CEO’s Checklist for Hiring a Digital Marketing Agency

Dennis Galbreath Learn

CEO’s Checklist for Hiring a Digital Marketing Agency

Hey there. My name is Dennis Galbreath, and I am a Digital Strategy Manager at TKG. I’ve had the privilege of engaging in many discussions with CEOs and business leaders who are selecting a digital marketing agency. This pivotal decision can significantly impact your company's growth trajectory, and it's crucial to approach it methodically. Here, I’m sharing a comprehensive checklist that will help you, as a CEO or business leader, make an informed decision when hiring a digital marketing agency. 

1. Define Your Goals and Objectives 

Before you start searching for an agency, it's essential to have a clear understanding of what you want to achieve. Are you looking to increase brand awareness, generate leads, improve your SEO or enhance your social media presence? Defining your goals will help you find an agency that specializes in the areas that matter most to your business.   

2. Evaluate Experience and Expertise 

Experience matters. Look for agencies that have a proven track record in your industry. During my time at TKG, I’ve seen firsthand how specialized industry knowledge can make a significant difference. Ask potential agencies for case studies and references to ensure they have the expertise required to meet your objectives.

3. Assess Their Range of Services

Digital marketing is multifaceted. An ideal agency should offer a broad spectrum of services, including SEO, PPC, content marketing, social media management and more. This ensures that they can provide a holistic approach to your marketing strategy. At TKG, we emphasize the importance of integrating various digital marketing tactics to achieve cohesive and effective results. 

4. Consider Their Approach to Strategy

A good digital marketing agency will tailor their strategy to your specific needs rather than offering a one-size-fits-all solution. During discussions with potential agencies, inquire about their process for developing and implementing strategies. At TKG, we believe in customizing our approach to align with each client’s unique goals and challenges. 

5. Transparency and Communication 

Effective communication is critical. Ensure that the agency you choose values transparency and keeps you informed about the progress and performance of your campaigns. Regular updates and open lines of communication are vital for a successful partnership. Ask how often you can expect reports and meetings, and make sure their communication style aligns with your expectations. 

6. Analyze Their Reporting and Analytics

Data-driven decision-making is essential in digital marketing. The agency should provide comprehensive reporting and analytics to measure the success of your campaigns. Platforms like Google Looker Studio and Databox are excellent tools for creating detailed and insightful reports. At TKG, we prioritize proper tracking and measurement to ensure that our strategies are delivering the desired results. 

7. Check Their Technological Capabilities

In the fast-evolving digital landscape, staying ahead with the latest tools and technologies is crucial. Evaluate whether the agency is equipped with the right technological capabilities to execute cutting-edge marketing tactics. This includes proficiency in various digital marketing platforms, CRM systems and marketing automation tools.

8. Evaluate Their Creative Capabilities 

While technical skills are essential, creativity plays a significant role in capturing your audience’s attention. Review the agency’s portfolio to assess their creative output. Whether it’s compelling content, eye-catching design or innovative campaigns, their creative prowess should align with your brand’s vision and voice. 

9. Consider Their Culture and Values 

Cultural alignment between your company and the agency is often overlooked but incredibly important. The agency will essentially become an extension of your team, so it’s crucial that their values and work culture align with yours. At TKG, we strive to build strong, collaborative relationships with our clients, fostering an environment of mutual respect and shared goals. 

10. Evaluate Their Pricing and ROI

Finally, consider the agency’s pricing structure and ensure it aligns with your budget. While cost is a factor, it shouldn’t be the only consideration. In digital marketing, you get what you pay for. Focus on the potential return on investment (ROI) and the value the agency can deliver. A cheaper agency might save you money upfront but could cost you more in the long run if they fail to deliver results. 

11. Become a Private Investigator  

Kidding. . . well, maybe not. Here are some pro-tips when hiring a marketing agency that will give you a look behind the curtain: 

  • Look on LinkedIn and see how many employees they have. If the agency claims to be a full-service agency, they cannot do it successfully without 20+ employees.
  • Ask if they use freelancers. This isn’t always a bad thing; however, if the agency is using all freelancers for core deliverables that impact ROI, you need to know that.
  • Ask the agency for other agencies they would recommend. This might sound a bit out of line, but if the agency truly wants you to be successful, they will refer other agencies that can help you – especially if cost is a factor.
  • Ask the agency if they think that it would be a good fit. If the agency takes all clients, that should be a red flag. Agencies are more successful when they take on clients that fit their model and core values.  
  • Look at their website. If their website looks like it was made in the 90’s, they likely are not cutting edge and design experts.  
  • Go with your gut. If you feel that it might not be a good fit, walk away. 

Want to give TKG a shot? Schedule a Sync Up with our team of experts to see if we are a good fit.