Hiring a great agency doesn’t stop when the ink is freshly on the contract (or you know, you’ve e-signed it). To truly know that you’ve hired a great agency, you need to see traction forward in a reasonable amount of time.
The best way to do this is to have a check-in a quarter (three months) after you begin the engagement. The metrics they report should be agreed upon ahead of time (these are in the questions in the previous section above), but this is not just a metrics review session as they should be providing you reports frequently based on the work that is being done.
I recommend that every quarter you take stock of how the engagement is going from a quantitative and qualitative point of view.
During this section of the review you should look at metrics and the work that has been delivered. This should also be a time to review how quickly work is being delivered and deployed.
Because marketing progress (especially SEO progress) is only seen once changes have occurred and campaigns have begun being executed upon, this is a very important indicator to track in order to improve the quality of the project.
You should be able to give feedback to your agency on how well you are working together. As the marketing director/VP/lead, you should be communicating with your team member who is the point of contact about how the project is going. If they are having challenges working with the agency, then this is where you can add the most value.
If the project is ongoing and you need it to succeed, you owe it to yourself to make sure that both sides are happy and productive within the relationship. If you are not able to fill this role, then the chances that the relationship will not succeed increase substantially.
One of the first things a good agency will do is help you define the metrics on which the project’s success will be measured and then set up your analytics so that those are being tracked by everyone.
This doesn’t have to be complicated, but it can be if you’d like it to be. The first thing I do when I start with a new consulting client is to build a dashboard within Google Analytics (or their dashboarding tool of choice) so that everyone has transparency any time they want into how well the project is doing.
You should expect and ask for no less of the agency you hire.