How To Hire The Perfect B2B Ad/Digital Agency For Your Company

So, you’ve been working with freelancers, or perhaps a small local shop, to get your web site up and running. It looks good (or at least you think so), and you’ve established a digital presence. Only problem is, you don’t have the time to oversee it, because you’re busy running your company. Also, the lexicon of digital terminology is like some sort of alien language. What are Native Advertising, Big Data, and Content Advertising? And, is Content Adverting about to be kicked to the curb by Influencer Advertising? That’s a hot topic, but let’s face it, you don’t have a clue, and you’re smart enough to recognize that it’s time to pay someone else to take care of all that. You need an agency! But how do you select the agency that’s perfect for your company? Glad you asked!

Step 1 …

Begin the search by concentrating on agencies that have some experience with your product line. Let’s say you manufacture plastic extrusion machinery, so it would be great if you could find some agencies who have hands-on, or peripheral experience in that field. Where to look? A good source would be any manufacturing associations you belong to. They almost certainly have agencies among their associate members. Then, of course, you can do a Google search. You’re bound to come up with something there! Also, scan the internet and look at the sites of non-competitive plastic machinery manufacturers. If you like their look, call your counterparts and get the name of their agencies.

Step 2 …

Once you have a list, it’s time to winnow it down. Let’s say you have 10 potential agencies. That’s too many. At this point you have to trust your instincts and start the weeding out process. Take a few days and look them over. Go to their websites and make a list or what you like, and what you don’t like. This will not only help you eliminate some of the agencies, but will narrow your focus and give you a more definitive view of what you really want your agency to do. Ideally, the maximum number of finalists you select to interview should be no more than three, but two would be even better. Now it’s time to get to know them.

Step 3 …

Make individual appointments with the agencies you’ve selected. Do not, ever, bring them all in together! Set aside two hours with each agency for a give-and-take session, preferably on different days. You should prepare a packet of information on your company including the key players, your products and services, your competitive advantages/disadvantages, and any other pertinent information – this includes your marketing budget. Don’t be coy about it. Many an agency/client relationship has been ruined over budget misunderstandings than just about anything else. Also, tell them you’d be happy to answer any pre-presentation questions they might have. Now it’s time for the meetings.

Step 4 …

Clear your desk, put all your calls on hold, and allow no interruptions. You need to give the agencies involved 100% of your attention. Then, allow them to do their thing. If they have questions (they will) be candid and answer them. If you have questions, write them down while their presentation is going on, but try not to interrupt them. This is their big show. They’ve worked hard to put it together, and getting continually interrupted puts a big damper of what they’re trying to convey. So, resist the urge. When their presentation is over it’s time to ask the questions you’ve jotted down. And once concluded, it’s time to make a decision.

Step 5 …

Setting a reasonable deadline for making your decision is in everyone’s best interest. When your meetings are over, chances are you’ll have a pretty good idea which agency you want to work with. So, let them and the other agencies you’ve seen, know! Two days is enough. Then get on the phone and congratulate the winner and set up a working session to get started. Now it’s time to call other participants. Thank them for the work they put into pitching your account. They may ask what the deciding factors were, so tell them. Perhaps the agency you hired has more experience in the B2B field, or you liked their particular marketing approach. Whatever, be honest and as complimentary as possible.

Step 6 …

You’ve done it! You’ve selected a marketing partner to help power your sales, and enhance your company’s reputation. It took work, but you’re happy with the results. Now it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty, like setting up a meeting schedule, when and what kind of reports are needed, and how they’ll be delivered. And finally, you can get back to doing what you do best. Running your company!

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