How to find the right agency for your project

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The range of topics that marketing departments have to cover today is enormous. Since companies cannot bring a specialist into the team for every subject area, more and more tasks are being handed over to specialized agencies. Since a cooperation with agencies often lasts for several years, it is essential that agency and client see themselves as a team. The fact that this is often not the case was criticized by many marketing decision-makers in our survey on cross-team collaboration. However, because the cooperation often lasts for several years, it is all the more important to find the right partner. With the large selection of agencies, however, this is not always so easy. That’s why we’re giving you tips to help you find the right service provider for your project.

What are you actually looking for?

Before you can start looking for the right agency, you need to be clear about what you want to achieve by hiring an external service provider. Do you need support in content topics, do you want to strengthen your social media presence or improve your Google ranking? Because there are specialized agencies for all these topics. Because this can sometimes be quite confusing, we have seven types of agencies incl. Service spectrum summarized for you.

The classic advertising agency

The classic advertising agency is the all-rounder among marketing agencies. They usually cover all the topics that marketing departments deal with on a daily basis. However, the various subject areas are becoming increasingly complex as digitization advances, which is why specialized agencies have emerged for many areas (e.g., content agencies). For the classic advertising agency, this increasing complexity is making it more and more difficult to offer its full service. The Handelsblatt wrote: “The classic advertising agency has had its day,” and justifies this with the lack of the technological core of this type of agency.

Range of services:

    • Strategic communications consulting
    • Conception of communication media or campaigns
    • Graphic design
    • Content creation (e.g. for the website)
    • Print media production
    • possibly website development

The web agency

When the website alone is no longer enough.

The relevance of digital media is increasing every day. It’s no longer enough for websites to simply look good, they have to be able to do something. For many companies, a classic website is no longer purposeful and up-to-date because they also manage marketing, distribution and sales via their online presence. This is where web agencies or internet agencies come into play. They not only help you implement the new web presence, but make it fit for your sales force. Thereby we take care of the conception and implementation of e.g. online stores and make sure they are optimized for search engines like Google so you can hit the ground running when it comes to online marketing.

Range of services:

    • Web content
    • Website development
    • Search engine optimization
    • Development of online strategies
    • Marketing and external presentation for products and services

The PR agency

It’s all about relations!

In short, PR agencies take care of your positive relationship (relation) with the public (public). Public can mean anything from employees, customers, media or suppliers. So, the goal of PR agencies is to have the public look favorably on your organization. In this way, you want to polish your image and maintain it in the long term.
They are used, for example, for employee recruitment or events.

Range of services:

    • Media planning (e.g. image films)
    • Advertising
    • Event Marketing
    • Corporate Publishing
    • Consulting and support

The dialogue marketing agency

Dialog marketing refers to the direct dialog between you (provider) and potential customers (target group). Where dialog marketing a few years ago tended to focus on traditional advertising letters, digitization has opened up new sales channels. Today, their core business therefore also revolves around email as well as social media marketing. The goal of a dialog marketing measure is therefore the direct establishment of an interaction between you and your target group.

Range of services:

    • Telemarketing
    • Advertising mail
    • Email marketing
    • Brochures / Catalogs
    • Direct contact at trade fairs
    • Social Media Marketing

The media agency

You want to reach your target group, but don’t really know how and where? The media agency will help you find the right advertising medium and placement. They do not take the design of your media into their own hands, but carry out analyses of your target group’s media usage, for example, on the basis of which the right medium for you is then determined. You then negotiate with media companies about the prices of the advertising medium that suits you best, as you usually receive more favorable conditions due to the larger purchase volume.

Digitization is also constantly shaping and changing the work of media agencies. They are increasingly focusing on new media channels such as social media, SEO (search engine optimization), smartphone advertising, apps or banner advertising. As a result, the classics such as radio, TV or posters are increasingly moving into the background, but are still part of the repertoire of many media agencies.

Range of services:

    • Support with media planning and implementation
    • Analysis, planning and selection of the right media channels
    • Negotiation with media houses (as a rule, they achieve better conditions than you as the client yourself)
    • Target group analysis
    • Monitoring of campaigns + success analysis

The creative agency

While the media agency determines the appropriate media and placements for your products or services, the creative agency takes care of the development, i.e. the implementation of these media.

Range of services:

Design by:

    • Banners
    • Logos
    • Spots
    • Posters
    • View
    • Establishment of brand strategy
    • Support for marketing campaigns
    • Target group analysis
    • Negotiation with advertising partners
    • Implementation of advertising measures
    • Development of advertising messages tailored to the target group

The content marketing agency

Content is king. You read that everywhere today. But content can only be “king” if it reaches the people it is supposed to reach. This is exactly what content marketing agencies specialize in. Especially through digital media, our brain is confronted with an infinite amount of content every day. Because we would probably lose our minds if our brains processed every piece of content we see, read or hear, they naturally select into important and unimportant information. What is important and useful or rather unimportant is always subjective. This is where content marketing comes in. Content agencies ensure that your target audience receives information that is important to them, while addressing them in a way that suits them.

Range of services:

    • Development of a content strategy
    • Target group analysis
    • Content creation e.g. for websites, blog posts, white papers, e-books etc.

What else is important?

After you have decided on the appropriate type of agency, you should still consider general selection criteria when making your final choice:

    • Location: The closer the better
    • Reputation: Get opinions and experience of the agency
    • Size and existence: What is the size of the agency and how many employees does it include?
    • Support: Is the focus of support more regional, nationwide or international?
    • Flexibility: Does the agency develop individual customer solutions or does it tend more towards one-size-fits-all solutions?
    • Certifications: Does the agency have certifications or similar?
    • Industry experience: Are there already references from the same industry?
    • Key areas of expertise: Where does the agency’s core competence lie? In general, it is better to be properly specialized than to have a huge portfolio.
    • Style: What is your first impression? Is the agency a good fit for your organization? Listen to your gut feeling!
    • Prices: Is it clear how the agency’s prices are made up?

If you keep these things in mind, there’s not much that can go wrong when choosing your new agency. In our survey on cross-collaboration in marketing teams, marketing decision-makers frequently criticized the lack of transparency in collaboration with their agencies.

If you want to improve the work with your agencies fundamentally and make it easier to share content, you should try out our digital asset management solution, the teamnext | Media Hub. You can test the software 14 days for free without obligation.

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