I recently had a call with a prospect who is thinking about working with our team at LeadG2 for their B2B inbound marketing development. They are talking to a few different inbound marketing agencies, and had some really thoughtful and insightful questions to ask us. Personally, I appreciate someone who wants to ask the tough questions and get a better feel for how an agency works and what makes them stand apart from their competition.
Choosing the right inbound marketing agency (or any agency for that matter) isn’t something an organization should take lightly, as there are a lot of really great options out there (especially when it comes to HubSpot partners). However, not all agencies are created equal—and even ones who are equally effective might not be the right fit for your business.
So, I’m going to assume you’ve narrowed it down to some of the top inbound marketing agencies around. Then, how do you decide between Awesome Inbound Agency A and Awesome Inbound Agency B, and so on? When they all have successful and happy clients, a positive track record, a strong portfolio, and passionate employees? What sets them apart?
Below are five questions you can ask that will help you uncover which agency is the best fit for you, and we’ve also explained WHY these questions can be so revealing. Keep in mind, this is certainly not an exhaustive list, but it should get you thinking so you can develop an even more thorough list of questions that best fit your needs.
1). What type of results can I expect, and when?
The key insight to uncover with this question is if they are trying to sell you the world here. Inbound marketing works, and it can drive legitimate ROI and create new revenue streams for all types of industries… but it isn’t easy, and it doesn’t happen overnight. Bonus points if they offer up client references that you can talk to and a variety of case studies and/or client work examples.
2. How do you get your content? What is the process for this?
Content (like blog posts and eBooks) are the gas that runs any successful inbound marketing strategy, so if you plan to receive any content as part of your partnership, be sure to learn more about the type of content they’ll be providing. You can ask for examples, but also ask about the process. Are they providing realistic timelines and being clear about the expectations?
3. What are some things your BEST and WORST clients are doing?
This is one of my favorites that I’ve recently heard, and it provides me an opportunity to really share with a potential partner what THEY are expected to do (or not do) in order to get results. In my experience, not all clients are created equal, and we can learn a lot from the ones that are having success and those that drop the ball on their end.
4. What is the typical ROI for my type of business and industry?
This provides a great opportunity for the agency to share their expertise in your industry, if they have it. Real examples and honest conversations about ROI should be happening long before you sign a contract so be sure they are able to share not only results and expectations for similar businesses, but also companies that have similar needs and goals.
5. What will our day-to-day partnership look like? Who will I be working with?
This kind of question can help you better understand the kind of service you can expect. Do they plan to not only provide consulting, but also project management? What kinds of tools or software do they use? What are their systems? Who will be your primary point people? How quickly will they return your emails? There are not always right or wrong answers to these questions, but the goal is transparency. Do they seem to have an organized infrastructure that will support your needs?
I’m sure you can start thinking of many other questions that you’d want to ask a potential agency, and you should! It’s not just about the numbers. While price matters, what really matters is that you fit together and that your two companies can work cohesively toward the same goal.
Hiring the right inbound marketing agency for your business can make a world of difference, so we understand—and expect—that companies who are truly invested in long-term partnerships and real results will want to do their due diligence.