For most companies, mobile marketing begins in-house. A single person starts working with self service tools on a popular mobile platform. This approach works great in the beginning, but as the complexity increases and campaigns scale, that model breaks down. The creative team becomes overloaded. The tech team isn’t set up to move fast enough to support mobile marketing. The marketing team lacks inside knowledge and close relationships with major media buying platforms, which makes media planning less efficient. If this sounds like your situation, perhaps you’re ready to seek agency help?
Agencies Have Knowledge and Expertise Your Organization Doesn’t
The best reason to engage with an mobile agency is to maintain your focus. A marketing team needs to focus on the business, not become experts in mobile advertising technology. A good agency will provide you with expertise, knowledge and partner access that otherwise would be difficult to get. Even the most well organized and thoughtful companies rely on an outside agency for many tasks. Why? Because agencies can attract and manage talent that wouldn’t thrive in the very culture that makes your company successful. It is access to these ‘outliers’ that enriches the agency offering, providing you with original thinking and niche technical expertise.
Creativity Comes Unleashed
If there is one single area that agencies excel in, it’s creativity. Agencies have experience and personnel who are great at generating ideas, lots of good ideas. Good ideation is at the core of every good creative approach. Marketing teams should leverage this capability of an agency as much as possible. Generating these ideas is time consuming, but having a great creative agency frees up marketing to work on other more essential aspects of the business.
Stay On Track With a Rigorous Process
Securing approvals from different stakeholders in your organization is another key function an agency can manage. Because they’re a third party, they have nothing vested in any particular strategy, in fact they’re highly motivated to ensure that your campaign is a success from the start. This means they will push for what they truly believe will work based on experience with other companies who have faced similar challenges. A good agency will also have a rigorous process in place. This will help make approvals happen on time, as they are required for the agency to move onto the next phase.
Hiring a Mobile Agency: A Checklist
Once you’ve made the decision to hire an agency, you should meet with multiple candidates of varying size in order to determine the best fit. Here’s a checklist of core attributes you should evaluate them on:
Get a detailed list of services and capabilities. Ask which services are filled in house and which are filled by outside contractors. If they use contractors, try to understand the depth of those relationships.
Understand the platforms or partners they have direct experience with. Some specialize in a particular platform, which is the ideal fit if that’s the platform you need.
3. Business Model
Take time to understand their monetary incentives. Some charge hourly, while others a percentage of media spend. Match the model to your performance goals.
Agency culture is surprisingly diverse and varied. It ranges from nerdy and quantitative to quirky and irreverent. Find the culture that best matches your expectations.
5. Case Studies
Get detailed case studies of past client engagements. Be sure to have key people take you through them and ask questions. Try to gain an understanding of the role the agency performed.
6. Key People
Meet with the principals and key partners to find out exactly who will be assigned to your project. Be sure to have this in proposals as part of an hourly breakout.
7. Success Metrics
Determine with the agency what the success metrics should be. Clearly articulating this from the start is the best way to ensure a successful engagement at the end.
Get a good sense of their overall approach. Are they process driven? Creatively driven? Technology driven? Try to understand what motivates them. This will help you determine the right fit.