An Insider’s Guide to Finding the Right Advertising Agency

Often, in-house marketing teams are tasked with finding a new advertising agency partner to help them solve their marketing challenges, grow their brands, and ultimately achieve their company’s business goals. Every marketer knows that the success of their career often depends on the success of their brand; therefore, selecting a partner who will craft the messaging, channels, and execution for promoting this brand is no small decision.

What client teams don’t necessarily know, however, is how to properly assess their agency teams. As an advertising agency owner with both client-side and agency-side experience, I offer some tips on how to evaluate your agency so you can make the right decision for your business.

  1. Consider switching from traditional pitch to a workshop format

A pitch is usually a two-hour presentation that’s been rehearsed countless times with agency executives who may not even work at that company. It’s remarkably different from what the client-agency relationship actually looks like when you’re in the weeds trying to solve business challenges. Instead, I would encourage clients to hold live workshops with agencies so they can see how agencies are working together in real time to find solutions.

  1. Pay attention to how your agency makes you feel

Do you and your business feel like a priority for your agency team? In a customer service industry, if you feel like your team isn’t giving your work the attention it deserves, that’s probably a bad sign. Even if your agency has multiple clients, it should staff the business appropriately based on those needs.

  1. Make sure your ad agency brings passion to your work

Is your agency team engaged and excited about the work they do for you? This passion is infinitely important to ensure the best results for your business. You want a team invested and immersed in the projects that you entrust to its expertise.

  1. Look for signs of innovation and proactivity

Ideally, your agency will act as a strategic partner and extension of your team dedicated to finding the best possible marketing solutions for your brand. If your agency never pushes projects back in an effort to improve them or rarely comes up with proactive, out-of-the-box ideas for your brand, it might be time to consider a change.

  1. Keep tabs on how your agency recruits your business

Another indicator of the need to reassess your agency partners is if there is high turnover throughout your partnership with them. If this happens, you can assume that the agency isn’t treating its employees the way it should, that it works them too hard, or that its culture is too harsh. It is important to watch for these signs in case they have a negative impact on the work of your agency.

  1. Rate your happiness with your agency’s work

It may seem simple, but it’s important to take the time to assess whether you’re satisfied with the work your agency is doing for your brand. It can be easy to get lost in day-to-day projects, so be sure to check in with your teams, both internally and externally.

Marilyn J. Hernandez