How to Choose the Right B2B Marketing Agency for Your Business
Choosing the right B2B Marketing Agency for your company is a big deal. Choose the wrong firm, you lose time and $$. Choose the right agency, your ROI will be well worth the time and effort.
When it comes to marketing your business, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. That’s why it’s so important to choose the right B2B Marketing Agency for your business. With so many agencies out there, it can be difficult to know where to start. But don’t worry – I’ve got you covered!
As a 25+ year marketing professional, I have worked in-house for companies as VP of Global Marketing, Marketing Director, and Marketing Manager roles, interviewing and hiring agencies. I have also worked for 2 marketing agencies, seeing what it’s like to be the one who is being interviewed and delivering the strategies and tactics from the agency side.
In this blog post, I’ll include everything I’ve learned as well as outline the five key factors you need to consider when choosing a marketing agency. I’ll also discuss the benefits of using a niche B2B Marketing Agency, and provide advice on how to find the right agency for your business. So read on, and let me help you choose the best marketing agency for your business!
Marketing Agencies Are Dramatically Different!
The Importance of Choosing the Right B2B Marketing Agency
B2B marketing agencies fill an essential role for many businesses. Many companies don’t have the budget for in-house marketing staff. If they do, the marketing staff is usually busy and needs to supplement their team & capabilities with some outside resources. Some companies don’t have marketing staff at all and rely exclusively on outside marketing firms and contractors.
When choosing an agency, be sure to consider the following factors: expertise, size of team, and industries they specialize in. Ask to meet (usually virtually) the person who would be running your account. That person should be able to instill some level of confidence in you, the feeling that you will enjoy partnering up with them. (We all prefer to do business with people we like.) Choosing a marketing agency that is right for you will result in a successful partnership that delivers the intended ROI.
There are many methods to use to find the right marketing agency for you. Google is your friend and you can use Google to find some marketing companies that you might want to interview and review their online presence. Or, ask your network. Can anybody you already know refer you to someone that is a great marketer or a good firm?
“The Talent of the Marketing Agency is #1”
5 Factors to Consider When Choosing a B2B Marketing Agency
Choosing the right marketing agency is a time-consuming task, but it’s important that you take the time to research different agencies and choose one that best suits your business and industry. It’s also important to ask plenty of questions during introductory meetings to get a better feel for the person or people you will be working with regularly. Once you’ve narrowed it down, evaluate their pricing structure and decide if it’s affordable for your budget. Most importantly, make sure the agency fully aligns with your company’s values and culture. With these tips in mind, it shouldn’t be too hard to find the right marketing agency for your business.
Our experiences tell us that these factors are especially important:
- Experience & talent of the team members: Marketing agencies use a variety of staffing strategies & partnerships to try and deliver on their projects and retainers. Make sure your contact, sometimes called an account manager or team lead, is an experienced marketing professional that adds to the conversation. Your main contact has to have a strong skill set & be able to strategize with you for the best results. Watch out for agencies that use young marketers fresh out of college that just don’t have the experience needed yet to deliver high quality work.
- Size and focus of the agency: Is the agency big or small? What do they focus on offering? Smaller agencies that have a smaller client load, can, and often do, deliver great results. Larger agencies with more staff might be appealing, but that will inherently drive up their pricing due to overhead. If you have a big budget & need a full team of marketing professionals, larger agencies might be where you want to start. See what aspects of marketing that the agency focuses on. Are they good at social media posts, search engine optimization, influencer marketing, ppc, website design, public relations, content marketing or inbound marketing? Compare what they are good at with your marketing needs. Watch out for agencies that are overbooked… they will have a hard time delivering due to being over capacity & possibly inexperienced team members.
- The kind of results you can expect from the agency: Agencies have to have some sort of on-boarding process to gather information and learn as much as they can about your business. Don’t expect much for the first 2-3 months, as the marketing team will be collecting information, setting up workflows and processes, and starting creative and strategy work. Unless it is a true disaster, I recommend you try to give the agency 3- 6 months to gain some traction and start delivering good metrics for you. There is no magic button to push to deliver instant ROI, but be sure to set aside time for progress reports.
- Niche or target industries the agency has experience in: During your selection process, see if the marketing firm has experience in your industry. Ramp up time will be quicker and content creation will typically be better if the team already has a basic understanding of your industry. This is really helpful, but not always necessary for success.
- Your time & engagement is CRUCIAL: Be ready to present your goals as clearly as you can. Going into the selection process, make sure you have spent the time to clarify your marketing needs and your target audience. If you need help with that, let the marketing agency walk you through your current state and then propose a “future state” strategy for you. There is never a “right time” to work on your marketing strategy & needs, however, working with an agency is a process. The more information you can provide, the better the partnership will be. Be prepared to give the agency as much info as you can, they HAVE to understand your business to do successful marketing for you.
Are There Any Benefits to Using a Niche B2B Marketing Agency?
The short answer is yes. A firm that specializes in the type of marketing you need and/or your industry can be a fantastic choice. It’s like going to a steakhouse and ordering fish. Sometimes, however, it can be harder to find a marketing agency that specializes in your industry than it is to find a general B2B Marketing Agency that has talented staff.
Weigh your options carefully here, as not all niche agencies are created equal. Don’t forget the many benefits to using a specialized B2B Marketing Agency – from better results to dedicated resources – so choose wisely!
How Can I Determine if an Agency is Qualified to Work with my Business?
One of the best ways to determine if an agency is qualified to work with your business is by simply evaluating the quality of their team. Do they have superstars ready to take your company to the next level?
You can also ask for referrals. Agencies with a stellar reputation in the marketing and advertising industry are usually well-versed in SEO, social media marketing, email marketing, and other digital marketing strategies. Additionally, you can check out their social media profiles, website, testimonials, and client list to get an idea of their quality work.
How Do I Know if the Proposed Budget is Realistic for my Marketing Needs?
When it comes to evaluating the fees of a marketing agency, pricing can be widely variable. Larger agencies have to charge more for many reasons, including overhead and levels of staffing.
When choosing a marketing agency, always ask the following questions:
- How much experience does the agency have in selling and marketing my product or service?
- What is the agency’s track record of achieving client goals?
- How will the agency measure success and what milestones are included in their contract?
- Will the agency provide me with competitive quotes so that I can compare different agencies easily?
What Are Some Common Red Flags that Indicate that an Agency May Not Be a Good Fit for My Business?
Here are some common red flags that indicate that an agency may not be a good fit for your business.
- Agencies that are not well-equipped to handle the specific needs of your business: If you’re looking for an agency that specializes in a certain category of marketing services, make sure that the agency is properly equipped to provide these services pursuant to your specific needs. This means having the right team members and resources, as well as the necessary experience and knowledge to provide quality services.
- Agencies that do not have a good track record with clients: It’s important to research an agency before signing a contract or starting any marketing campaigns. Look for agencies with a good reputation online and positive customer reviews.
- Agencies that require high upfront costs for services: Many agencies will ask for a sizable upfront fee in order to get started. Be sure to ask a lot of questions about this fee and what services will be provided in return. Also, be sure to confirm that all services provided by the agency, including marketing strategies and designs, will be yours if the contract is canceled.
Choosing the right B2B marketing agency will take some market research on your part, but with the help of our 5 factors to consider, you will be ready to make a good choice.
Remember to take into account the following factors when choosing a marketing agency:
- Experience of the team members
- Size & focus of the agency
- The kind of results you can expect
- Niche or target industries
- Your time & engagement level
Make sure to ask these questions & any others you think are important to ensure a quality partnership with great results.
At Resonating Brands, we are here to give you & your company the best value for your money. We will do our very best to help you execute a well-developed plan that drives business. If you are looking for a marketing group who is curious about you and your industry, takes pride in honest, dependable marketing strategies, and breathes creative life into your brand, we are your people.
Ultimately, We Succeed By Helping You Succeed. We Want You & Your Company to BE RESONATING.
It is only when you Resonate, when you find your voice, your personality and your target market, that you will truly be a Resonating Brand to be desired. We are here to help YOU get there.