Don't Do It Yourself
How to Hire a Marketing Company

How to Hire a Marketing Company in 2024

Hiring the right marketing company can be a game-changer for businesses of all sizes.

Digital marketing agencies have the tools and expertise to navigate the many important digital channels. They can help you achieve numerous marketing goals, generating a great return on investment without straining internal resources.

But hiring the right team can be a challenge.


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Key Takeaways

  • Before hiring an agency, establish clear marketing goals to ensure alignment with the chosen agency's expertise and services.
  • Different types of marketing agencies offer unique specialties. Full-service agencies are common for larger budgets or companies seeking comprehensive services.
  • Most businesses spend between 7-12% of monthly revenue on marketing.
  • MarketerHire, GrowTal, and Mayple are three of the best places to search for a qualified marketing agency.

Step-By-Step Guide to Hiring a Marketing Company

Step Guide to Hiring Marketing Company

Selecting a marketing agency is about more than who offers the lowest price. You need to be able to trust them with your brand and image.

Here are the key steps to choosing a high-quality marketing agency for your needs:

  1. Assess marketing needs
  2. Determine the services you need
  3. Set your budget
  4. Search for quality candidates
  5. Create a candidate shortlist
  6. Evaluate references and reviews
  7. Request work samples
  8. Review and compare options
  9. Ask for a detailed service agreement
  10. Hire, onboard, and continuously evaluate

Let’s take a closer look:

1. Evaluate Marketing Goals

First, evaluate your marketing goals to ensure that you select a partner whose expertise aligns with your objectives.

Conduct a thorough analysis of your business needs, target audience, and market position.

Once you have a clear understanding of your objectives, you can articulate them to potential marketing partners, ensuring they have the necessary skills and experience to help you achieve your aims.

Here are five examples of specific marketing goals and how they influence your search for a marketing company:

  • Brand Awareness: If your goal is to enhance brand visibility, seek a company with a strong track record in campaigns that boost brand recognition.
  • Lead Generation: For generating more leads, a marketing firm specializing in conversion optimization and lead nurturing would be ideal.
  • Market Expansion: If you're aiming to enter new markets, look for a company with experience in market analysis and targeted marketing strategies.
  • Customer Engagement: To increase engagement, choose a firm with innovative solutions in content creation and social media management.
  • Sales Growth: If boosting sales is your objective, find a company proficient in sales-driven marketing tactics and performance measurement.

2. Determine Which Services You Need

Identify the specific services you need from a marketing company to ensure a successful partnership.

Evaluate your internal capabilities and which areas you need expertise from an external agency.

Do you need comprehensive services like a full-scale marketing strategy, or are you looking for specific expertise in digital advertising, SEO, content marketing, or social media management?

Potential services agencies may offer include:

Understanding your needs will help you choose a marketing company that offers the right mix of services.

3. Confirm Your Budget

Establishing a clear budget is essential when hiring a marketing company.

Generally, businesses allocate between 7% to 12% of their total revenue to marketing, but this can vary based on your industry, company size, and growth stage.

Start-ups might invest more to gain traction, while established businesses might spend less.

Remember, the cheapest option isn't always the best; invest in a company that promises a solid return on your marketing investment.

4. Search for Quality Marketers

To find a reputable agency, you must know where to look. LinkedIn may offer some great connections for finding marketing companies. However, the process there is unclear and it requires significant time.

Some of the sites we’ve found the most helpful include:

To simplify your search, we’ve created roundups of the top marketing agencies for various specialties:

5. Create a Shortlist of Candidates to Pursue

Generate a list of the top 3-5 agencies to evaluate closer.

A few things to look for during your search include:

  • Alignment with your goals
  • Proven experience in your industry
  • Successful track record with similar projects
  • Creativity and innovation
  • Clear results
  • Communication style
  • Transparency in reporting
  • Strategic thinking
  • Commitment to current trends

6. Inquire With References (Check Reviews and Industry Experience)

References and reviews provide unbiased insights into a marketing company's reliability and effectiveness.

Look for reviews on Clutch, Google, and LinkedIn, or industry-specific forums.

Green flags include positive testimonials about:

  • the company's professionalism
  • timely delivery
  • tangible results

Red flags are consistent complaints about:

  • poor communication
  • lack of transparency
  • unmet expectations

If possible, contact references (like former clients) directly. Engaging with references directly can provide deeper context and reassurance, helping you make a well-informed decision.

7. Request Work Samples

Ask for a portfolio of their previous campaigns or projects that are similar to your marketing objectives.

Examples of suitable work samples they can provide include:

  • case studies
  • links to executed campaigns
  • content samples
  • performance reports.

Ensure you're not asking for new, customized work as a sample, as this would be unethical without compensation. Instead, focus on their past deliverables.

Analyzing these samples gives you a clearer picture of their style, quality of work, and the outcomes they've achieved for other clients.

8. Review and Compare

Conduct a comprehensive evaluation based on several key qualities.

  • First, assess their expertise in your specific industry and the breadth of services they offer.
  • Compare their strategic approaches, ensuring they align with your business goals and marketing objectives.
  • Look at the creativity and innovation in their work samples and how they've driven results for other clients.
  • Evaluate their communication style and responsiveness, as these are critical for a successful partnership.
  • Consider their pricing structures and ensure they provide value for your investment.
  • Assess their company culture and values to ensure they align with yours.

Some questions to ask that can help you uncover the above information include:

  • What experience do you have in our industry?
  • Can you share some case studies or examples of success with past clients?
  • How do you measure the success of your marketing campaigns?
  • What is your approach to developing a marketing strategy for a new client?
  • How do you stay updated with the latest marketing trends and tools?
  • Can you describe a challenging project and how you overcame the obstacles?
  • What is your communication and reporting process?
  • How do you handle changes in the project scope or direction?
  • What makes your marketing company unique compared to others?
  • What are your expectations from us as a client?

9. Ask for a Detailed Service Agreement

A service agreement is a formal contract between your business and the marketing company. It should outline the scope of services, deliverables, timelines, payment terms, and other essential details of the partnership.

The company should provide a business proposal. If they will not, ask for a reason why.

10. Hire, Onboard, and Evaluate Performance

After choosing the right company for your needs, create a short-term contract. We recommend beginning with a 90-day contract, so you can re-assess fit after that time. 90 days is long enough to see how the company works and what results they will provide.

Beware of companies trying to immediately force you into a long-term contract. They may have a strategic rationale, but if not then you should avoid them.

Throughout the partnership, evaluate their performance, communication style, and deliverables. Continuously evaluate if their services meet your needs and if they can scale with you or if you require a different solution.

Signs You Should Hire a Marketing Company for Your Business

Signs to Hire Marketing Company

Recognizing when it's time to hire a marketing company is vital for your business's growth. Here are key signs that indicate the need for professional marketing assistance:

  • Stagnant or Declining Sales: If your sales are not growing or are declining despite efforts, partner with a marketing company. They can provide fresh strategies to reinvigorate your business's performance.
  • Lack of Marketing Expertise: Bringing in experts can fill marketing skill gaps and drive more effective marketing initiatives.
  • Insufficient Time or Resources: When your current team is overburdened or lacks the necessary resources to execute effective marketing strategies, it's time to consider external help.
  • Ineffective Digital Presence: If your online presence isn't generating leads or engagement, a marketing company can revamp your digital strategies.
  • Expansion or Scaling: When planning to enter new markets or scale your business, a marketing company can provide the strategic support and execution strategies.
  • Need for Fresh Perspectives: Sometimes, an external marketing team can offer new ideas and perspectives to reinvigorate your marketing efforts.

Types of Marketing Companies

Types of Marketing Companies

Various marketing agencies offer unique specialties. Understanding the types of marketing agencies will help you choose the right one for your goals.

Here are a few of the most common types of marketing agencies:

Main Objective
Best For
Full-Service Ad Agencies
Address all marketing needs with comprehensive services.
Businesses with higher budgets seeking integrated solutions.
Promotional Agency
Focus on marketing events, promotions, and specific products.
Brands looking to highlight a specific product or event.
Social Media Management
Grow audience and engagement on social platforms.
Businesses prioritizing social media presence.
Growth Marketing
Increase profits through data-analytics and multi-channel strategies.
Companies seeking rapid growth have the budget for it.
PPC Marketing Agency
Boost online visibility and generate leads through pay-per-click.
Businesses aiming to increase website traffic and leads quickly.
Account-Based Marketing
Connect marketing and sales through targeted strategies for B2B.
B2B companies targeting specific accounts or decision-makers.
Public Relations
Manage reputation and ensure a positive brand image.
Any business focusing on long-term reputation and brand image.

Full-Service Ad Agencies

Full-service agencies have the expertise and tools to address all of your marketing needs. They offer comprehensive marketing services, providing a one-stop solution.

However, the comprehensive services come at a premium, making full-service agencies better suited for those with higher budgets. Still, they provide an integrated marketing approach and are more affordable than hiring multiple agencies for different needs.

Promotional Agency

Promotional agencies focus on marketing events, seasonal promotions, and specific products. Partnering with one can help your brand stand out in competitive digital and in-person spaces.

However, they don’t offer a wide range of services. If your main objective is to promote a specific item or event, they are ideal. Otherwise, you may be better serviced by another type of marketing agency.

Social Media Management

Looking to grow your audience and turn followers into customers on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, YouTube, or another social platform? A social media management agency is ideal.

They have the best tools and engagement strategies to create, monitor, and optimize campaigns for each social channel.

Work with them if a social strategy is your priority. But, as a specialized type of agency, they offer limited expertise.

Growth Marketing

The goal of a growth marketing agency is to help you grow (aka increase profits). They leverage data-analytics and multi-channel methods to boost your sales. A data-driven strategy provides a better ROI, and they will adapt campaigns to optimize results.

Growth marketing is a highly-specialized field, which means this type of agency can be pricey to hire. You must determine if the potential growth outweighs the cost, and if you can afford it.

Find out everything to know about hiring a growth marketing agency

PPC Marketing Agency

If your main goal is to boost your online visibility, increase website traffic, or generate more leads online, then consider a PPC marketing agency.

Pay-per-click agencies help drive relevant traffic to your website. They leverage industry-leading strategies to target the right keywords, create enticing ads, and ensure optimized efforts.

Account-Based Marketing

For many B2B companies, Account-Based Marketing (ABM) is the right fit. It’s a unique field that connects marketing and sales through highly-targeted strategies. They develop personalized content for decision-makers in your ideal audience to boost engagement and conversion.

However, it’s not the best strategy for targeting a large audience (which is why it tends not to work well for B2C organizations).

Public Relations

Reputation goes a long way for sales and customer loyalty. A PR agency helps manage your reputation and ensure a positive image. They leverage press releases, events, media coverage, and more to boost your brand image. Furthermore, they help mitigate reputation concerns to restore your image.

But the connection between PR and sales is not always a clear one to measure. It’s more of a long-term game, which means you may still have to invest in more immediate strategies.

Check out our roundup of the best digital PR agencies.

Marketing Agency Services

Marketing Agency Services

The specific services that a marketing company offers depend on its specialty. However, the most common services include:

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Enhances your website's visibility in search engine results, driving organic traffic and improving online presence.
  • Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising: You pay a fee each time one of your ads is clicked. PPC Ad campaigns aim to drive targeted traffic to your website.
  • Content Marketing: Create and distribute valuable, relevant content to attract and engage a defined audience. The goal of content marketing is to drive profitable customer action.
  • Social Media Management: Manage your presence on social media platforms, engage with your audience and promote your brand.
  • Email Marketing: Email marketers send targeted and personalized messages via email to convert prospects into customers and one-time buyers into loyal fans.
  • Branding and Identity: Develop a unique image and identity for your business. Create a consistent and compelling brand experience across all touchpoints.
  • Web Design and Development: Create and implement a website, ensuring it is visually appealing, user-friendly, and optimized for conversions.
  • Market Research: Gather and analyze information about your market, competitors, and customers to inform strategic decisions.
  • Public Relations: Manage your business's reputation and public image, often through media coverage and strategic communications.
  • Influencer Marketing: Leverage individuals with a significant online following to promote your brand, products, or services.

How Much Does it Cost to Hire A Marketing Agency?

How Much Does It Cost to Hire Marketing Agency

On average, hiring a marketing agency costs between $900 and $20,000 per month.

Here’s a closer look based on the type of marketing agency:

Type of Agency 
Average Monthly Retainer
PPC Ads Agency
Growth Marketing
SEO Agency
Social Media Marketing
Digital PR
eCommerce Marketing
Content Marketing
Email Marketing
Influencer Marketing

Considerations for Marketing Agency Cost

Marketing is a highly customized industry, so several factors will affect the cost, including:

  • Type of agency
  • Which services you opt for
  • Agency experience
  • Project terms
  • Desired speed of results
  • Type of contract (retainer, per project, etc)

How Much Should I Spend?

The most effective way to determine how much you should spend on marketing is to consider the percentage of monthly revenue.

Organization Type
% of Revenue to Spend on Marketing
Often targeting a smaller, niche audience.
Covers a wide array of marketing goals and needs.
Gain traction and establish foothold in the market.
Small businesses 
Growth, customer acquisition, improving brand presence.
Medium businesses
Expand market research, introduce new products/services, increase market share.
Large companies
Lower %, but high dollar amount to help them stand out in the competitive landscape.

Qualities to Seek in a Marketing Agency

Qualities to Seek in Marketing Agency

When evaluating marketing agencies, seek out ones that offer these key qualities:

  • Transparency: Look for an agency that is open about its strategies, pricing, and communication. They should make sure you're always in the loop and trust is maintained.
  • Previous Track Record in a Similar Industry: Choose an agency with proven success in your industry. They should understand the market dynamics and customer behavior in your field.
  • Frequent Reporting: Opt for an agency that provides regular, detailed reports, allowing you to monitor progress, results, and ROI effectively.
  • Correct Match of Services: Ensure the agency offers the specific marketing services you need. Their expertise must align with your business objectives.
  • Strategic Thinking: The agency should demonstrate a deep understanding of strategic marketing to craft plans that align with your long-term goals.
  • Creativity and Innovation: Look for an agency that brings creative solutions and innovative approaches to the table. They should help you stand out in a crowded market.
  • Cultural Fit: Choose an agency whose culture aligns with yours. Cultural fit ensures smoother collaboration and a partnership that feels in sync with your business values.

Find The Right Marketing Firm for Your Business

Find the Right Marketing Firm

Finding the right marketing agency can help boost your business.

Focus on what's important: set clear goals, determine the services you need, decide on your budget, and choose an agency that fits well with your company.

Look for an agency that's open about their work, has a good track record, and offers the services you need.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I hire a good marketing agency?

Identify your goals, budget, and required services. Research agencies with a strong track record in your industry, check their reviews, and ensure they offer transparent communication.

Is it worth hiring a marketing company?

Yes, if you need specialized expertise, fresh strategies, or additional resources to achieve your marketing objectives and grow your business.

How much does it cost to hire a marketing firm?

Costs vary widely, from $2,500 to $20,000 per month. Price depends on the firm's size, services, and your specific needs.

Where should I look to hire a marketing company?

Some of the top places to look for a marketing agency include MarketerHire, GrowTal, and Mayple. However, the best solution is our quick and simple agency matching service; try it out today!