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Checklist: how to hire a mobile agency and make sure they’re a good fit

March 13, 2014
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iphone Checklist: how to hire a mobile agency and make sure theyre a good fit

Graduating your mobile marketing efforts

Mobile marketing is becoming a standard part of any business’ marketing plan, be it a solopreneur or a Fortune 500 company, and there comes a point where you may outgrow the DIY approach, but how do you know what steps to take next or how to navigate the waters without losing money?

Gregory Kennedy, VP Marketing at TapSense tells us that there are ways to know when to hire a mobile agency and ensure that they’re actually the right fit.

bar Checklist: how to hire a mobile agency and make sure theyre a good fit
“For most companies, mobile marketing begins in-house,” Kennedy said. “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?”



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In Kennedy’s own words below are tips on hiring a mobile agency, with a complete checklist you can start working on.

Agencies Have Knowledge and Expertise Your Organization Doesn’t

The best reason to engage with an 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:

1. Capabilities 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.

2. Partners 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.

4. Culture 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.

8. Approach 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.

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