At Vicki Stone Marketing we’ve worked in big Advertising and Design Agencies in the Midlands in our previous lives. Agencies like Cogent and Palmer Hargreaves.

We’ve worked on big brands like National Express, Denby, Rightmove, Ford of Britain, Department for Education & Skills, with lots of marketing managers, directors, commercial directors and MD’s. We know that having a good client-agency relationship that works well can lead to the most successful campaigns.

So, when you’re starting to look at your marketing and promotions for your company, there are some questions you need to ask. Here’s our top 10 things you might want to think about when reviewing your marketing needs and potentially taking on a new company to handle your marketing:

1. Do I have a marketing plan and could I benefit from using a company to help me develop one? Does the company offer strategic advice?

2. Are the agencies/companies I’m talking to really what I need? E.g. if your business is an e-commerce site, what relevant experience do they have in digital marketing? It might be that you’ve found a great agency who are excellent at graphic design but have no telemarketing skills.

3. Does the company work on a project by project basis or will I have to pay a retainer for their services? Working on a retainer or fee is impossible or harder to break if it’s not going right.  “Your’e only as good as your last project” is a common phrase used so working on a project by project basis might keep your agency on their toes and make them work harder to achieve the right results.

4. What sort of of clients does the company currently work with? Ask them to show you some work.

5. How does the company evaluate projects and campaigns and do they offer any guarantees for a good ROI?

6. Can you find anyone who has worked with them before? Or if not, ask for some references who you can contact, or ask people in the industry what they think about them.

7. Is the person you meet for your initial meeting the person you will be dealing with on a day to day basis? Chemistry is everything and it’s good to have a good working relationship with your agency and make sure you’re not being schmoosied by the Account Director at pitch stage, then handed down to the graduate team.

8. What sort of added value would you get if you were to work with this agency? (for example, at Vicki Stone Marketing we’re always referring clients to business associates and suppliers – it’s something that comes naturally to us).

9. Are they flexible? Can they turn around jobs quickly and efficiently and really ‘get under the skin’ of the brief, getting the creative solution Right First Time.

10. And one of the most important questions – can you trust this company to prepresent your business and your key marketing messages and not rip you off?

I hope these questions help you in the search for your perfect marketing match. Remember,  it’s down to the work your agency can do but it’s all about the people. If you aint got that trust and work chemistry from the word go, it’s unlikely to work.

At VSM we do all things that a big full service agency does, but we are a small company and we provide everything from branding, to web design, social media, advertising, PR and marketing strategy.

If you need any help with you marketing or looking for a FREE Marketing review, just give us a shout on vicki@vickistonemarketing.co.uk or richard@vickistonemarketing.co.uk or 0191 213 5737