What you need to know before choosing an agency

Hannah Chiasson
October 2, 2020

Picking an agency can be intimidating. It’s hard to know exactly what you need in order to achieve your business goals. You might be thinking you need an advertising agency because you want to promote your product, but you also need to manage your brand, so maybe what you really need is a full service marketing agency… yikes! That was overwhelming. So how do you really choose the right agency for your needs? We’re here to help you with that.

What is an agency?

Let’s start with a definition. An agency is a business that provides a range of services to help clients achieve their goals.

A ‘marketing agency’ is a broad term that encompasses a range of services that spread across an entire industry. Generally, a marketing agency will be responsible for market research, analysis, strategy, and promotional services. However, many of these agencies will have a specialty and a unique skill set. Some speciality areas that an agency might offer include branding, advertising, social media, etc.

An agency can be used for projects that range from one-time services to long term contracts run over a number of months or even years. An agency can offer your business expertise from knowledgeable individuals. Having an expert provide you with guidance can help your business grow by creating brand recognition and keeping you up to date on current trends.

So how do you filter through all this information and determine what is best for your business?

As there are so many different types of agencies, with so many similarities, it can help to understand exactly what services you can expect when hiring an agency. Let’s take a look at the different services offered by marketing agencies to help you get on your way to choosing the best agency for your needs:

Typical Marketing Services

Market Research

Market research helps to identify what methods will be effective in a marketing strategy. When done correctly, market research can be used to understand your target audience, develop strategy and convey key messages. It can often be a great ‘first step’ into the marketing world. Agencies that offer market research include:

  • Market research agency
  • Full service marketing agency
  • Advertising agency

Marketing Strategy

A marketing strategy consists of marketing activities used to achieve business objectives and create brand awareness. Using this service will help you identify the right approach to marketing your brand and help boost visibility to your audiences. Agencies that offer marketing strategy include:

  • Full service marketing agency
  • Advertising agency
  • Digital agency (for the digital strategy portion)

Branding

Branding is the process of creating a name, symbol and/or a design that will be associated with a company. Branding helps distinguish your company from competitors. Agencies that offer branding services include:

  • Public relations agency
  • Design agency
  • Marketing agency

Public Relations

The role of public relations is to manage the relationship between an organization or individual and its publics. Having a positive public image can be crucial to brand management and ensuring sustainability. Agencies offering public relations consulting includes:

  • Public Relations agency
  • Full service marketing agency

Social media

Social media marketing uses popular online platforms to promote a brand or organization. It can be quite powerful when used to connect and communicate one on one with your audience. When done properly, social media marketing can increase sales and help build your brand. Agencies offering social media work include:

  • Full service marketing agency
  • Advertising agency
  • Social media agency
  • Digital agency

Advertisements

Advertisements use different public mediums to promote or sell a product or brand. Traditional advertising uses communication channels such as newspaper, television, print, or radio. Agencies offering advertisements include:

  • Social media agency
  • Advertising agency
  • Full service marketing agency

Graphic Design

Graphic design uses visual communication to relay key messages in an interesting, compelling manner. This service will help your company enhance communication to your target audiences and ensure effectiveness. Agencies offering graphic design will include:

  • Design agency
  • Advertising agency
  • Full service marketing agency
  • Public relations agency

Website Design

Website design refers to a variety of services that will improve both the aesthetic and the usability of the website. Areas of expertise include, interface design, HTML coding, user experience (UX) and more. Your website design impacts how your audience perceives your company and brand. Agencies offering website design will include:

  • Design agency
  • Digital agency
  • Full service marketing agency

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search engine optimization is the process of improving traffic to a website by enhancing search engine results for your content. This makes it easy for your consumers to find you when they are searching for your website. Agencies offering SEO help will include:

  • Digital agency
  • Full service marketing agency

Marketing is a necessity if you are looking to grow your business and achieve success. A marketing agency can help you successfully reach potential consumers and turn them into customers. It can be confusing knowing exactly what kind of agency best suits your needs. Hopefully, after reading this article, the world of marketing agencies is a little less daunting and you can feel more confident choosing the right agency for you.

Want a summary of what you just read? Check out our comparison chart below to help you make the right decision.