Five Things You Always Wanted To Ask Your Digital Marketing Agency (But Were Too Afraid To)

As a digital marketing agency, we love meeting new clients and learning about new industries. And there are a handful of questions that we get asked quite often. How many people are on your team? 24 and counting. What services do you offer? Lots! Do you have a ping pong table? No, but that’s not a bad idea! It goes without saying that every marketing agency is different, and it’s a good idea to get to know your digital marketing agency as best you can to ensure that they’re the right fit for your business or organization. Sometimes that means asking the tough questions, such as:

How much of your work is outsourced?

It’s not at all uncommon for an agency to contract out certain tasks or responsibilities. It’s not necessarily an indicator of a good agency or a bad agency. At Timmermann Group, we’ve found that having everyone responsible for doing the work under the same roof encourages more open communication and streamlined processes. As a result, we feel secure that the products and services we deliver meet our standards and those of our clients, and that might not be something we could pull off by contracting out large amounts of work. This philosophy works for us and may not necessarily be right for another agency. But still, if you’re concerned that your agency is nothing more than a “middleman” between you and a handful of freelancers, then it’s time to make your concerns heard.

Couldn’t we just hire an in-house person to handle digital marketing?

There’s nothing wrong with investing in your digital marketing by way of an internal hire. We’d just advise that you keep your expectations in check. Digital marketing is a major endeavor and, depending on the size of your company, it may be too much for one person to handle effectively and efficiently. If you’re part of a company capable of sustaining its own internal marketing department, there’s nothing wrong with growing your team and adding specialized positions every now and then. But for companies that lack that luxury, it’s generally unrealistic to expect that a single hire will be able to manage every facet of your digital marketing to the extent that you’d like.

One of the advantages of hiring an agency is that you are not limited by a single individual’s knowledge, experience or skills. Instead, you’re working with a team of marketing professionals who each bring their own expertise to every project. A great agency will work closely with clients to ensure that messaging, branding and other aspects of your organization are accurately represented in every customer-facing channel.

Why are agency prices always so different from one another?

Just like any product or service you purchase, sometimes you get what you pay for when it comes to digital marketing. You’re going to want to do your research to find an agency that’s in line with your company’s strategic goals.

Generally, agencies will offer one of three pricing models: hourly rate pricing, fixed fee (or project-based) pricing, or value base

A higher cost could be indicative of many factors, including (but not limited to) the size of the agency team, the size or complexity of a project, turnaround time, agency experience and more.

If an agency seems like a match for your digital marketing needs, but restrictive budgetary issues are coming into play, you’ll want to make those concerns known. It may be possible to negotiate a more manageable rate. Either way, it’s important to know exactly what you’re paying for, and going over an agency’s pricing in detail will help to illuminate how essential the hours you’re paying for are and examine whether or not there are truly cuts that can be made.

Is _________ really worth the cost?

Is social media worth the investment? What about SEO? And how about this other feature? And that other service? Working with a multifaceted marketing agency, you might occasionally feel like you’re being unnecessarily nickel-and-dimed on certain aspects. Keep in mind, agencies typically don’t view digital marketing as an a la carte buffet of sorts. The fact of the matter is that the services we provide to our clients usually work together to advance our clients’ digital brands. An agency worthy of your business won’t try to push you into something you don’t need just for the sake of making a sale. Their focus should be producing measurable results for you, the client. And the truth is that doing so often involves a lot of hard work spread across many different channels.

Can small businesses really benefit from having a marketing agency?

It’s a common misconception that marketing agencies only do work for major corporations, and that’s just not the case. Companies and organizations of all sizes can benefit from the services provided by digital marketing agencies. From a financial standpoint, small businesses might find it beneficial to arrange their services on a retainer to ensure that major projects don’t exceed budgetary restrictions. If you’re concerned that an agency’s services will cost too much or aren’t sure how your small business can work with a larger team, it’s best to be transparent about those concerns from the start. An agency worth your time will hopefully put your mind at ease, and together you can work on building an effective strategy that fits your budget and your marketing needs.