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    Tips for finding a digital marketing agency that will be a good fit for your business and set your marketing team up for success.

    When you engage with an agency, whether for a specific project or ongoing marketing campaigns, you’re hiring an extension of your internal team. If you approach hiring a digital marketing agency the same way you would an internal employee, your chances of building a solid working partnership will increase exponentially.

    After you’ve secured internal support to hire an outside resource, scoured agency work samples, case studies and social media, you have likely narrowed down it down to a handful of creative agencies on your short list. Here are a few tips to help you pull the trigger on the right one:

    • Conduct team interviews in person at the agency or via videoconference. Not only will you have a chance to meet the team assigned to your account, but you’ll get a clearer picture of how the agency conducts client meetings, what their work space is like and how team members interact. Remember, you’re going to be working closely with this team and a successful relationship is built in part on good mojo. Bonus tip: Be sure to ask for (and check) references.
    • Know what you need. Do you need the agency to come up with creative solutions or do you need execution of an existing plan? Be transparent with your needs and expectations so you’ll set your agency, and your project, up for success.
    • Be realistic about your budget. Knowing the financial big picture is crucial in expectation management – both on your end as the client and on the agency side. If you don’t have the money to pay for a Super Bowl™ commercial, then you’ll be sorely disappointed when you’re sold on the concept.
    • Be ready and engaged. Your agency should develop project timelines and include key review points. Missing those dates because the agency is waiting on information from you may push your project off track and, ultimately, negatively impact your budget. Bonus tip: Make sure all key stakeholders are in the room at the identified review points. Going back to the drawing board at the final approval phase because your CEO has decided she doesn’t like the color blue takes the wind out of everyone’s sails. Additionally, a delay in garnering approvals can easily take a project off track if agency resources need to be reallocated while they wait.

    Just like a new employee, a creative agency should bring unique perspective, inspiration and renewed energy to both your internal team and your digital marketing efforts. Their job is to exceed your expectations at every turn and you play an important part in setting them up for success.