Picking an Agency Partner? Put Your Decisions Under the Microscope

Picking an Agency Partner? Put Your Decisions Under the Microscope

Do you know what -30 degrees feels like?

It takes your breath away — literally. Your skin retracts, as if trying to run away from the cold. Within seconds, your fingers start to numb up, reminding you it’s a really bad idea to run to your car in below-zero weather without mittens.

To some of you, this sounds like a nightmare, but for the team at 9 Clouds, this was our weather at the beginning of January. And pretty much every winter for most of our lives. [The no-mitten thing is pretty specific to me, though. I’m woefully unprepared for the weather at all times.]

And yet, we still live in South Dakota.

Life choices like these are all about asking yourself important questions to make an educated decision. Believe it or not, my choice to live in the frozen prairie is very similar to choosing a marketing agency

Here’s what you need to ask yourself before making an important decision (about your home base, your agency, which laptop to buy, etc.).

Put Your Decisions Under the Microscope

There comes a point every January when even lifelong South Dakotans question our own sanity. That face-freezing, soul-sucking, polar-vortex cold can really get in your head.

But to be completely honest, we’re here because we love our home.

When I was looking for jobs after graduation, I considered a lot of different locations (and even lived in a different state for a while) — but good ol’ SoDak hit the most criteria.

I took my journalism training and cracked through the five Ws:

  • Who did I want to surround myself with?
    • Family and close friends. People who challenge me. Those folks are all right here in South Dakota.
  • What environment did I think I would help me to thrive?
    • Sioux Falls, while not a major metropolis, offers a good mix of entertainment, culture, and arts, along with the small-town benefits I grew up enjoying.

You get the gist.

At the end of my research, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, won me over as the ideal home. Although that may change one day, any future contenders will get the same scrutiny.

Research Agencies with Confidence

So what’s this got to do with marketing, you ask?

You should be considering those W questions when doing agency research to make sure you’re confident in your choices, too!

In a recent blog post, our CEO Sarah Carnes outlines the most important questions to ask before picking a new digital marketing team:

  • Who are your references, and can we reach out to them?
  • What case studies and/or examples of client success do you have?
  • How do you measure the success of your work?
  • What certifications does your team have?

Read the whole post to get Sarah’s opinion on what you should be learning from those questions — and why it’s so valuable to ask in the first place.

Final Lesson: Always Ask Questions

I know -30 degrees isn’t for everyone. Neither is the same music or food or digital marketing agency. We all have differences in our background that inform how we answer those “who, what, why” questions!

If you learned anything from me today, I hope it’s this: No matter what you’re researching, look at your next decision with a more critical eye.

Second lesson: Always have mittens in January when you visit South Dakota.

If your research leads you to a new marketing agency, maybe 9 Clouds is the right choice. Ask us for a free digital marketing assessment, and we’ll show you our recommendations.