Hiring for Small Business

How to Find the Right Marketing Agency

What Should a Marketing Agency Do?

Simply put, marketing agencies should attract your ideal client.

The era of MadMen is gone (though the show is still pretty interesting). Marketing is no longer just creative copywriting. These days, a balanced marketing agency should have a social strategy, an emphasis in search engine optimization, and a background in web analytics.

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Finding a Marketing Partner

Why Do You Need a Digital Marketing Agency?

With Great Innovation Comes Great.. Confusion

Digital marketing is constantly evolving, your strategies should be, too. Tech innovations are not going to slow down which makes navigating the marketing platforms and keeping up with social profiles too much to handle for many small businesses. And if there is no social strategy in place, digital media can be a waste of time and resources. It is very important to make sure your marketing agency stays up to date on the important certifications to your business. This may include Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google, or and maybe some copy writing and analytics courses along the way.

The point is, your marketing agency should be allowing you to stay up to date on algorithm changes without doing the research yourself.

Related: What is the Creative DSM difference >>

Understand your needs and your budget.

Money doesn’t solve all your problems. But it might help.

When you go to a restaurant, you have a rough idea of what you’re looking for. A light meal, a happy hour appetizer, or maybe just drinks. It’s the same way when you start looking at your marketing goals. Are you looking for someone to build an SEO strategy and implement? Maybe you’re just looking for a coaching session? Here are some key areas to think about when you’re researching your goals:


  • Instagram

  • Yelp

  • Monthly Analytics Reporting

  • Keyword Research

  • Optimized Blog Posts

  • Marketing Strategy Roadmap

  • Amazon Seller Central

  • Search Engine Optimization

  • Local Business Listings

  • Social Media Management

  • Digital Marketing Roadmap

  • Automated Email Marketing

  • Web Design

  • Content Calendars

  • Photography Editing

  • Videography Production

  • Google PPC Ads

  • LinkedIn

  • Facebook

  • Google My Business

  • Twitter

Whatever the case, try to analyze the “what” in your goal. A good marketing agency will have a menu to choose from. The more detailed you can describe your business needs in terms of website, search engine optimization (SEO), advertising, social media and graphic design, the better your interviews will be with prospective digital agencies.

In addition, budget should be something you keep in mind. Most agencies have no set price, but rather build customized strategies accordingly. Understanding your needs and budget is the first step in choosing the right digital marketing agency.

Ask How the Marketing Agency will Implement.

ask for references, look at portfolios, and ask about analytics.

Your marketing agency should be knowledgeable about launch strategies and should be able to go in depth about how they will implement your strategy. Listen for keywords like monthly analytical reporting, off-site SEO backlink outreach, keyword research, a current client list, and how many employees or contractors they will use on your account. Read through their UpCity, Clutch.co, AgencyList, Yelp and Google, or even go further to ask for references.

At Creative DSM, one of the most fun parts for us is our monthly analytical reporting. We pull from Google Analytics, Facebook Business Manager, Twitter Insights, LinkedIn and more to present how your followers reacted to the content we produced. But unlike our competitors, we then go in depth to explain the jargon and set out goals for the next month. As the business owner you have full access to make suggestions or edits to any of the plans we make, and we love questions. Growing small businesses is what excites us, and we hope you share that passion.

Related: Enter to Win a Free Coaching Session >>

Give it the Beer Test

Or wine, or coffee, or donuts. Just make sure they’re relatable.

If you’re like us, we believe local is best. We want to meet face to face with a person to make sure our goals align in more than just a “behind-the-screens” capacity. So, once you have a short list with legitimate contenders, ask if this is a partnership that could handle a happy hour, or if you think you’re being sold. Marketing is supposed to be fun for business owners that are passionate about what they do. So, choose a marketing agency that aligns with your work philosophy. We sure hope that’s work hard play hard.

At Creative DSM, we’re passionate about delivering exceptional value to your small business, because we come from a small business. When you hire us, you’re hiring professionals who are familiar with launching new businesses and building scalable strategies.

From the initial website builds, to website analytics, to pay-per-click management and keyword rich copywriting, we build customized plans to deliver quality and value to your business.

But don’t take our word for it, check out our recommendations on UpCity, Clutch.co, AgencyList, and Google.

The Final Step in Hiring an Agency.

There’s really only two questions to answer.

We believe the most important factors in choosing a digital marketing partner are 1) can they do the job, and 2) do you like working with them? In the end, that’s all that matters.


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