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Ask these 5 questions before you hire a marketing agency

Brands choose to work with us for a number of reasons – to assess and fine tune the look and feel of their brand, to leverage their expertise with a targeted PR strategy, or to fill the role of an objective team that manages all things marketing, to name a few. But just as we ask ourselves with each new client if they’re the right fit for Fluent, we encourage anyone who’s considering working with a marketing agency to do their homework and know what questions to ask to determine if the partnership will be an effective one.

In your initial meetings with a potential marketing agency, ask them the following questions to help figure out if they’re the right fit for you.

What industries do you work with?

You might be interviewing a well-respected agency with a killer track record, but if they specialize in sports marketing and your business is a law firm, at the very least there’s going to be a learning curve. There are benefits to agencies with varied experience (they might be more apt to incorporate new techniques they’ve had success with in other industries) but a marketer who is familiar with your industry will be able to jump in with a clear understanding of your business, and often has the appropriate connections and expertise to get things moving quickly.

To further understand where they excel, ask your prospective agency for case studies and client references on past projects for a sense of how they work and what kind of projects they’ve tackled with success.

What measurement tools or tactics do you use?

As an integrated marketing agency, we use unique measurement tools for our different services, but we always have a system in place to track the success of our efforts. Some are more cut and dry – online analytics can clearly reflect traffic, views, click through rate, etc. – while other efforts like PR can be more of an ongoing investment that will pay off in the long run. Whatever we’re working on, we want to be able to demonstrate to our clients that our efforts have had an impact, and any agency you choose to work with should be able to provide comprehensive reports to demonstrate the return on your investment.

What type of interaction will we have throughout this project?

There isn’t necessarily a “right” answer to this question, but there’s one that might be the best fit for you personally, and it’s best to set expectations ahead of time so that you understand the process moving forward. We like to have official meetings with our clients at least once a month to keep things on track, and we’re in regular communication about ongoing projects the rest of the time. Scheduled check-in sessions can keep you updated on progress and provide clarity on any questions or concerns you have sooner rather than later.

Who will be assigned to my team?

Have a clear understanding before you agree to a partnership of who will be your daily point person moving forward. Agency members often collaborate on projects, which can lead to great ideas and successful campaigns, but you want to be sure you’re not handed off to an intern as soon as you sign on – and you want to know that you get along with the person you’ll be working most closely with. Agencies should be comfortable with transparency from the start about who will manage your account and what team members might contribute to working on your account once you’re a client.

What will this whole process look like?

Maybe you’re new to outsourcing your marketing, or maybe you’ve worked with an agency before and know what’s worked well, and what definitely hasn’t. Keeping in mind that each project is unique in its own way, we can communicate with potential clients pretty early on what a relationship with us will look like based on what we hear from them about the reason they’re engaging us. We always begin with a “deep dive” or strategy session that allows us to really assess a client’s current efforts, what’s working and what’s not, and where we’ll be able to make a difference. Your prospective agency should be able to provide you with a general overview of how your relationship would play out after hearing your project goals, budget and timeline.

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