Take a moment and give some thought to a typical day in your target customer’s life.
- How many devices does she interact with?
- How many channels is she using to access content that is useful, relevant and entertaining to her?
- How does she communicate with her friends?
- How much time does she spend in front of some sort of screen?
When you look at it from a holistic point of view, your target customer, through a number of channels, is exposed to countless messages, people and businesses. And she uses each channel for a different purpose.
A few decades ago, businesses had a handful of channels at their disposal to tap into their prospects – TV, radio, print and billboards. Today, your choices are plenty. And adding to your woes, each channel requires a different type of messaging for it to work.
In order to create awareness for your brand, increase interest and prompt conversions, you may need to seek the services of a multi-channel marketing agency.
However, not every agency that promises the world is worth your money. Before opting for one, you need to do your homework, because if you pick the wrong agency, it may have detrimental effects on your brand.
Here are 5 questions to ask a multi-channel marketing agency before using one:
- Who are their other clients?
One of the key questions a prospect asks any business before making a purchase is who else is using the same product/service. If the agency you are considering has worked with reputed organizations, it goes without saying that they are dependable, and may make for a suitable marketing services provider for your business. Most agencies, when they have top-tier clients, tend to display their logs and testimonials on their website to add credibility to their services.
2. Can they provide you with referrals?
Some agencies, whilst showcasing top-tier clients on their websites, may not actually be working with them at present. It may be a case where they may have serviced a reputed organization, but have messed up their offering and have had their contract terminated. Agencies are notorious at hiding such information. Therefore, just to be on the safe side, ask them to provide with a couple of referrals from their clients so that you can do a quick background check.
3. How long have they been in business?
While not a very strong indicator of their competencies, knowing that a business has been around for a long time helps add to their credibility. However, this measure on its own should not become a deciding factor when choosing their services. Also, agencies that have been around for long may only be competent at traditional marketing channels. And very new agencies, while great at online channels may lack the clout needed to negotiate with traditional channels.
4. What marketing channels have they utilized the most?
Although they claim to be a multi-channel marketing agency, do they have competence in all the channels that you are interested in?
Some agencies, while their strength lies in traditional media, claim to be good with online channels as well, thinking they can “wing” it once they win your account. Ask them to show examples of each channel that they have worked with, challenges they faced and how they helped their clients succeed in the market place.
A good multi-channel agency will be able to demonstrate success stories for a number of marketing channels, giving you the confidence that your brand is going to be in safe hands.
5. How large is their team?
Marketing agencies come in all sizes. From 200-500 team behemoths to 2-10 member establishments, and they all have their strengths. What you need to be checking is whether they are large enough to handle a number of channels, while remaining flexible to cater to your needs.
Some large agencies, while having the manpower, if yours is not a multi-national business, may not give you the level of priority you deserve. On the other hand, smaller agencies, in order to land you as a client, will make every promise under the sun, only for you to find out that they’re completely overwhelmed by the task at hand.
A considerably large agency will also be able to allocate specific account managers for your business, which may not be the case with smaller agencies where team members will juggle many tasks.
The above 5 questions will give you an adequate information you can use in your decision-making process. There are plenty of multi-channel marketing agencies out there. Therefore, it is important to not jump at the first, flashy agency that pitches for your account. Take your time and evaluate all the information you’ve collected, and aim for a decision that will result in long-lasting success for your business.
Guest Blogger-John Taylor
John is a long-time professional with over two decades of experience in analytics and communications technology. He works as the Senior Data Analyst at Fone Dynamics, a leader in call tracking, voice, and SMS communication. When John steps out of the office, he loves to spend time with his family and bike riding.