Whether you're a startup or an established, adding a digital element to your marketing campaign is a smart move. However, choosing the right digital marketing company for your business can seem like a daunting task. To make the process easier, I've compiled the five questions you need to ask every potential agency before hiring them...

1) "What industries do you work in?"

Every industry is different. You want to make sure that the digital marketing company you go with understands not only your industry but the demographic you're looking to attract. By going with a company that has experience in your field, there will be less time spent learning your business and more time spent developing a marketing plan.

2) "How do you report our growth?"

As simple as it sounds, this question is rarely asked. Reporting is vital to understanding the progress (or lack there of) in any marketing campaign. You will want to make sure that the marketing company you choose sets up monthly or even weekly "check ins" to report on the status of each campaign. While this might seem time consuming, it is necessary. These reports will show you exactly what is working and what isn't so that you know the true value that the marketing company you hired is providing.

3) "What is the onboarding process like?"

Too often marketing agencies provide little to no structure when it comes to the initial process of preparing a new digital campaign. Having an onboarding process sets the stage for how the campaign will move forward. Without one, a campaign will most likely crash and burn. Here's what a reputable agency's general onboarding process looks like...

  1. Kick-off meeting to discuss business goals, ideas, and structure of the relationship moving forward.
  2. Analysis of business, industry, target demographic, and competition.
  3. Refinement of marketing ideas into structured campaign based upon initial discussion and analysis.
  4. Presentation of full campaign to key stakeholders in the business.

4) "Who will manage our account?"

As mentioned above, structure is very important in any client-vendor relationship. The agency you choose should have one person that manages your account. That way, you, as the client, don't have to email or call two or three different people to get answers. This person is usually called the Account Manager or Project Manager. Sometimes they will be the person running and managing the campaign, other times they will just be managing the relationship. Regardless, be sure there is one specific person who you are to contact in regards to your account. This makes communication between both parties as efficient as possible.

5) "Can you show us exactly how your work helped another company grow?"

It is usually standard to ask for case studies when choosing a digital marketing company. However, you should take that another step by asking the marketing company to walk you through their entire process. Marketing companies that get true results won't hesitate to show you how they were able to design, develop, implement, and grow the campaign.