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How to vet an advertising agency

Guide: How to vet an advertising agency

It can be tough to know how to vet an advertising agency.
When it comes to ads, most agencies and consultants operate on a largely even playing field.

The knowledge of ad systems, understanding of targeting mechanics, and insights into placements aren’t vastly different from one firm to the next.

So, what truly differentiates a good agency or consultant from the rest?

It’s not solely their prowess in managing ads. It’s their engagement, their commitment, and the ambition they carry on behalf of their clients.

Here are some defining factors that set the great apart from the good:

  1. Adaptability: Are they quick to modify, turn off, or adapt ads based on performance data and changing landscapes?
  2. Deep engagement: Do they take the time to truly understand not just their direct client, but also their client’s customers? This involves delving into customer interactions, reading ad messages, sifting through reviews on platforms like Trustpilot, and genuinely being attuned to the pulse of customer sentiment.
  3. Proactivity: In every partnership, there are highs and lows. Is the agency or consultant proactive in all situations? Do they anticipate needs, address concerns before they balloon, and consistently bring fresh, forward-thinking ideas to the table?

In essence, while technical know-how is important, the true success of an agency or consultant lies in their dedication to their client’s vision, their hunger for continuous improvement, and their unwavering commitment to excellence. It’s these intangibles that elevate results and foster enduring partnerships.

It’s a bit like procrastination – you can know what to do, but at the end of the day if you don’t do it, then does it really matter that you have the knowledge?

Action steps:

Next time when you are considering a partnership with an agency or consultant move beyond the basic vetting of technical skills (even though you shoudl vet for that). Instead, prioritize these three actions:

  1. Deep dive into past partnerships: Ask for case studies to see results and understand how they achieved them. Did they show adaptability, deep engagement, and proactivity? Look for examples of them adapting campaigns, engaging deeply with client’s customers, and showcasing proactive problem-solving.
  2. Propose hypothetical scenarios: Give them a hypothetical challenge and observe their approach. Is it cookie-cutter or tailored? Do they demonstrate an understanding of customer sentiment? This will give you a sneak peek into their adaptability and engagement in real time.
  3. Open a dialogue: Engage them in a conversation about your vision. Gauge their commitment and alignment with your objectives. The best partnerships thrive on mutual respect and shared ambitions.

In the realm of marketing, knowledge without execution is mere potential. Ensure that the agency or consultant you choose acts and pushes boundaries for your success.

Best regards
Asger Olsson

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