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Marketing agency types and 6 questions to answer before hiring one

Before you hire a marketing agency, it is important to understand what your business-specific needs and goals are and then identify the most suitable marketing agency that matches your needs.

There are several marketing agency types. Some businesses may choose to work with multiple agencies, or opt to work with a one-stop marketing consultancy firm to develop a comprehensive marketing strategy that encompasses all aspects of their marketing efforts.

In this blog, we’ll provide a brief overview of the various marketing agency types and the core functionality that each one fulfills.

Types of Marketing Agencies

Advertising Agencies

These are agencies that create and manage advertising campaigns for their clients. They are able to handle market research to creative development to media planning and buying.

Whilst advertising agencies may be very effective in promoting brands, products and services through traditional methods such as television, radio and some online channels, they may have some limitations with regard to limited scope, experience and expertise when it comes to newer digital marketing channels.

Digital Marketing Agencies

A digital marketing agency offer specialists skills when it comes to marketing your business via digital channels, such as search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, email marketing, social media and more.

Digital marketing agencies will help you raise brand awareness, drive website traffic and generate leads for your business. Some limitations that digital marketing agencies may have is the limited experience for traditional advertising.

Public Relations (PR) agencies

PR agencies help to manage your business reputation and build relationships with media, customers and important stakeholders. PR agencies can handle crisis communications, media relations and event planning. Limitations could include digital marketing skillset and resources to advertising skillset provided by advertising agencies.

Lead Generation Agencies

Also known as content marketing agencies, a lead generation agency is involved in developing and distributing content that will educate and inform your target market about your brand and product. Content marketing agencies often produce blogs, podcasts, videos, whitepapers which are used specificially to attract, engage, influence, nurture and convert your target audiences.

Branding Agencies

A branding agency is involved in developing and maintaining a consistent and strong brand corporate identity across various digital and print channels. They design visual elements for social media, websites to your marketing and sales collateral and more. Limitations may include the expertise and skillsets required for digital marketing, PR communication and advertising campaign management.

Other marketing agencies

There are social media marketing agencies that focuses primarily on social media channels and campaigns; event marketing agencies that plan and execute events such as launches and conferences to promote your brand, product or service; and direct marketing agencies that uses direct mail, email marketing and sms marketing to reach and engage respective audiences.

6 questions to answer before hiring a marketing agency

Now that we’ve set out the different marketing agency types, you would need to answer the following questions to identify the right marketing agency for your business.

Question 1: Do I know what I want to accomplish?

Consider the primary and long-term needs of your business to identify whether you will need one marketing agency, multiple agencies or whether you should approach a marketing consultant who can offer co-ordination and management of all your marketing strategies.

Some answers to this question may include having a brand refresh or new website design completed; or creating more brand awareness and generating leads; or managing a specific campaign across social media.

Question 2: Does the services and products of the marketing agency match my needs?

This one should be obvious – for example – why hire an events marketing agency if your business is in need of direct marketing? Be sure to select the right marketing agency that will partner with you and has the right experience and expertise that you need.

Question 3: Does the marketing agency have a portfolio of work and can I review previous client types to identify if they are similiar to my business?

Don’t overlook the small detail. If the marketing agency does not the evidence to prove that they’ve completed work similiar to what you need, this may be something to be concerned about. Unless you are getting the work at a very affordable price, taking a chance with a marketing agency that does not have the experience you are after may result in the project being more expensive and may take longer to complete. The end result may not be as polished as it could have been had you approached a marketing agency with the right experience and skillset.

Question 4: How involved do I want to be when it comes to managing projects and approvals?

There are different ways in which you can engage and work with a marketing agency. An important factor would be to consider how busy your current role is and whether you would have the capacity to manage projects effectively and provide approvals promptly.

Marketing agencies usually offer a range of retainer options or bill on project or per hourly rates. Ask the marketing agencies about their fee structure and whether they offer fully-managed, integrated or project solutions and make your decision from there.

Question 5: Is there a positive connection or feeling with the marketing agency and their team?

This answer does not need a lengthy explanation as we know how important team work is. Great team work will produce results, whereas a stressful experience with the marketing agencies team could spell frustration, delayed projects and having to outsource your work to a new marketing agency.

Question 6: Are you happy with the terms of the contract

This is also self-explanatory. Are you happy with the terms and conditions of the contract and working relationship with your identified marketing agency.

About Ignite Media

Ignite Media is a marketing agency with experience in brand design, digital marketing and website development. We offer an integrated approach to marketing your business, primarily across all your digital channels with the skills, experience and capabilities to manage your offline marketing too. Please contact us should your business have the need to reach new customers, build brand awareness and achieve performance targets.

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