Hiring a digital marketing partner is a big decision that requires an investment of time and money, so educating yourself on how to choose the right agency is key. Many times, business owners don’t have a lot of knowledge about what digital marketing entails and how it all connects with their website. That’s why it helps to work with a partner that is going to provide you with a comprehensive multichannel strategy that is geared toward helping you drive new leads. With the right partnership, you can increase leads and sales, but hiring the wrong partner can result in your efforts going in the wrong direction. This guide will help you select the right partner for your digital marketing needs. 

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Identifying Your Marketing Needs

There are so many agencies to choose from, so you’ll need to make sure you identify what your needs are to help narrow the search. That means identifying and understanding your own goals and what it is you want to accomplish. It also means gathering your current assets and tools which can consist of any plans, data, martech stack, ideas, goals, etc. 

Yes, digital marketing is no longer a nice-to-have for businesses with a website, but you shouldn’t hire a digital agency just because your competition is doing it or without a clear understanding of why you require the assistance of a digital partner. A good place to start is by determining which specific areas you need help with whether it’s social media, SEO, advertising, or other areas. Identifying the gaps you’re looking to fill will help you have an honest conversation with prospective partners and identify whether they are a good fit for your company.


When thinking about your digital marketing needs and the partnership you want to have, you need to assess the kind of working relationship that is going to help you propel your business forward. Do you want a partner that is proactive or reactive? Do you want them to simply implement your tactics or are you looking for an agency to help you create a strategy and give you advice based on your marketing goals?

The latter is usually a good idea as many business owners don’t know where to start, but there are some organizations that may just need an agency to execute instead of strategize. If you’re looking to hire an agency that will create ideas, stories, and creative campaigns, then you need to be clear about that up front and make sure you communicate your expectations for your potential new partnership.

Expectations & Trust

Upon choosing your digital marketing partner, you must have confidence in the choice that you made. Many times, the client makes the mistake of not trusting the agency they are working with, which can create communication issues and hinder the success of the marketing work that’s being done. Keep in mind, you hired a digital marketing partner to help market your business. They are professionals in their industry, and you should be able to trust their work based on your conversations with them, their portfolios, and their reputation. If you went through those assets during your research/investigation phase and they were positive, then there shouldn’t be a compelling reason to second guess your decision.

A good marketing agency should have your best interest at heart. They are there to help you succeed, because ultimately, if you don’t succeed, neither will they. A bad experience is a bad review for them, so they will do their best to provide you with excellent service and most importantly, results. To get the best results possible, try not to micromanage. Again, they are experts and have their own processes which should be discussed in early preliminary meetings to ensure processes for each party work well together. It’s smart to document expectations for both teams and let each other know how involved you plan to be so your partner can plan accordingly. Also, being candid is especially important. Your digital agency will need you to be up front about your budget, resources, and goals. Fluctuating budgets, having personnel come in and out of projects, and moving goals makes it difficult for an agency to do its job well.

Once you get some marketing off the ground, patience is key. There is usually a learning phase with anything that runs online, whether it’s paid advertising, messaging, or content creation. The beginning phases will inform what is working and what needs to be adjusted, so don’t expect to get results immediately. Digital marketing is a process and requires continuous testing and with the right digital marketing partner, you will start to see results.

Final Thoughts

When it comes down to it, you want to hire a good agency with a talented team who you can rely on. There is no one-size-fits-all in this case, and you will find a good fit based on the identification of the services you need, their experience, and how well both teams align. 

We hope you keep these considerations in mind and trust your instincts as a business owner. Make it a point to invest some time researching and even interviewing your prospective partners. The perfect digital marketing agency, perhaps New Target, is out there for you! 

A global team of digerati with offices in Washington, D.C. and Southern California, we provide digital strategy, digital marketing, web design, and creative for brands you know and nonprofits you love.

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