12 Questions To Ask A Digital Marketing Agency

by | Jun 18, 2024 | Blog, Digital Marketing

Partnering with a new digital marketing agency is a big decision. Period.

Whether your company is outsourcing its digital marketing for the first time or you have outgrown your current agency partner, it can be very difficult to navigate the process of finding the right agency for your unique business needs.

What is the key to navigating the treacherous waters of finding a digital marketing agency?

Ask questions.

Even more, ask the right questions. 

Think of it as if you were interviewing a new team member.

Asking the right questions is crucial in weeding out the agencies that don’t fit with your needs and finding the right agency partner that can truly drive your business forward. 

To make the process easier for you, we have compiled a comprehensive guide with 12 essential questions to guide you in selecting a digital marketing agency that fits like a glove.

  1. Do you have experience with companies in my industry?
  2. Can you share some case studies of your past work?
  3. What are your core values?
  4. What are some common pain points you’ve identified in my industry? How do you address them?
  5. What KPIs do you use to measure success?
  6. What is your digital marketing strategy to drive us more sales?
  7. How much work will you be outsourcing?
  8. Who will be my point of contact and how often will we communicate?
  9. What project management tools do you use to keep track of campaigns?
  10. How do you stay updated with the latest digital marketing trends and technologies?
  11. What are your pricing structures and payment terms?
  12. What makes you different from other digital marketing agencies?

1. Do you have experience with companies in my industry?

Knowing who your prospective agency has worked with before you is a great first question to ask.

If an agency has never worked with a company in your industry and has only worked with smaller companies than your own, you know you’re not in the right place.

Ideally, you want an agency with experience in your niche that is currently working with bigger companies than your own; remember, the goal is to scale up.

When you ask this question, a good agency will often share relevant case studies and testimonials from current clients in your industry, providing insights into their capability to handle your unique needs.

2. Can you share some case studies of your past work? 

Case studies are gold mines of information.

They not only showcase the agency’s ability to deliver results but also highlight their approach to solving real-world problems.

Look for detailed breakdowns that include strategy, execution, and tangible outcomes.

A good case study will help you gauge what kind of companies this prospective agency has worked with and whether their unique digital marketing strategy could be applied to your business.

A lack of case studies or badly written ones could be a clear red flag that this isn’t the agency for you.

3. What are your core values?

The right marketing partner understands and respects your core values and integrates them into their marketing strategy.

If your marketing teams are going to work well together, your core values are the foundation over which you build a successful partnership.

A company’s core values tell you a lot about their business goals.

It’s crucial that the agency’s approach to marketing aligns with your overall business objectives.

If they’re not focused on driving your business forward through a sustainable partnership, then look elsewhere.

4. What are some common pain points you’ve identified in my industry? How do you address them?

Every industry is a different world in its own right. And different industries require entirely different strategies and approaches.

This question will reveal how well an agency actually understands your industry and the pain points you experience as a part of it.

A great agency will be able to articulate not just the challenges but also illuminate new strategies for overcoming them.

5. What KPIs do you use to measure success?

If you know that an agency will prioritize driving success for your business, it is important to understand what metrics they will use to measure your success so your expectations are aligned.

Remember, one agency’s definition of success might not be up to par with what you’re looking for, so this is essential.

A good agency will define key performance indicators (KPIs) upfront and align them closely with your marketing goals so the path toward success is clear for both of you.

Let’s say you’re looking for an agency to run your social media ads to boost your brand’s following on Instagram. If your brand has 10,000 current followers, an agency might set a marketing goal of 15,000 followers by the end of the year (+50% growth in following) by running these ads. If the agency is able to reach this KPI by the end of the year, it is clear that they have succeeded, both in their eyes and your eyes.

KPIs give you a clear, measurable definition of success and are foundational to any sustainable partnership.

6. What is your digital marketing strategy to drive us more sales?

Remember, the one reason you’re outsourcing to a digital marketing agency is that you’re looking for a different strategy that can take you to the next level.

An effective digital marketing agency should have a clear, concise strategy for how they are going to improve your conversion rates so your organization can sell more.

Remember, some agencies aren’t focused on selling. Some agencies are focused on brand exposure and reach, which are still important, but don’t pay the bills at the end of the day.

This question will help you gauge whether you are going to get a return on investment from this agency.

7. How much work will you be outsourcing?

Transparency is key to any successful agency partnership. It is normal for agencies to outsource certain tasks, but it is important to understand how much of your work they will be doing in-house versus outsourced.

The balance between in-house and outsourced work can affect the consistency and quality of the deliverables.

This will give you a clearer idea of where their true expertise lies and what areas they are lacking in.

Let’s say you’re looking for an agency that can help boost your website’s content marketing for SEO purposes. Ask them:

  • Do you have writers on your team?
  • Do your account managers have experience with search engine optimization (SEO)?

The answers to these questions will be key to understanding whether they are up to the task of rejuvenating your content marketing strategy. If they are outsourcing all of their writing and account management for content marketing and advertising themselves as a content marketing agency, consider it a red flag.

8. Who will be my point of contact and how often will we communicate?

How you work together is just as important as who you work with. It’s important to know that your point of contact will be an account manager with expertise and a clear strategy to drive your business forward. It’s important to meet with your point of contact before signing anything, to ensure that you have working chemistry.

After you have an idea of who you’ll be working with, ask about the cadence of meetings. 

Regular communication is key to a successful client relationship, so it is important to align expectations upfront about how often you’d like to meet and how often you’d like updates on campaign performance.

Depending on the amount of work you’re doing together, a weekly, biweekly, or monthly meeting cadence is normal for agency/client relationships.

Having these conversations early will set the foundation for how the partnership will function day-to-day.

9. What project management tools do you use to keep track of campaigns?

Efficient project management is crucial for the timely and successful delivery of marketing campaigns. And a lot can get lost in translation when you’re only relying on long chains of emails to communicate the status of marketing campaigns.

Whether the agency uses Asana, Monday, or Trello, it’s good to get on the same page about what tools the agency utilizes so you can both effectively collaborate on future projects.

This question will give you insight into their level of professionalism and organizational skills.

10. How do you stay updated with the latest digital marketing trends and technologies?

The digital landscape is constantly evolving, and it can be hard for any internal marketing team to keep their finger on the pulse. Nevertheless, it is crucial, and it is one of the main reasons you are reaching out to an agency in the first place.

You want an agency that is constantly on the cutting edge of new marketing technologies and trends because they will be likely to deliver innovative and effective marketing strategies to put your company ahead of the competition.

11. What are your pricing structures and payment terms?

No one likes financial surprises. That’s why it’s good to get this question out of the way early.

Clear, upfront information about pricing and payment terms from an agency will help you understand whether working together will be feasible. 

Whether an agency expects project-based fees or a retainer, asking this question will help you plan your marketing budget effectively.

12. What makes you different from other digital marketing agencies?

The final question. What makes this agency better than all the other agencies? A.K.A., why should we choose you?

Understanding what sets an agency apart is essential. Their differentiators could be their years of experience, exceptional account managers, innovative strategies, advanced tools, or proven results. Usually, it’s a combination of a few of these, combined with the marketing services that they thrive at.

If they don’t have a clear value proposition that sets them apart from the other agencies you are interviewing, consider it a red flag.

Remember, an ideal fit is an agency that has strengths that align with your in-house needs. If your internal team struggles with social media marketing, and they’re an award-winning social media marketing agency with proven results, then their strengths match your weaknesses.

Unlucky 13. What happens when things don’t go right? 

It’s bound to happen. Any working relationship will have its pitfalls. 

While this isn’t exactly a fun question to ask upfront, it is important to get out of the way before working together. 

How do you respond when things don’t go right? What is the escalation process?

If Plan A doesn’t work, you want to know that this agency has a Plan B. You want to know if they have the flexibility to shift their strategy midway through the campaign if you aren’t seeing results. 

This question will help you understand what the terms are for ending the working relationship. 

Most digital marketing agencies charging a monthly retainer will require a 30-day notice, and some agencies will ask for a guaranteed amount of months of working together (could be anywhere from 3-6 months). 

Figure out how to align expectations in a way that works for both parties if push comes to shove. 

Bonus Question. How do you align your incentives with our business outcomes? 

Okay, here’s the real final question. 

To have a successful working relationship, a digital marketing agency’s incentives need to align with your business goals. 

These incentives should be built into the contract. 

For example, let’s say you’re selling on Amazon. If sales hit a certain threshold, you can give the agency a certain percentage of commission. This will incentivize them to work harder to get you past that sales threshold, meaning a win-win for both of you. 

A commission isn’t the only way to incentivize the agency to help you meet your goals. Whether its project based fees or monthly retainers, find a way to make the digital marketing agency want to reach and surpass your business goals. 

Why eAccountable Could Be the Right Digital Marketing Agency for You

When selecting a digital marketing agency for your e-commerce needs, here are a few reasons you should consider eAccountable Digital Agency:

  • Omnichannel Expertise: eAccountable excels at integrating diverse marketing channels into a unified strategy. With specialized digital marketing services in Affiliate Marketing, Amazon (and other Marketplaces), PPC, SEO, Email Marketing, and Paid Social, we craft a synergistic omnichannel approach that ensures all aspects of your business can scale.
  • Proven Track Record: Over the past 23 years, eAccountable has partnered with over 432 companies, with an average client growth rate of 28.3% year-over-year. Our clients recoup their investment within just 87 days on average, underscoring our commitment to delivering a rapid and tangible return on investment, no matter what industry.
  • Customized Strategies: Recognizing that every e-commerce business is different, eAccountable is committed to developing tailored marketing strategies that fit your personalized needs and goals.
  • Experienced and Dedicated Team: At eAccountable, you benefit from a dedicated team of experts, each bringing an average of 11 years of specialized marketing experience. Our hands-on account managers will always keep their foot on the gas to keep you growing.
  • Transparent Communication: Open communication is central to our client relationships, ensuring you are always well-informed about the performance of your campaigns through regular updates and detailed reports.
  • Industry Versatility: Whether you operate in Beauty, Automotive, Apparel, Supplements, Sports, Food and Beverages, or any sector in between, eAccountable’s versatile and adaptive marketing strategies are designed to meet the unique challenges and opportunities of your industry.

eAccountable isn’t just about doing business; it’s about forging partnerships that are focused on driving your business forward. 

We’re not the right agency for small companies without ambitious growth targets. We’re here for those ready to scale and expand. For us, growth is not just an option—it’s mandatory.

Finding A Successful Agency Partnership

Selecting the right marketing agency is a critical decision for your e-commerce business. By asking these important questions, you ensure a partnership that not only meets but also exceeds your marketing expectations.

When you pose these questions to a potential marketing partner like eAccountable Digital Agency, you’ll find that our responses stand out against the competition.

We prioritize your success, blending industry expertise, transparent communication, dedicated service, and innovative solutions to drive your business forward.

Interested in finding out whether eAccountable Digital Agency could be the perfect fit for your business needs?

Drop us a line here for a free consultation. Feel free to ask our team any questions from this blog as well as anything else that is on your mind.