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How to choose an advertising agency or partner to market your product

The choice of an agency or a partner is a demanding task. Once you have some names, you need to choose which will be most suitable partner for your business. Do they have the right expertise for you? Is the agency/partner capable of providing the kind of creativity you are looking for?
Last but not least, the interpersonal exchange plays a major role; factors like mutual trust and understanding are very important.

 

Preliminary Screening

 

Before selecting any agencies/partners, you should ask yourself some questions.

  • Are they the right size for you? Bigger does not necessarily mean better.
  • Do they have the right expertise for you?
  • What is their reputation?
  • How do they charge and how do they measure effectiveness? Will they negotiate on fees?
  • Are they capable of handling work other than classical advertising?
  • Do you like them?

 

Pitch

You should arrange to meet some of the agencies/partners: ask about three of them to pitch their ideas to you. The pitch is where an agency/partner competes for your business by presenting prepared work. Some agencies/partners might charge for this. Before asking anybody to pitch, you need to provide a detailed brief, a budget, the kind of contractual co-operation you are looking for.

Find out if the team pitching to you will be the team that works on your account. Most businesses find that personality is important. You need to get on well with people if you are looking for a fruitful, long-term relationship. Before taking any decisions, it might be worthwhile paying a personal visit to the agency/partner in order to get an idea how they work and meeting the people you are going to work within their natural environment.

 

Selection Criteria

  • Location
  • Years in business
  • Number of employees
  • Agency philosophy
  • Methods of operation
  • Experience
  • Client portfolio
  • Interests
  • Specialities

Does the agency/partner...

  • have experience in your industry?
  • have experience in similar industries?
  • know how to target audience you want to address?
  • understand the key messages you want to put across?
  • understand the key objectives you want to achieve?
  • invest the budget you have set properly?

In which areas is the agency good?

  • Consultancy
  • Branding
  • Corporate identity / corporate design
  • Corporate communications
  • Image advertising
  • B2B advertising
  • Radio and TV spots
  • Multimedia, corporate films
  • Online advertising / e-commerce / online marketing / search engine optimisation and marketing
  • Giveaways
  • Sales promotion
  • POS marketing
  • Exhibitions and fairs
  • Event marketing
  • Packaging
  • etc.

Does the agency offer any of the following points?

  • Dedicated account manager
  • Interdisciplinary methods of operation
  • Qualified and experienced team members
  • Small employee turnover
  • Enough resources if needed
  • Transparent cost structure
  • Different compensation possibilities (basis fees, flat rates, invoicing on a hour-basis)

 

 

Here are some interesting publications that might help you in your online marketing activities.

 

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