How to Hire an Agency: Common Projects and Engagements

Picture this: You’re a marketing manager or director of a mid-sized consumer goods company, and you need help. Your e-commerce website is out of date, your brand is decent but not quite as distinctive as you feel it could be, your email database is thorny, and you’re paying out thousands per month in ad spend without fully knowing its effect.

On top of that, your current marketing team of 2 is stretched to their limit, managing individual contractors is a hassle (plus you don’t have the budget for as many as you could use), and due to the nature of bootstrapping and seed funding, you haven’t yet hired an agency.

All of these are solvable problems, and together they describe the ideal scenario where hiring an agency that can solve several challenges at once can prove a reasonable, profitable investment.

The trick is to figure out what comes first, who to hire, and how.

Asking the Right Questions to Get to the Right Answers

Marketing is the furthest thing from a paint-by-numbers game. While there are aspects that can be automated and best practices that can be followed, human insight and touch is needed to actually determine where to place the best bets when it comes to positioning, branding, advertising, and stitching together your digital ecosystem.

As you weigh up your options, there are numerous factors you need to consider:

  • What type of agency would most help you?
  • What’s a need, and what’s a nice to have?
  • What challenges need addressing now?
  • What opportunities might there be that you haven’t thought of?
  • What’s the right process?
  • What’s a fair compensation that ensures you’ll get what you need without blowing the budget?
  • Who should you hire?
  • How should you go about finding them?

The answers to these questions could make an entire book — but today, we’re going to highlight the four main ways of how an agency can help a client. The specifics are customizable to every client, but if you hire an agency, chances are it’s in one of these four ways.

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Founder & Creative Director, Stack Creative in Toronto. Find us online at