  We truly take pride in the relationship we develop with business prospects – analyzing and diagnosing their business and cause. We steer clear of “one size fits all” packages and move forward with a tailored proposal specifying goals within a reasonable timeline and with measurable outcomes.

Here is a check list of things an agency should be asking about you:

  • Mission & Culture. Although they should have some prior knowledge about your culture (an agency should always do their due diligence first) they should be asking you in-depth questions about what it is you stand for and what direction you want to go.
  • Marketing Plan. You may have a strategic marketing plan and require complete execution from your agency. Or, you may need to outsource creation of the plan itself. Either is OK as long as expectations are clear in the contract.  By your second encounter, the agency should be suggesting brainstormed tactics addressing your marketing plan.
  • Your staff. Bandwidth. Do you have team members that will support and oversee execution? Does the agency act as an interactive extension of your team? Who will be the “go to person” available for the agency?
  • Analytics. The agency should be asking you about your current social media and website metrics as well as any other research that provides insight into clients, brand awareness, or product awareness.  Agencies need to know where you are before they figure out how to get you to the next step. They should volunteer periodic measurements and provide samples of what you will be reviewing.
  • Communication. An agency should understand your internal communication strategy and communication channels. Two of the top three reasons employees choose to work at companies are technology and culture.  Technology drastically effects the culture and how you communicate. Do you communicate marketing efforts internally before they are implemented publicly? Is the agency a part of this channel? The agency should be proposing calls and meetings on a regular basis to ensure things are always on the right track.

More to come on what an agency should be saying next week.


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