How to choose a digital marketing agency for your start-ups in 2021?

Authored by Ranjan Das, MD Apppl Combine

With recent progress & evolution in the start-up ecosystem as well the marketing landscape, there is an increasing need to reach the target audience through multiple channels with the same message to create an everlasting impact and strengthen the brand recall. And due to paucity of funds, a start-up friendly budget is always required.

Managing a start-up is a bustling business. Several functions and aspects to be taken care of at once with limited funds and resources and calling it a challenge is an understatement. 

Getting the product out in the market, creating brand awareness, engagement, leads, lead conversion and repeat customers, all require a different level of intelligent and intuitive marketing. But how to reach a massive number of potential customers with restricted budgets? 

This is where digital marketing steps in and elevates the chances of your start-up to spread far and wide in a swift time frame. With more and more businesses and customers going online, digital marketing with the high level of instant flexibility, gives the brand / advertiser just the perfect set of tools to reach its target market, in more than one frugal way.

But with endless options to pick from, how to choose the right and most suitable digital marketing agency for your business? Let’s have a look at certain aspects that most definitely must be considered before selecting one.

  1. Find the expert not another start-up: Very often, many start-ups, as they are bootstrapped , settle with digital agencies which are start-ups in themselves. This won’t work. At this stage, on the agency side you need experts, who have experimented enough to know those successful ways to optimise your budget and objectives.
  1. Alignment with Business Needs- Different start-ups at different stages have different marketing objectives and budgets. Some might want to increase awareness and engagement, some might want to launch a new product, others might aim to pivot their business model and completely revamp their brand. It is essential to internally assess the venture’s requirements and needs and then go ahead with finding a suitable digital marketing agency that can rightfully align with the business needs. 
  1. Spot the Specialist Agency that may help you at specific stage of your start-up - One may come across thousands of digital marketing agencies to choose from, but what matters is what each one of them specialises in. You may not necessarily need a very established name in the industry but the one which can cater to your niche in the most efficient way. For instance, if a start-up requires social media marketing and influencer marketing then it should pick an agency that has the expertise in this particular field of digital marketing. 
  1. Correct Balance of Strategy, Campaign Development and Implementation- Some are good at strategizing, some are good with campaign / content / creative development while others are good at  implementation. It's tough but find an agency which has an effective balance of all these three key features. Getting 3 different agencies to do this at the start-up level may not work for the brand.
  1. Insist on Case Studies and Portfolios and if need be, verify it too - An agency proud of its work and associations will never shy away from showing it to the world and therefore, an Agency Portfolio and case studies are the best way to get a look and feel of what the agency has previously delivered. Going through their past client list may also give you a fair idea of what dexterity they can be expected of. One with varied industry experience is better than one who has done just one segment.
  1. Budget Optimiser: There are digital agencies who value every penny you spend on marketing and have the expertise of knowledge and innovation to get the best your budget can be maximised to. Many conventional agencies don't innovate much to improve your ROI.
  1. Workflow and Process- No two agencies work the same way just like no two start-ups operate the same way. Understanding how the processes at the chosen agency work, help in getting a view of methods that they apply and the time they take to deliver results.
  2. Look for reviews and testimonials- Social proof of a digital marketing agency proves to be a great differentiator as it gives an exact insight into how it is to work with that particular agency. Make sure to look for client reviews and testimonials on the work quality and company culture so that your association with them is not a difficult one. 

A good digital marketing agency with good experience, solid strategy, understanding work environment and professional behaviour has the potential to take your start-up to the next level.

DISCLAIMER: The views expressed are solely of the author and does not necessarily subscribe to it. 


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