Multiple awards, a great portfolio, tons of client testimonials or a killer website. What really makes a digital agency stand out when it’s time to hire one? We set out to ask five experts what truly makes the difference.

How do marketers really choose an agency?

Five experts included:

  • Tanya Hemphill
Independent digital marketing consultant, lecturer, trainer and speaker
  • Adam Freeman
MD of Bloomberg Media
  • Bryan Hunter
Senior Digital Marketing Manager for one of the world’s largest office broking services
  • David Ricketts
Head of Marketing at C24
  • Bas van den Beld
Digital Marketing Strategist, consultant and speaker

The idea was to better understand what the single most important quality of a stand out digital agency is, the types of questions to ask before hiring one, whether case studies are really that important and how agency culture can seriously influence a prospective client.

Insider Insights

Each of the marketers agreed that being able to understand clients is paramount to success and that industry knowledge is a must. But other factors also play a part, including the ability to quickly understand what a client is trying to achieve and being honest about whether their expectations can be met. “Most important is the quality of an agency to be flexible and really understand their client’s needs,” said Bas van den Beld. “Most agencies just follow their own ideas and don’t take enough time to do this. Ones that do will be most successful.”

Awards. Case Studies. Current Brands. Testimonials.

The experts said that when visiting an agency website for the very first time they’re most likely to look at case studies first, then testimonials, followed by an even split between current brands and awards.

What about culture?

Every one of the marketers agreed that agency culture is one of the most important defining factors when considering whether to work with them or not, because internal brand culture is a definite indicator of what it will be like during a partnership.

This was a very interesting study on what is most valuable to emphasise during a pitch. Ultimately, a transparent and enthusiastic approach with great credentials is going to deliver great growth. Remember, the cultural fit needs to work both ways to truly grow your agency revenue.

By Louis Venter, CEO of MediaVision