Now that Sortlist has provided you with a list of agencies matching your needs, how to pick the best of the best?

Congratulations for posting your project on Sortlist! 🎉

Our marketing experts have gathered the best agency selection for you and here finally comes your time to shine in front of your entire team 😎: you're about to select your company's next best marketing partner!

How awesome this expectative might be, it is also a pretty big responsibility: How to proceed exactly? What criteria should you take into account? Are there bad and good agencies for your project?

Here are some easy steps to follow to make sure you'll make the right decision:

1. Identify your companies' priorities & expectations

When there's no fit between a company and an agency it's hardly ever the fault of the first or the second but most probably a question of setting different priorities.

Before even examining the agency list your were provided, the first thing you should do is to brainstorm with your team about your expectations.

According to the specificities of your project, you should prioritize the criteria you will evaluate. 

  • If your project has a short deadline, reactivity will mostly be on top of your list. 

  • If the goal of this marketing project is to set a powerful identity image for your company, creativity will rather be considered first.

  • etc.

2. Check the agencies' previous works

A good way to evaluate if you and the agency are aligned is to check the projects they previously developed for other companies.

You can look at projects similar in terms of competencies as well as works done for competitors in your sector.

3. Arrive well prepared to chemistry meetings

Time has come to meet the agency. The delegated team will come very prepared to this encounter, the objective being to blow your mind with amazing cases and ground breaking proposals.  Although we hope you'll be indeed convinced by the quality of their proposal, it is also time to negotiate. 

In order to make the most of this encounter, come with a clear idea of your expectations. Keep in mind that any marketing action should make sense in your global strategy. Be ready to challenge the agency.

Moreover, try to get as much numbered information as possible. Any action proposal should come with an adequate budget. Expenses should be justified in terms of strategy and long or short term ROI.

4. Evaluate professionalism

Professionalism is by definition " the combination of all the qualities that are connected with trained and skilled people" (cfr. Cambridge Dictionary Online).

Those qualities can be assessed at every step of the way, in each and every interaction you will have with the agency team. After Sortlist's intervention, did the agency proactively try to enter in contact with you? Were they answering fast to you? Did you have one assigned contact person? How interested were they in your company, your project and current challenges? Did they meet the scheduled deadlines?

When comes the time of the meeting, body language is also a good indicator. Was the handshake steady? Were they making direct eye contact with you or averting their gaze? Were their arms and legs crossed or open (= open to discussion)?  etc.
From facial expressions to body movements, things people don't say can still convey volumes of information.

The way members of the team interact with one another during the presentation is also very interesting to observe.

5. Evaluate their proposal 

All about gut feelings

Whatever the project the agency presents you, it has one common goal: move your clients. That involves emotions and you will be the first to judge whether this proposal has what it takes to touch your client's sensibility. So our advise is to sit back, let go and let yourself live the emotions the agency created around your company. 

Still some elements to consider carefully

Don't forget to juge the overall coherence of the project. Some ideas are great but might not answer your product/service or current challenges.

Consider also the schedule proposed by the team. How long will it exactly take to implement these actions?

Finally, evaluate the coherence of the budget related to the project. If you have any doubt, ask for specifications.

What about creativity? 

As already said previously, any marketing action should be considered in a broad strategic vision and our opinion is that creativity should be at the service of a good strategy.

That's all Folks! 

We hope this article made you experts at agency evaluation!

Don't forget to keep us posted on your final decision logging in on your Sortlist account 😉 👉www.sortlist.com

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