Once you know you’re interested in working with an inbound marketing agency, how do you know which agencies are best for you and your company? The choice is a big one - especially for smaller companies - so here are five signs of a great agency to help you make that choice...
1. You trust their expertise
You hire an agency because you need somebody to do what you can’t. You’re hiring experts in the inbound field and you should be able to trust them and their work. So, do a gut-check; a great inbound agency should be able to pass your test. Not only that, but a great agency will be able to match your vision with their knowledge to deliver outstanding work. They will know that although you’ve been picturing a square logo in your head for months, a round one is the better way to go because of X, Y, and Z reasons. Trust is absolutely vital because if you don’t trust the people, their work, or the process, why bother?
2. your account manager gets it
Long story short, your account manager should exemplify these 9-Traits. He or she should listen intently, clarify any problems, and advocate on your behalf for a resolution. Great account managers check-in between check-ins and build partnerships - an actual partnership, not just the cliché, picture of a handshake partnership - to solve problems.
They are advisors to you wherever needed, including issues others may deem irrelevant to the work, and they should know your business almost as well as you do. In a great inbound marketing agency, the account managers will have the whole agency behind them offering support, which translates to support for you.
3. THEY ARE IN IT FOR THE LONG HAUL
I think we can agree that the goal of most businesses is to hit set revenue levels. Every good employee is selling, building, creating, designing, solving, managing, and implementing to help their company make more money. Agencies are often brought in to help nudge those efforts along and turn up the revenue dial. But if you’re working with a great inbound agency, they will focus on more than that.
They want to build plans, make enhancements, and create a brand focused on long-term engagement rather than capturing short-term attention spans. Their goal is to make you resilient and self-sustaining. A great inbound marketing agency not only wants to build a relationship with you, but help you build a relationship with your customers. And, of course, these things take time. Baby steps. The in-it-for-the-long-haul agency will build out plan upon plan, benchmark, redo, optimize, tweak, launch, and adjust to get the traffic, conversions, and leads that will ultimately turn into revenue.
4. your pain points are being addressed
Piggybacking off of #3, a great inbound agency sees your revenue goals and asks questions - many, many questions - to understand the roadblocks and build an inbound marketing strategy to address and minimize them. For example, maybe the problem is getting your customers to the Contact Us page of your website and getteing them to submit their information. The best inbound agencies won’t just try to attract more viewers to that page, but will actually try to solve the problem of why people aren’t clicking that submit button. This might mean being comfortable with being uncomfortable in the pursuit of your goal.
A great inbound agency knows what hurts you and your business or brand because you've had those discussions. They share pain points you haven’t told them yet or even noticed yourself. Maybe your sales team is subpar. Maybe it’s your logo. Maybe it’s even the way your office answers the phone. A great inbound marketing agency will be relentless in the pursuit of your goal. Be okay with that. Remember the trust thing?
5. YOU get results
Isn’t that the point? A great inbound agency can prove their efforts are working. Of course, not everything will work. But, everything will provide a lesson and something learned. Sometimes great ideas fail … but if you’re working with a great inbound agency, they will bust their butts until it does work. And then they will keep going because inbound marketing doesn’t just stop. What’s been working for the last year might not take off a month from now. So you have to be able to count on them to innovate and push the envelope and simply try new stuff.
A deep love of art and design drives me as I navigate the ever-changing waters of marketing. I am constantly looking for new and better ways to give the inbound marketing methodology the beautiful face it deserves. As the Art Director, I ensure that all of the design work we produce is top notch and designed with a purpose. When I’m not trying to solve creative problems, my life revolves around my family and friends, my passion for music, and my addiction to stories.