There is a seemingly endless list of reasons you might consider working with a marketing agency. Maybe you’re looking for help communicating with your growing customer base. Or, maybe you’re hoping to identify the perfect market segment so you can break through the noise. Regardless of your reasoning, finding the best digital marketing agency can feel overwhelming and risky. This is especially true if you’ve never worked with an external agency.  But here’s the secret: improving your digital marketing strategy doesn’t mean you have to contract the top marketing agency in the world. Instead, it’s about choosing the agency with the right focus, communication style, and values that best align with your unique needs.

The False Promise of the “Best Digital Marketing Agency”

When you search the term “best digital marketing agency,” Google returns a mind-boggling 384 million results. Not very helpful, right? That’s because assuming that there is one universally helpful agency out there for every business is, unfortunately, incorrect.  The problem is that the term “best” is incredibly subjective. Take ice cream, for example. Ask three friends what the best ice cream flavor is, and I’ll bet you get at least two different answers. The same goes for digital marketing agencies—what gets deemed “best” is largely dependent on unique needs and preferences.  So, how do you go about choosing the best digital marketing agency for your business? It all starts with a bit of self-reflection.

How to Choose the Best Digital Marketing Agency for Your Business

Before you even begin your search, it’s vital to get your goals, objectives, and budget clearly identified. As T. Maxwell, a fellow marketing agency owner, mentions in his Forbes article, “The better you can describe your business needs… the better your conversations will be with prospective digital agencies.”  This introspection can help you identify where you need help and what you’re hoping to get out of the partnership. Not only does this help you set clear expectations, but it will also help you weed out the agencies that can’t help you execute your goals.  The last thing you want to do is throw a bunch of money at an agency that doesn’t know anything about creating a brand strategy, developing strategic partnerships with influencers, or whatever else you are hoping to achieve. Once you have your expectations and constraints sorted, there are a few essential things to consider when shopping around. 

Does the Agency Have Work Samples that Reflect Your Style?

Each agency will have its own unique style and feel that’s reflected in the work they produce. And while a good agency can shift their voice, tone, and visuals to match your brand voice, it’s inevitable for a bit of their natural flow to seep into the work.  To help ensure you get the finished product you’re looking for, you want to find an agency with a similar style to your own—and work samples that reflect that style.  Any reputable agency will have work examples (or case studies) on their website, so start by perusing their samples and ask yourself a few questions like:

  • What’s the overall feel of their work—Is it silly and lighthearted, or more serious and traditional? 
  • Do they have experience in your industry? And, have they helped other businesses with a similar problem or situation you’re currently facing? 
  • How do they talk about the work they produce and do you agree with what they’re saying? 

Choosing a marketing agency with a similar style can save time and money on edits later down the line.  

Does the Agency Hold Similar Values to You and Your Business? 

In many ways, hiring an agency is a lot like hiring an employee. They’ll work closely with you, your colleagues, and your customers, which means their values will rub off. And as we all know, having a similar set of shared values is essential for creating a sustainable relationship—in business and in our personal lives.  So, while you’re meeting with prospective agencies, ask them about their values and company culture. Then, make sure they align with your business’s values. This will decrease the chances of butting heads or hitting a standstill because you can’t get past a disagreement. 

Does the Agency Have a Communication Style Similar to Yours? 

Finally, communication is the most important thing to consider when choosing the best digital marketing agency for you.  Poor communication is a ticking time bomb for business relationships, particularly when it comes to digital marketing. If you cannot communicate clearly and in a timely manner, it’s only a matter of time before everything blows up in your face.  So when you’re meeting with prospective agencies, make sure they have a clearly-defined communication plan that works with your current habits. That means, if you prefer to communicate via email, you probably don’t want to work with an agency that requires a ton of in-person meetings. On the other hand, if you really need to talk face-to-face (or screen-to-screen) to get your point across, ensure your agency has the bandwidth for those meetings. 

Find Your Best Digital Marketing Agency Today

The hunt for your best marketing agency doesn’t have to feel overwhelming and endless. If you get clear on your goals, communicate your needs, and look for agencies with similar styles and values, you’re sure to find the perfect agency for your business. Start your search today by checking out Savy. As a tight-knit digital marketing team, we work with top DTC and B2B brands across industries—from manufacturing, healthcare, and construction to non-profits, tech, and beyond. To find out more about our agency, check out our extensive library of case studies to see if our work is right for you.