The “best” agency is situational depending on many factors including:
Contrary to what social media (or the Google search results) will tell you, there is no one “best” marketing agency that can get outsized results for every business.
Don’t be discouraged though, because there is a “best” agency for your specific business. This means that they do amazing work for businesses like yours that have budgets and goals similar to yours.
If you want me to tell you how to hire the best agency for your specific needs, here is how my friend Tom distilled it, and I fully agree:
Hire an agency that has substantial experience in your industry by overpaying them slightly and communicating with them constantly, holding them to account on the metrics you agree beforehand are most important to your business.
We’re going to unpack this in the rest of this guide.
Identifying a good agency is a tough task if you’ve never worked at an agency or hired an agency before. Finding the right agency for your business’s unique needs and setup can be downright daunting if you don’t know where to start.
This is a large part of the reason Credo exists (we can help! See how we work).
You’re looking for an agency to solve problems you’re having. Whether that’s enough hands on deck to execute on your campaigns to expertise that you don’t have inhouse, you’re relying on them to get you out of a pickle.
Therefore it is imperative that you trust that the agency can solve your problems and not waste your time. Don’t hire someone just because they’re cheap. You get what you pay for, every time.
I have written about this more extensively here and here, but if you’re considering an agency you need to ask these questions of them:
Once you get through those, you need to understand all of these points directly related to working with that agency:
These are the questions we recommend that you ask and get answered, but you should also recognize that there is no “right” answer for most of them.
At Credo we try to take the question of “Can they do the work well?” off the table so that you can concentrate on finding the right fit for your company across expectations, timelines, team structure, and more. These questions help you not only qualify and vet them quantitatively, but also qualitatively.
That second part is important and often missed.
The biggest reason why a consulting/marketing services arrangement fails is not because the agency cannot do the work. It is because personalities and expectations clash.
If you can get those out of the way before an engagement even starts, you will start with a high degree of certainty that it will be successful!