You’ve reached critical milestones in your business and are at a point where external marketing assistance could take you to the next level. While you might be in the early stages of researching digital marketing or creative agencies, it’s essential to know what to consider when picking a partner. So, where do you start? 

At Mad Fish, we always meet with business leaders to ensure our partnership is transparent and our work is successful. We do that because we believe businesses deserve to work with a digital marketing agency that’s the best fit. In rare cases where we discover we aren’t a good fit, we make recommendations based on their needs. 

So, without further ado, here are a few core qualities to consider when researching digital marketing agencies. 

1. Their Services Align With My Needs Consider how the following digital marketing services fit within your overall business goals:

You’ve researched the best digital marketing agencies in Portland, and you’ve made a list of your top choices. You want to succeed online and rank higher on search engines, but you’re unsure which services fit your brand best. As a baseline, consider how the following digital marketing services fit within your overall business goals: 

  • Content marketing
  • Digital consulting
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) 
  • Social media marketing
  • Email marketing 
  • Paid media (Google Ads, paid social, etc.) 
  • Web development and digital design 

Depending on your budget, a full-service digital marketing agency offers all or a mixture of those services. For example, we have clients that use our content, design, and paid media services for lead generation, while others find results through our paid advertising expertise. We also have clients that come to us for full-service agency support.  

Remember, it’s OK not to know how these services fit your overall digital plan, but any agency worth their weight needs to guide you through which tools make the most sense for your goals at the onset. Nevertheless, if you don’t know where to begin, start by viewing an agency’s services page to see if their services cover your needs. 

2. They Are Proactive 

Digital marketing is a bustling industry, but that doesn’t mean you deserve the backburner when choosing an agency. If a potential partner isn’t proactive when acquiring your business, walk. Your agency partner should work with you to establish deadlines and KPIs, communicate what happens if work doesn’t succeed, and handle any other aspects of business that foster proactive success. At Mad Fish, we operate as an extension of our clients’ teams and work to anticipate needs.

3. They’re a Good Values Fit 

We’re always discussing the importance of values and how they shape our client relationships because they’re crucial for lifting others up.

Consider how your company culture aligns with the values of the digital marketing agency you’re contacting. For example, are you an e-commerce B Corp driven by making a sustainable impact digitally? Or are you a B2B business with a passion for community outreach? Depending on your answers, how an agency approaches its values could have meaningful implications on how they market your business. 

Now, values may seem less important than other aspects here, but working with a group of folks that share your values often leads to building more meaningful client-agency relationships. As a B Corp, we bring a values-based approach to everything we do and love getting the chance to work with businesses that are values-aligned.

4. Their Work Supports Their Claims 

Before submitting the contact form, it’s crucial to know the agency you’re picking has work on their website that shares their success and demonstrates expertise. The best way to find out is by reading case studies on an agency’s results or work page.

Before submitting the contact form, it's crucial to know the agency you're picking has work on their website that shares their success and demonstrates expertise.

The numbers or metrics will speak for themselves, but you should also read how they succeeded. Dig into case studies and portfolios to explore which services helped an agency achieve their goals. You should also see if the agency partner you’re interested in has experience in your space to see if they’re a good, long-term fit. At Mad Fish, we exceed expectations and goals and are willing to collaborate as our clients’ needs change.

Agency Partnerships Made Easy

The early stages of researching an agency should be transparent and communicative. As a full-service digital agency in Portland, we like to do more than produce results when establishing meaningful client-agency relationships. Instead, we foster growth by offering high-touch custom services based on client needs while keeping our partners in the loop every step of the way. 

If you’re a marketing manager or a business leader looking for more guidance on whether an agency you’re researching is right for you, let’s talk. Remember, if you need someone to bounce off an idea, we’re just a contact form away—our advice doesn’t come with any strings attached, nor does it cost you anything.