Remember the classic game show “To Tell the Truth”? Three contestants all claimed to be a central character who had some type of unusual occupation or had achieved some type of unique milestone. A panel of four celebrities would ask the three contestants a series of questions, hoping to identify the real central character from the two impostors. The impostors would answer the questions as if they were the central character, making it as difficult as possible for the panel to determine exactly who they were looking for.

It was all about asking the right questions—the panel could not identify the real central character unless the questions they asked were on target.

In the last post, we discussed the warning signs that tell you when it’s time to change your digital marketing agency. Now for the other side of the story—how do you know if an agency you are considering as a marketing partner is the perfect match, or if it’s one of those impostors? You do what the celebrity panel did on “To Tell the Truth”—you ask the right questions to find out what you want to know. And be careful when considering the responses, because remember, just like on the game show, those “impostor” agencies will say anything to win you over.

Here are a few questions to ask when you are trying to separate the good digital marketing agencies from the great ones:

  • Who are some of your previous (or current) clients? Find out who these companies are, get specific contacts, and talk to them. Candid conversations with these clients will reveal a treasure trove of information about the company you are vetting.
  • What does your previous work look like? You’ve talked to the clients. Now examine the agency’s work carefully. Look at websites they’re recently produced. Check all of the agency’s social media profiles and monitor them a minimum of 2 weeks to see how they are handled. Ask for samples of email marketing campaigns. Now consider the tone, targeting and quality of their work. Do you like what you see? Careful scrutiny of an agency’s work will help you get to know a marketing agency very well.
  • What expectations do you have for measuring results? The right agency will have a clear definition of what success for your product or service looks like, and it should match up with yours. Set clear expectations that the agency has a way to quantify results to determine if they have reached goals, timelines and milestones.
  • What technologies do you use the most and the least? Naturally, you will want to know tools the agency will use when marketing your product. Are they going to rely on search engine marketing to get the job done? What about remarketing (programming your ads to appear on various sites visited by a user after that user visits your site? What social media outlets are they most proficient with, and which ones don’t they use? How does this agency utilize email marketing?
  • What is the difference between this agency and the last one you used? This is a question to ask yourself. There is a reason why you are searching for a new digital marketing agency, and there’s a good chance it’s because you’re not happy with the one you were using. Compare differences between the agency you used and the one you are considering, and see if the results for the agency you are considering are favorable. If so, you may have found the right match.

Your goal is to find a true marketing partner to work with that has the experience to take your business to the next level. Your relationship with your agency should make you feel like you’re getting an entire marketing team. An effective marketing agency will devote so much attention to you that you will start to believe you are their only client.

Continue the conversation by contacting Lori Barber at 214-906-6633 or