If you are a CEO, internal marketing director, CFO, or anyone really who might be tasked with researching growth marketing agencies, this task is far from being a sexy one. Searching for a marketing agency can be time-consuming and fill people with anxiety. In most cases, businesses walk into meetings with growth marketing agencies having the same level of knowledge that the average person has when they go to an auto mechanic because their car won’t start. This puts you at a disadvantage because you are assuming you are dealing with an “expert”. And while many agencies are experts at various marketing strategies, others claim to be great but in reality they are struggling to find their own way.
When you know what to look for in a top growth marketing agency for businesses, the journey in finding your partner can be exciting and educational. The purpose of this article is to help businesses weed out the BS when vetting growth marketing agencies, and shed the anxiety that comes with the unknown by arming brands with the insight scoop on what truly makes great growth marketing agencies the best in the industry.
1. Look at the Growth Marketing Agency’s Earned Media Attempts
Almost every marketing agency will sing their own praises, but that’s no way to gauge how efficient and skilled they are. If a wide variety of media and news outlets have mentioned the marketing agency in a favorable light, then you can feel confident knowing the marketing agency has a strong reputation.
Also, look at the agency’s efforts in thought leadership. Are the department heads running marketing experiments and publishing the results? Are the department heads quoted and published in reputable publications? Have they been interviewed by news groups and broadcasters? Have they ever spoken at conferences or highly regarded events or conferences?
2. Check Out the Marketing Agency’s Website – Does it Resonate?
You can get a good read on a growth marketing agency simply by looking at their website. Remember, growth marketing agencies are able to grow by providing marketing services to their clients, so it only makes sense that your agency has a great website themselves. Here are some things to look for in a marketing agency website:
Aesthetics / Design– Does the design capture your attention? Is it growth-driven? Does it speak to a target audience? What kind of energy or feeling does it promote? Keep in mind that the person or team who designed the agency’s site will likely be the same people who design yours, or who are responsible for any creative work on your campaigns.
Textual Content and Approach– Does the content highlighting their services and approach make sense? Do they even have a page that talks about their approach and what makes them different from other agencies? Does the content help you understand what the marketing agency does? If their services come across as being rather opaque or it is difficult to understand what they do, and how they do it, then you can take that as a sign they don’t even know what they are doing. If an agency can’t articulate itself in a clear tone, then they likely can’t articulate your brand to your target buyers.
Case Studies and Testimonials– Does the agency have any case studies featured on their website? If the agency’s site doesn’t have any case studies or testimonials from clients, then this signifies that the agency has not satisfied its customers, or they are new. Ask for references just to make sure they are capable of helping their clients hit their growth goals.
Partnerships– If your agency is a partner with large companies like Google, HubSpot, and Shopify, then you can have faith they are savvy marketers. After all, large organizations like these would not risk their own reputation by supporting marketing agencies who draw complaints.
Certifications and Educational Background– Any digital marketing agency that’s legitimate will have certain certifications. If they are true growth marketing experts, these are some of the certifications they should hold:
- Google Ads certification
- HubSpot Inbound certifications
- Salesforce certified
- Facebook Ads certified
- Google Analytics certified
In addition to certifications, what academic degrees and educational accomplishments do the agency’s leaders hold? If the agency has invested in hiring team members with graduate degrees from top universities (not for-profit schools) and they are willing to hire skilled specialists with more than a BA degree, this is a good sign that they are truly focused on offering the best services and strategies from top minds that have the training and experience to help their clients be successful. And if team members are published in business journals or other professional publications, then you have full assurance the agency is equipped with the top people in their industry.
3. Look at the Marketing Agency’s Blog
Another great way for vetting growth marketing agencies is by looking at their blog. If they don’t even have a blog then this testifies to two likely conclusions: they don’t understand the multiple value points in running a blog, or their team aren’t skilled writers, and what kind of a marketer can’t blog about their services? When looking at the blog on the marketing agency’s website, here are some things to notice:
Authors– Are the agency’s team members actually writing these blogs? Are their names attributed as the author? If not, then the agency is likely working with a content agency to write their blog for them, and a true marketing leader is always educating their clients and peers by writing relevant first-hand content, and not paying some freelancer to do it.
Subjects and Topics– Are the subjects and blog topics common and general, and do they weigh heavily in single areas, or does the blog cover a wide range of topics that reflect all the services the agency offers, and does the content go in depth touching on unique subjects? Finally, a good blog should strive to educate readers, but also be written to help the agency improve their own SEO and inbound strategies. If they are doing this well for themselves, then they are also likely doing this at a high level for their clients.
Does WEBITMD Make Your Growth Marketing Agency Short List?
If you have read this article then you will probably visit our site and learn more about who we are, what we do, who we have worked with, and get a feel for our passion and style. If we make your short list, then we invite you to download this FREE guide on our Growth Stack–an approach we use for certain clients who fit the strategy. Give the guide a read, and then give us a call so we can learn more about your brand, clients, and products. If the Growth Stack is right for you, or if there is a different approach more suitable, we would love to chat with you about it!