Ultimate Checklist: How To Choose a Digital Marketing Agency in 2024

Working with digital marketing agencies can help you tackle a variety of marketing challenges and can take a massive load from your team. With a stellar agency and a winning marketing strategy, you can reach your marketing goals as you focus on what you do best.

To start, it’s a good idea to take some time to choose the right marketing agency to reach your business goals and grow your practice. Not all agencies are made equal. It would help to select an agency that understands your business and is well-versed in your industry.

So how to choose digital marketing agency for your digital marketing campaigns? We’ve created a checklist to make the search easier.

Checklist: How to Choose the Right Marketing Agency in 2024

Office workers smiling

1. Check Their Case Studies

You need to work with a marketing agency that can walk the talk. Case studies help give you an idea of what the agency is capable of in terms of marketing efforts and what its track record looks like. It lets you determine if they can mount a successful marketing campaign specifically for your business.

What should you look for when analyzing case studies that showcase their digital marketing services? You should check out the complexity of the projects they’ve handled and the strategies the digital marketing company used. You should also analyze how long it took them to execute these marketing efforts and how they measure their successes.

So, where can you find the case studies of marketing agencies? While you can request for case studies from a digital marketing company directly, a reputable agency would be proud to showcase case studies on their official website or even their YouTube channel.

Read More: 6 Benefits of Working With An Eye Care Marketing Agency

2. Social Media Presence

phone with social media screen

If you’re trusting your social media marketing efforts with a particular marketing firm, that firm should be able to demonstrate what they can do on social media through their own official pages. Their social media marketing efforts reflect what they’re capable of and what they can possibly do to reach your target audience.

A digital marketing agency’s social media page showcases the quality of marketing services you can expect if you work with them. That’s why you should check for consistency, how much engagement they get, and the quality of content that they share. You shouldn’t just check one social media marketing platform. You should check their official pages on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter (now known as X).

Not only that, you should also pay attention to how the marketing company interacts with its audience and manages client feedback. If you’re going to entrust your reputation management with them in the future, you should check out how they manage their own.

3. Check Out Their Industry Experience

While there are many marketing companies to choose from, the right marketing partner for you is an agency that understands your industry or niche. You should work with a good marketing agency familiar with your field’s unique challenges and trends.

How can you tell if an agency partner can execute stellar marketing strategies for your business? Check their case studies. A good marketing firm for your business should have worked with a client from the same industry.

4. Assess Their Range of Services

digital marketing graphic

Is the marketing firm you’re eyeing capable of delivering the marketing services that your business needs? Some marketing companies specialize in specific services like search engine optimization (SEO) or social media marketing.

Ideally, you should work with a marketing agency capable of essential marketing services, like SEO, PPC advertising, content marketing, and social media marketing. Why? Working with one digital marketing agency can help you lower your overall costs and make the process more efficient. You should ensure that your marketing agency has a comprehensive range of services.

You should also check if that agency specializes in a certain service or offers innovative techniques. These can help make your business stand out in this competitive landscape.

5. Review Their Client Testimonials and Reviews

What do the digital marketing agency’s past and present clients have to say about their services? Online reviews give you a preview of what you’re getting into. Previous clients would most probably tell you the good and the bad. That’s why you should take time to check out what they have to say about that agency.

When checking out online reviews, you should ensure to check various platforms. Some websites you can browse to look for reviews are Clutch and Trustpilot. These websites are full of authentic reviews that tell you as it is.

6. Meet the Team

office workers giving each other a high 5

Who will you work with if you entrust your marketing efforts with a particular digital marketing agency? You need to meet the people who will develop and execute your marketing strategy. You need to check if they’re a good fit with your team because essentially, this team is an extension of your business.

How do they work? You should check out their working style and company culture. These help you determine if they align with your business values and objectives.

So, how can you tell if the marketing firm is right for you? You should schedule an introductory call. In this call, you should note the organization hierarchy, your point of contact, and communication hours and evaluate how the agency coordinates with you on this.

7. Communication and Reporting

How can you tell if you’re talking to a stellar marketing company? The right agency would provide regular updates to give you an idea of how your marketing campaigns are doing. They should show you the performance of your marketing efforts.

Right off the bat, you should confirm which communication channels the agency uses. You should also check the frequency of meetings or check-ins.

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8. Ask For a Proposal

Another way to determine if you’re talking to the right marketing company is to request a detailed proposal. This would help you understand the agency’s approach and strategy for your business.

When checking out the marketing company’s proposal, you should check for clear performance metrics, and KPIs in the proposal to gauge the expected outcomes. From there, you should evaluate how this proposal can help you achieve your desired results and the time required for implementation.

These steps can help you find the right agency for your business. At iMatrix, we take pride in ticking all of these boxes, and we’d be more than happy to share what our company is capable of. While choosing a marketing company, you should be wary of some red flags. If you detect these red flags in the agency you’re eyeing, you should move on to the next.

6 Red Flags to Look for in a Marketing Agency

a maglifying glass with an exclamation sigh inside it

Here are the red flags to watch out for when choosing a marketing agency for your brand.

1. Lack of Communication

When entrusting your marketing strategies to another entity, you should constantly be updated on the progress of your marketing efforts. A good marketing agency would keep you in the loop with how your social media marketing campaigns are going. It should be easy for you to get updates on your campaigns. You shouldn’t have to jump through hoops to learn about the marketing services they’ve rendered for your business.

When you don’t understand specific marketing strategies, the digital marketing company should be able to explain their relevance to your business. So, what does it mean when a marketing agency lacks communication? This means that, more often than not, there is a delay in their responses. While there are instances wherein responding late cannot be helped, you should be wary if this delay is a common occurrence with the agency you’re working with.

Another sign of a lack of communication is unclear instructions. For example, let’s say you’re trying to understand a report on the search engine optimization efforts or an online booking campaign the agency has done so far. Understandably, there might be aspects of the report you don’t fully understand. The wrong agency wouldn’t help you comprehend the jargon or portions of the report you don’t get.

Let’s say there’s a marketing strategy you’d like to explore. While you can’t expect an agency to be available at your disposal 24/7, you should consider it a red flag when the agency is always unavailable.

2. Inconsistent Results

A graphic representing inconsistent results

A good marketing agency can produce positive results and help you reach your goals. While there is no perfect formula for creating the marketing results you would like, the right marketing agency will make an effort to continuously improve the campaigns they devise to reach your target audience.

You know you’re not working with the right digital marketing agency when the results are inconsistent. What does this mean? A sign of inconsistent results is fluctuating website traffic, even with regular email newsletters. The agency’s digital marketing solutions should help increase the number of visitors to your website.

Another sign would be inconsistent leads or sales. An agency with industry expertise would know how to entice more people to book an appointment with your clinic. At the same time, there is no guarantee that every person reached will become a customer. A good agency would know how to get the right people.

3. Limited Understanding of Your Business

Many competent agencies offer stellar digital marketing services, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re the right fit for your business. An excellent marketing agency would understand your business, industry, and target audience well. They would be updated on relevant business news that could impact your company. Moreover, they should be updated on the latest trends to help you reach your target audience.

From the get-go, you can probably tell which marketing agencies aren’t capable of helping you reach your goals. If you’re a veterinarian, a marketing agency that’s not right for you wouldn’t be aware of relevant pet holidays your clinic can capitalize on. If you’re an eye care expert, the wrong marketing agency wouldn’t be aware of the latest trends in eye care on social media.

The right digital marketing agency would be able to help you understand your industry better and market it accordingly. An agency that might have worked well with another business might not be the best choice for you.

4. Lack of Transparency

You invest a lot of resources in digital marketing campaigns, and rightfully so; you should be updated on how your campaigns are going. From pricing to strategies and performance metrics, the digital marketing agency you’re working with should be transparent with what you’re getting into.

You know you’re not working with the right agency when dealing with hidden fees, vague reporting, or refusal to share campaign data. Right from the start, your company should know how much you’re expected to invest so you can allocate the budget accordingly.

When sent reports on the results of a search engine optimization campaign, everything should be crystal clear so you understand the value you’re getting for your investment. Understanding reports is also vital to improving one’s marketing strategies in the future.

How does the agency gauge success regarding a particular marketing strategy? It would help if you understood their performance metrics and their relevance to your business. A stellar marketing agency would be honest with you and help you continuously improve through reviews and the like, especially if the results aren’t what you expect the first time.

The right marketing agency should also be open to change. The digital marketing landscape is constantly changing, and resistance to change is a clear red flag that you should take your business elsewhere.

5. Poor Customer Service

a website mockup representing customer service

Poor customer service is another tell-tale sign you’re not working with the right marketing agency. The right agency would be able to answer your questions promptly and address your concerns within a reasonable time frame. Poor customer service is more than timeliness.

Other signs of poor customer service are unprofessional behavior, dismissive attitude, and lack of responsiveness. The right agency would treat you and your team with respect, which means trying to understand where you’re coming from and addressing your concerns accordingly.

You know you’re not working with the right agency when your marketing partner always misses deadlines or doesn’t support you. While it may be understandable to miss a deadline once or twice, consistently being late is a sign of disrespect and shows how much they value your business.

Does the marketing agency have negative reviews online? Nowadays, it’s easier to determine if the agency is a good fit because other clients can quickly post client testimonials or reviews, so you know what you’re getting into. Besides, how can a marketing agency manage your reviews online when they can’t even manage their own?

6. Amateur Website

A company’s website is fundamentally its calling card and reflects what kind of business it is. Marketing professionals should have a website that demonstrates their skills and shows what marketing services they offer. After all, the marketing agency should be able to walk the talk through their website.

Here’s a list of signs you should look for when going through a marketing agency’s website:

  • Functioning website and menu
  • Sleek and vibrant website design
  • User experience
  • Speedy loading time
  • No errors
  • Looks good on various devices
  • Clear typography
  • Good quality images and videos

Read More: 4 Reasons to Work With a Google Premier Partner

Questions to Ask a Digital Marketing Agency

When deciding on your digital marketing partner, you should be asking the right questions. Here are some questions we think should be on your list:

  1. What is your agency’s core expertise?
    • Understand their primary strengths and specializations.
  2. Can you provide case studies or examples of past successes?
    • Request concrete examples of their work and outcomes.
  3. Do you have experience in our industry?
    • Assess their familiarity with your specific market and its challenges.
  4. What tools and technologies do you use?
    • Find out about the platforms and tools they rely on for analytics, automation, and campaign management.
  5. How do you measure success and ROI?
    • Understand the metrics and KPIs they use to evaluate performance.
  6. Can you provide examples of reports we will receive?
    • Review sample reports to see how they present data and insights.
  7. What is your pricing structure?
    • Understand their fee model, whether it’s retainer-based, project-based, or performance-based.
  8. How do you handle campaign underperformance or setbacks?
    • Understand their approach to problem-solving and course correction.
  9. What are the contract terms and conditions?
    • Review the details of their contractual agreements, including termination clauses.
  10. What are your plans for scaling our marketing efforts?
    • Discuss their vision for your long-term growth and scalability. Your goals and your plan to achieve them should be aligned.

Conclusion

If you spot any of these red flags, it might be wise to move on to other digital marketing agencies. You need to find a trusted and reliable partner for your marketing needs. We at iMatrix can help you reach your goals and more. For more information on digital marketing packages, including premium advanced services, call 800.792.8384 or click here.

Author: Liliana Cervantes

Liliana Cervantes is iMatrix’s resident content specialist who works on all our online blog resources. She provides the iMatrix website with high-quality content to provide our readers with plenty of information to educate and inspire them with their digital marketing efforts. Liliana writes about tips and trends for readers to try on social media, their website, and their own blog content.

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