The first thing that comes to mind when someone hears the phrase marketing agency tends to be the Mad Men-esque advertising agencies of the 1960s. While it can be fun to reminisce on decades past, the digital marketing agencies of the 2020s are quite different than their 1960s counterparts.

Marketing has evolved quite a bit in the last 50 years and with the present day’s innovations, tools, and objectives, it has become much more technical than it once was. Marketing today involves complex data analyses, technical knowledge, and the understanding of sophisticated algorithms and it is that reason many people choose to outsource their marketing objectives to a digital marketing agency.

Today, the Summa Media team is going to walk you through how to choose the right digital marketing agency for your brand. Keep reading below for our advice!


How to Choose a Digital Marketing Agency

Why work with an agency?

Marketing in 2020 is a broad field and it is unlikely that any one or two people can be an expert at everything. It takes a group of individuals with different talents and specialities to create a cohesive marketing team.

Hiring a team of experts to help with your brand’s marketing strategy allows you to focus on the areas of your business that you love, while continuing to grow and reach your goals.


What do digital marketing agencies help with?

Digital marketing agencies can help with as much of — or as little of — your digital marketing strategy as you need. Most digital marketing agencies will let you purchase the services that you need a la carte or give you the option to outsource your entire marketing department.

Although service offerings will vary agency to agency, some of the most common offerings include:

  • Market Research
  • Google Ads
  • Facebook Ads
  • Video Production
  • Mobile Marketing and Optimization
  • Content Creation
  • Web Design
  • Email Campaigns

What questions should you ask a potential agency?

  • How does the agency run their own marketing strategy?

Just like you shouldn’t trust a hair stylist with bad hair, you shouldn’t trust a marketing agency with a poor marketing strategy. Take a look at how the digital agencies you are considering run their own blogs and social media accounts, evaluate their websites, and examine how they rank in SEO for their industry. If a marketing agency doesn’t implement the strategies they say they believe in, that is a huge red flag.

  • What KPIs do they use to measure success?

When looking at KPIs the majority fall into one of two categories, vanity metrics and metrics that actually show ROI. Metrics such as the number of likes your post receives, the number of followers you have on Instagram, and the number of fans you have on Facebook all fall into the vanity metrics category. While there may be a correlation between these metrics and a successful strategy, they alone do not prove anything.

Reputable marketing agencies will tailor the exact KPIs they are tracking to your unique goals, but they will likely include some combination of the following:

  • Number of unique visitors
  • Time spent on page
  • Traffic sources
  • Bounce rate
  • Cost per click
  • Click through rate
  • What results do they promise?

Because marketing is an industry with relatively low barriers to entry this means that any old Joe can set up shop and call themselves a marketing agency. These scam artists will often target small brands with low budgets and over promise results just to close the deal. They might lock you into a contract or lie about the length of time necessary to see ROI to keep angry customers around, even though they know they will never deliver the results they promise.

You should also be wary of anyone who promises things that sound too good to be true. If the majority of the competitors you are speaking with say something isn’t possible and one outlier is telling you something different, you might want to look a little closer.

  • How is pricing structured?

It can be tempting to go with the lowest bid to help stay under budget, but low prices unfortunately tend to come with low quality service. Choose an agency with an impressive portfolio, strong client references, and a team that you can see yourself working with. Talk to the agency about ways to stay on budget. If you need to start small by only using a few services in the beginning, the agency can advise on which critical pieces will be most helpful in reaching your goals.



If you are considering hiring a digital marketing agency to help with your brand strategy, the Summa Media team is here for you. Whether you are looking for assistance with one piece of your strategy or looking to outsource it all, our experts are ready to help! Contact us today to learn more about our services.

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