With so many options entering the marketplace, it can be difficult to narrow down the best media agency for your organization – especially when media is one of the most important investments you may have to make. For the most part, decisions made during agency selection are mostly intuitive. Understanding the agency model and the high standard to which a good agency holds themselves is the first step, but what exactly is the best way to choose the right media partner for your business? Here’s what really matters:
Evaluate what you need. Which media specialties are you looking for? Do you need a digital strategist, sponsorship planner, social specialist, or even a consumer insight specialist? Who will give you that “WOW” factor? Take the time to think about the media specialties your business would benefit the most from so that you don’t end up spending more money than what’s necessary.
Find their story. Look at the website before you speak with their salesperson. An effective agency can show what they’re all about through their website. If you see that they are unable to do this, it’s time for you to move on and look at another agency. If they are strong with SEO and social media, expect those talents to be showcased on their website. Likewise, if they are well known for branding and design, expect that to be the most prominent message.
Tech is not an option. Which media tools will they use to help your business? So-called “smart” software is only smart if it provides a measurable benefit to your business.
Look for experience. Ask if the agency that you are considering has worked with similar businesses to yours that have faced similar challenges. Use this as proof of their performance – are they able to practice what they preach?
Broaden your horizons. Don’t restrict your search to just the media agencies that surround your geographic area. With phones and email, you can get in touch with anyone anywhere, 24/7. Likewise, choosing to partner with an agency that only has a specific category of expertise isn’t always the best idea. Take a breath of fresh air and consider looking from an outside perspective. This is where you may find the most success.
Meet the team. Imagine you’re hiring a member of your own staff – you want to know who you’ll be working with, right? Is there chemistry? It’s like you’re checking their references. Get to know the people on the other end and make sure you are confident in the fact that their skills will be able to deliver results.
Creativity counts. In order to get the most powerful mix, the media must be just as creative as the creative is. Has the agency demonstrated an ability to do this through their previous work?
Utilizing a media agency will give you access to valuable outside information that will only help your business to improve. Deciding on which agency to partner with is not an easy process. A few years ago, choosing the right agency was based purely on buying power and who could hit your target reach. Today, it’s all about comfort levels and talent. Do your homework, talk to their clients, and above all use your intuition. With the right decision, the successes will be easily measured months down the line.