Let's talk about selecting the right digital marketing agency for your business. If you're ready to grow your business online, then you need a team of marketing experts with a proven track record of success — a digital partner that's invested in your bottom line. 

There's only one problem…

A quick Google search turns up thousands of digital marketing agencies. How do you weed out the overpriced and underskilled marketing firms, so you can confidently select a marketing agency that will supercharge your business growth?

First off, if you've been burned by the wrong digital agency, know that you're not alone. It's maddening to drain your budget on funnels and campaigns that waste time and don't yield results. However, don't let a few bad apples stop you from achieving the success you deserve. 

Choosing the right digital partner will help you grow your business with ease, so you can save your time and energy for what you love and do best — running your company. 

Now, let's explore my top recommendations for choosing the right digital marketing agency for your unique business:

How to choose the best digital marketing agency

Use these tips to select a marketing firm that will help your business thrive.

1. What are your marketing goals?

Before you hop on a discovery call with any marketing agency, get clear on your unique business goals. Where is your business now, and what is your desired destination? 

A qualified digital marketing agency won't just sell you on their most lucrative products or services; instead, they'll create a custom marketing roadmap that will effectively and efficiently get you to where you want to be. 

Still, you know your business best. The more you can dial in on your desired outcomes, the easier it will be to choose a digital marketing agency that aligns with your needs. 

Struggling to set the right goals? High-level marketing direction and leadership will help. 

Consider your budget, too. Digital marketing prices vary wildly depending on the agency's size, overhead, and, of course, the value provided. That said, a good marketing firm will let you know if they can work within your budget (and adjust expectations accordingly.) 

2. What is the marketing agency's Unique Selling Proposition (USP)?

How does the agency differentiate itself from the competition, and does this differentiation align with your unique business goals? 

For example, some agencies specialise in a specific industry or niche (like tech, travel, or B2B marketing.) Other marketing firms choose to focus on a service, like content marketing or SEO. 

There's no right or wrong USP to look for in a boutique marketing agency. What matters is that their values and specialisations align with your unique goals and needs. 

3. Review the marketing firm’s expertise and credibility

Don't let a long list of dazzling brand logos distract you from what really matters.

Does the performance marketing agency have the skills and credentials to back up its lofty promises?

Start by reviewing the firm’s portfolio. Look at samples of their work and results generated. If there are no case studies available, request one. When applicable, look for real numbers and data that showcase the results achieved.

While you're reviewing the digital agency's portfolio, check out their testimonials and online reputation, too. 

Finally, if you're anything like me, then you care more about boosting your revenue than you do flashy promotions and sales gimmicks. 

An easy way to tell if an online marketing expert is legit is to review their thought leadership pieces. Do they have content and articles (like this one)? Do they have new, innovative ideas that position them as an authority in their field? These are the marketing experts you want on your team.

4. Clarify objectives, timelines, and deliverables

Anyone can overpromise and underdeliver. Avoid disappointment by clarifying all objectives, timelines, and deliverables with your digital marketing agency from the get-go. 

Be wary of any digital marketing firm that promises to triple your revenue in a month. Lofty claims are often impossible to support. Likewise, ask for more information if an agency only provides vague terms like "grow" and "scale." 

Pro tip: Transparency matters. Who are you working with? If there is no founder bio or photo, be wary of the "wizard" behind the curtain.

5. Invest in a partner, not just a firm

The best digital marketing agencies view your business as an extension of their own; they realise that their success is only as great as your results. 

Avoid any marketing firm that treats you like another name in a long list of accounts billable. Cookie-cutter strategies rarely work. 

Here are a few tips for identifying the right marketing partner:

  • Do you trust and like the digital marketing agency? You don't need to become best friends; however, consider if you enjoy working with them. 
  • Do they have a growth mindset? 
  • Do they use data to drive decisions, scale what works, and quickly optimise what doesn't? Or are they just out to fulfil the bare minimum requirements of your contract — regardless of what generates results for your company?
  • Do they bring a personal touch? The right digital marketing agency will get to know you and your business to better understand your unique needs and pain points. 

One final note. 

Just like any relationship, choosing the right marketing partnership goes both ways. The best digital marketing agencies are selective in who they take on as clients because they, too, want to ensure a good fit for all parties involved.

Need help with agency selection? Let’s chat.