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4 Key Factors to Consider When Choosing a Marketing Agency

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

As a business owner, you know that marketing your business is crucial for success. And because of this, you may be considering hiring a marketing agency to help boost your business.

But with so many marketing agencies out there, it can be challenging to know which one to choose. Here are four key factors you should consider before hiring a marketing agency.

1. Do they take the time to get to know you, your business and your goals?

A good marketing agency will take the time to learn about you and your business — and especially your goals. It should take more than a 30-minute call before they send you a proposal that claims to meet all your marketing needs. A marketing agency that is worthwhile will spend time asking you questions and actively listen to your answers. A great marketing agency will have done their research on you, your market and similar businesses in the area beforehand and ask questions to get a good understanding of your target audience. And when they do present you with a proposal, it should be a detailed plan of action for achieving your specific goals.

Related: 5 Tips for Finding the Best Digital Marketing Agency for Your Business

2. Do you trust them?

Treat the process of finding a marketing agency the same way you do when you are hiring someone new at your business. You want to get a feel for the people you will be working with at the agency as well as the agency itself to make sure they will mesh with the culture at your practice. After all, you will be working with them closely and long term. So, take the time to get to know them.

A lot of agencies do the same things and can produce similar results, but how confident are you that you can fully trust them? If you end up needing to decide between two marketing agencies, trust may just be what gives one the edge over the other.

Do the people you speak to seem genuine? Do they speak the same language as you when it comes to your values and philosophy? Are they responsive? Are they proactive? Do they have your best interest in mind when making decisions? Most importantly, does the company do what it says it will? These are all essential questions to ask yourself when considering a marketing agency for your business

3. Are they specific to your niche?

While it is not imperative, working with a marketing agency that specializes in your industry can be extremely helpful. A specialized agency that has specific experience working with a business like yours will understand the challenges and opportunities that are unique to your industry. They will have specific knowledge about industry trends, the technology and procedures specific to your business, and likely the major industry associations and regulatory agencies involved. They may even share their expertise by contributing to industry publications, which tells you that they are well respected in the industry.

If you decide to work with a marketing agency that does not specialize in your industry, be sure to ask about their experience working with similar businesses and their understanding of the unique challenges you may face. The marketing agency I run with my partner Shawn, for example, caters to dental practices, which helps us anticipate our customers’ needs and better serve their interests. The dental practices we work with find it comforting that we are familiar with their day-to-day as well as the big picture.

Related: 5 Things to Look For When Hiring a Marketing Agency

4. Will you get the results you want?

When it comes to marketing, it’s not just about high-level metrics like clicks, impressions and views. While these are certainly important, they do not necessarily translate into growth, ROI and tangible results. If high-level metrics are all a marketing agency talks about when they meet with you, then my advice is to run.

A good marketing agency will focus on growth metrics that are relevant to your specific goals. Growth can mean different things to different businesses — growth in new clients, growth in revenue or ROI. Any of those are measurable and should be tracked, which is another important aspect when it comes to results. If the company is not tracking results, that is a giant red flag. Reputable marketing agencies track calls, forms and pretty much everything.

Be wary of marketing agencies that promise quick results or guarantee specific metrics. Marketing is a process, and results take time. A good agency will be transparent about its process and provide regular updates on progress and results.

Related: 6 Things to Keep in Mind Before Selecting a Digital Marketing Agency For Your Business

Hiring a marketing agency will help you grow your business and reach more high-quality customers. Ideally, your marketing agency is a partner — part of your business. That’s why it’s essential to choose the right agency for your specific needs. A good marketing agency will take the time to get to know you and your business, be trustworthy and compatible with your values, have specific experience in your industry and focus on measurable results that align with your goals. By choosing the right agency, you can develop a marketing plan that will help you reach your target audience, grow your customer base and achieve long-term success.

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