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Find your Agencies partner

Credo helps companies find and hire the right marketing partner.

How We're Different

The Credo vetting process


Results

A company can be polished and professional and still not deliver great results, so we specifically ask each network applicant about their clients and results they have driven.

We ask every applicant for:

  • Two projects for each marketing channel they offer
  • Description of the work they did and results they achieved
  • Client contact information so Credo can contact the client and ask for a recommendation
  • Analytics or other corroborating evidence of work done well

Professionalism

Quality of work delivered is extremely important to us and extremely important to you.

Our professional vetting involves the following:

  • Review of two deliverables sent to clients
  • Review of applicant's website to see professional design, clarity of writing and thinking, and more
  • Review of other profiles, such as LinkedIn and social media

Culture

Every network applicant must also pass our culture screening to make sure they're aligned with our standards.

This involves a 30 minute call covering:

  • Their professionalism on the phone
  • Promptness to the call
  • Clarity of thinking and speech in delivery
  • How their agency delivers work

work with the best online marketing Agencies

All work with the best online marketing Agencies on Credo have passed our initial three step and 28-point vetting process before joining, and are continuously vetted via client feedback. When you speak with the work with the best online marketing Agencies in our network, you can trust they're the best we can find.

With the vast majority of individuals and businesses turning to the internet to find information, products, and services digital marketing is imperative. This is true for huge corporations and small mom and pop businesses alike. The challenge for many businesses is figuring out just how and when to incorporate digital marketing into their marketing mix. Furthermore, it’s a daunting task to find the right marketing professionals to work with.

Marketing agency vs consultant

Marketing consultants and online marketing agencies are prolific online and they both promise to deliver results for their clients. While it may appear that they offer similar marketing services, there are distinct differences between these types of marketing companies that businesses should be aware of.

  • Marketing consultants evaluate a business’s online presence, marketing activities, and processes and offer advice about how to make improvements. Implementation of the suggestions they make is left up to the business to undertake. Consulting is generally offered as a one-time service or as a strategy retainer.
  • An online marketing agency handles all aspects of the marketing process from evaluating the current situation to strategic planning, developing solutions, and implements the marketing plan. They often work with clients on an ongoing basis and develop a close working relationship.

When is a marketing agency the better choice?

If you have the staff, experience, drive, and budget to tackle every aspect of digital marketing in-house, hiring a consultant to evaluate your processes and progress might be enough. Not many small businesses can pull it off, however, and outsourcing to a marketing agency is more beneficial and efficient. Here are a few ways to know if it’s time to hire a marketing agency:

  • Your marketing staff is small – In the past, it wasn’t uncommon for a company to have a small marketing staff of one or two people. Digital marketing is a complex process and it’s nearly impossible for smaller companies with a limited budget to hire on all of the experts needed to market effectively.
  • Content marketing is overwhelming – Businesses rely on content to create brand awareness, drive engagement, generate leads, and convert prospects to customers. Content creation and marketing best practices are continually evolving and it’s difficult to keep up even for the experts.
  • You do not have the expertise on staff to get it done and keep up – Sometimes you need to build a team to handle everything that needs to be done, but you are unable to for whatever reason whether budgetary or other. An agency can come in, get up to speed quickly, and help you make progress.

Choosing an online marketing agency

If you’ve decided that hiring an online marketing agency is the best route for you, it’s time to begin the process of finding one that you can work with. There are a myriad of agencies online and it’s imperative that you put in the time and energy to vet them so you find the right fit. Here are a few ways to accomplish this task:

  • Research offerings –  The first step in vetting online marketing agencies is research. Spend time searching through the websites of agencies and look at the types of services they offer. Only consider agencies that offer solutions to your specific problems, needs, and challenges.
  • Review their current clients – Look at the industries and businesses that the agency leans towards and ask yourself if your company is a good fit. An agency that focuses most of their attention on car dealerships, for example, might not be the best choice for a women’s clothing retailer.
  • Read reviews & testimonials – Go beyond the agency’s website and look for reviews, both good and bad. If you’re seeing a high number of negative reviews, or over-the-top glowing reviews, consider it a red flag. Look for consistent comments that seem genuine and speak to the agency’s professionalism.
  • Use LinkedIn as a resource – LinkedIn is a lot like a resume for the agency and its leadership. Carefully review the information provided here so that you understand exactly who you are dealing with. It’s easy to embellish experience so double-check and contact people they’ve claimed to work with.

Questions to ask an online marketing agency

Once you’ve done your due diligence and you’ve found an agency that seems to offer the services you need, has experience, and appears to be reputable, it’s time to get down to the details. Don’t be afraid to ask pointed questions that will help you make this important decision. Keep in mind that if the agency hesitates, or refuses to answer your queries, they’re likely hiding something and it’s time to move on. Here are a few things to ask:

  • What is your process? – You might get a canned response from this question and that’s okay, to a point. It’s great for an agency to have a certain level of consistency when it comes to their processes like reporting and billing. However, be very cautious of an agency who has rigid processes in place that don’t account for the unique needs of clients.
  • What is your pricing structure? – Some agencies operate under a retainer style pricing structure that allows for a certain number of hours and no more. Others offer hourly pricing for tasks in addition to the original contract. You don’t want to be surprised with unexpected fees or no service down the road.
  • How do you report results and when? – It’s important to understand the metrics, tools, and reporting schedule an agency uses to track the results of campaigns and other marketing efforts. Ideally, they will provide tracking and reporting at a minimum of once a month as well as quarterly and annually.
  • Do you outsource to any third-parties? – It’s not necessarily a bad thing for an agency to outsource some of their services. Transparency is the key here and if they do outsource, it’s important to know who the third-party is and whether or not you’ll be able to communicate with them directly.
  • Do you offer any guarantees? – This is a trick question because no marketing agency can absolutely guarantee anything to you. Any agency that offers a guarantee like getting you on the first page of Google for your keywords in a set period of time, should be avoided. Either they’re using black hat techniques, or they are simply trying to make a sale. A reputable agency will never make an outlandish guarantee.

Conclusion

If you’re ready to hire an online marketing agency, take the time to thoroughly evaluate your needs, do your research, and ask plenty of questions. The success of your marketing efforts will be directly impacted by your choice.

Get in contact with us if you are ready to find the right digital marketing agency to work with!

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The industry trusts Credo

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Rand Fishkin
"After working with a number of clients who had been burned by illicit consultants, industry veteran John Doherty was inspired to create [a company] that would help companies find reputable search marketing and SEO professionals."
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Marketing Land
"I don't know of anyone who puts as much care and attention into properly vetting and matching SEO projects with vendors than Credo."
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Tom Critchclow

How to hire Agencies companies


Hire agency with channel experience

Find agencies who have experience with the channel and your type of business

Prioritize agencies who have experience with the channel or channels you need help with. If you have multiple needs, we recommend prioritizing a full service firm who can do all channels as opposed to hiring individual agencies or contractors for each channel. This will reduce the number of providers you have to contact as well as the management overhead once they are hired.

Note - at Credo we match you with providers from our network who both fit your marketing channel needs and have experience with your type of business (SaaS, Ecommerce, etc). Where possible, we also match you with providers who have experience in your industry.


Agency discovery calls

Conduct discovery calls with all and strategy calls with a few

We recommend speaking with multiple agencies to verify that they have the experience you require and that you like speaking with them. Culture fit between you and your agency is the unspoken factor we find that determines if an engagement will be successful. We then recommend that you conduct longer strategy sessions (about an hour) with 2-4 agencies to dive deeper on your needs with their team.

Note - Credo schedules the initial discovery calls for you with agencies from our network.


Agency project proposals

Receive proposals and negotiate

Once you’ve gone deeper with 2-4 agencies, ask for proposals that you can review that include scope, timeline, cost, and terms. We recommend that you use our Agency Reviewer resource to make it easier. Some agencies may have a separate contract with terms and conditions, which is fine.

Once you receive proposals, you can negotiate back with agencies. The most common things to negotiate back on are scope and timeline. If ideal budget is above your ability to pay, see if you can reduce the scope to get the project within budget while understanding the tradeoffs.


Work with digital agency

Commit to one for a period of time

Finally, make a decision about who to work with and commit for a period of time that is long enough to know if you’re able to get results but not so long that it traps you into something that isn’t working. We recommend that you agree to at minimum a 3 month contract, and ideally a 6 month contract with a three month out.

Make sure healthy expectations are set and your agency fully understands your objectives. The best results are created when you have alignment with your agency around your business goals.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does Credo cost?
Clients hiring through Credo pay us nothing. We are compensated by the pros within the network once they have passed our 28-point vetting process.
Who's in Credo's network?
Credo's network includes digital marketing agencies and consultants who are experts at what they do and who they do it for. We're digital marketing experts ourselves and started Credo in 2013 to help great businesses do a better job hiring and executing on marketing strategies. We've helped thousands of businesses since then, so let us put our expertise to work for you.
How does Credo determine who the right pro is for my project?
With seven years in business and over $125,000,000 in projects coming through our systems, we know how to make the right matches for your needs. We base matches off your marketing channel needs, your industry, your business model, your budget, and more. Every match is hand-selected by our team of experts.
What is the difference between Credo and Upwork?
Credo is a fundamentally different type of company. Instead of listing anyone in the world who wants to offer marketing services, Credo has a vetted network of pros who we work with closely to make sure they deliver industry-best results for their clients.
Do I still have to interview firms within Credo?
Yes. After we match you with two pros from our network, you schedule interview calls with them. We believe fundamentally that you should know and trust the person doing your work. Ultimately, the decision on who to hire is yours.
How is Credo involved after I sign a project?
No. Once you decide on the firm to hire, you sign contracts with them directly and pay them directly for their work. Credo is not involved, though we would appreciate honest reviews on your firm's Credo profile once you've worked with them for a while!
So, what does Credo cost?
Credo is free to clients looking to hire a marketing firm. We do offer a few paid consulting options about your marketing or hiring strategy which can be found here.
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Ready to finally find the right marketing partner to help your business grow?

Drive results for your marketing needs with the Credo network. Get started today (it's free and there is no obligation)!


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