You should hope that the advertising agency you want to work with is going to offer you the best deal. But hey, they’re a business and their main goal at the end of the day (like any other business) us to make money. For this reason, a lot of agencies are going to find ways to oversell and underdeliver, and your business will be the one that suffers if you don’t do your research beforehand. So how do you evaluate that an advertising agency is offering the best deal?
Don’t settle out of desperation.
We get it, you want results and you want them fast. But choosing the right advertising agency should never be rushed. You especially don’t want the agencies you’re looking to hire to catch wind of this desperation. Many brands make the mistake of diving right into a long-term contract without doing much research, and end up getting screwed. Don’t let that be you.
Check out their work.
Any decent agency will post their best work and evidence of their results on their website. So if you stalk their page and come up short, this could be a major red flag. If the agency is doing their job, and they’re doing it well, they’re going to present their results front and center. If not… well… they might not be all they’ve talked themselves up to be. This is also an opportunity for you to ensure that you actually like what they’ve done in the past so you can feel confident that they will produce work that will represent your brand well.
Scope out their reviews online.
You should always, at the bare minimum, check out an agency’s online reviews. Read all the negative and positive, and compare with other agencies in the area. Take into consideration your major list of wants and needs in an agency, and take note of if the reviews mention them often. Are they efficient? Do they produce high-quality work? Are they budget-friendly? Easy to work with? Prioritize which of these is most important to you and seek out reviews that can attest to those qualities.
Talk to other businesses.
Perhaps the best way to find out if you are getting a good deal from an agency is to compare what other businesses are getting vs what they are spending. You might find that there are huge gaps in content vs pricing among various businesses. Do these other businesses have any regrets with the agency they chose? Do they feel like they are getting what they’re paying for? You can get tons of valuable information this way, as well as recommendations. Plus, you can take down these numbers and bring them to the agencies you are interviewing to use as leverage.
You might be starstruck by a high-powered L.A.-based agency that makes lofty promises (with a cost, of course). But just because an agency makes sweeping claims and attaches astronomical price tags to their services, doesn’t mean they are actually providing value to you. Some of the best agencies to work with are locally-owned firms on the smaller end. They will likely be more budget-friendly but are usually willing to go above and beyond to deliver to their clients. And, it’s just really nice to be able to set up face-to-face meetings and truly build a relationship with that agency.