Important Questions to Ask if you are Hiring an Ad Agency

Are you looking to hire an ad agency for your organization?

With so many marketing agencies out there, how can you narrow down which one could be a great fit?

Investing in a great ad agency can give you a huge competitive edge and help your organization achieve unimaginable success.

However, investing in the wrong agency can lead to a lot of wasted time and money.

If you’re looking to team up with a new ad agency, consider hiring a professional consultant to find your best match and help you get the most value out of your marketing agency.

Here are some questions to consider asking to help you understand if an ad agency will be a good partner for your business. Tailor each topic as it pertains to your brand and goals, and you should be well on your way to finding the best ad agency in no time.

1. Ask the Ad Agency to Share Successes with Clients Similar to Your Organization

Asking for details about how the company approaches projects in your field or industry can give you a lot of insight into whether they will be a good fit. Make sure that you are totally clear on what they do for others in your industry or with a similar audience.

Experienced and reputable ad agencies often have a series of case studies listed on their website. Be sure to review them before going into the interview and ask specific questions about those projects if possible.

2. Ask About How they Handle Non-Compete Clauses and Confidentiality Agreements

Be sure to check in about whether the agency is working with anyone who may compete with your company. Bear in mind that the ad agency may be under a confidentiality clause regarding details, but it’s fair to disclose this information with a simple yes or no answer.

Also, see how they feel about the possibility of a mutual non-disclosure agreement. These can be easily drawn up by a third party and can work well when moving through the process of developing a contract.

This type of agreement might be more relevant if you have the type of organization or information that handles high-level intellectual property (IP). But the ad agency may also have high-level information that needs to be kept confidential.

3. Determine What Type of Organization Would / Would Not be a Great Cultural Fit

How do teams in your company prefer to work with external partners? Is it fast-paced, laid-back, dependent on specific timetables, or more organic?

There are so many different work styles and organizational cultures out there. Check-in with the ad agency you are interviewing to understand their own organizational culture better.

4. Ask them Details About Team Experience and Skills

Before you spend a big proportion of your budget on an ad agency, be sure to get a clear picture of who will be on the team you’re working with. Ask them:

  • Who is on the team permanently
  • What type of work is freelanced
  • What they are skilled and specialized in
  • Years of experience they have in the industry
  • Who the main account executive is that you’ll be working with

You must schedule a discovery call or interview with the account head and key team members to get to know the people behind the work and get a sense of client-agency chemistry.

5. Ask How They Coordinate, Plan and Execute Projects

Completing a major marketing project on time and with success isn’t always the easiest feat. Often projects fall behind because of communication lapses, miscommunications about expectations, limited availability of the ad agency and/or client, and so on.

There are so many moving parts to any project, so make sure the ad agency understands how to approach a project in an organized way and that their communication preferences and needs are a good match with yours.

Here are some questions to consider asking:

  • How often do you meet in person, via video conference (etc.)?
  • What project management tools do you use?
  • Who will normally be meeting together?
  • How do you obtain approvals on creative?
  • What are your primary working/meeting days?
  • How do you typically gather, process, and share information?
  • How do you handle receiving feedback?
  • What do you consider a “failure” when it comes to clients?
  • Have you ever lost an account, and if so, why?
  • How do you keep your team motivated and on-target when working on major client projects?

6. Ask them How they Measure Success and Provide Examples

Now that you’re confident in their project management skills ask them how they will measure relationship success.

A full-service ad agency will typically be well-versed in project planning and management, so they should have some ideas in mind about how they typically measure project success for clients.

But, it’s a good idea to let the agency discuss what they want in terms of partnership success, as this can be different things. They may discuss key performance indicators, the importance of a cultural fit, the type of support they need from clients to do their best work, and so on.

Get Help Finding the Ideal Ad Agency

If you’re struggling to find the right ad agency at the best value?

I have a proven track record of helping organizations find their best match ad agency and can help you with marketing planning, coaching and more.

Save your money, and don’t make the mistake of hiring the wrong fit. The wrong match could cost you more time and money than you imagined.

If you want to learn more about how I can help, please reach out!

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