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Ask these 6 questions before hiring any digital marketing agency 

In today’s fast-paced digital world, having a strong online presence is crucial for the success of any small to medium-sized enterprise (SME). However, with the vast array of digital marketing options and service providers available, it can be overwhelming to find the right partner to navigate this complex landscape. 

Surprisingly, statistics from the ASBFEO and University of the Sunshine Coast show that 70% of SMEs end their relationship with their digital marketing provider within the first 12 months, highlighting the importance of making an informed and strategic decision from the get-go. 

Ask the Right Questions 

Treat your meeting with potential marketing partners like a job interview, don’t be afraid to ask them the hard hitting questions. Essential questions to ask potential digital marketing partners include: 

● Can you share some case studies or examples of previous work you’ve done? 

● What industries do you specialise in, and do you have experience with businesses like mine? 

● How do you measure the success of your digital marketing campaigns? 

● How often will you report on campaign performance, and what will those reports include? 

● How do you handle communication and collaboration with your clients? 

● What is your billing structure, and are there any long-term contracts or commitments required? 

Check-Out Online Reviews 

Don’t underestimate the power of testimonials, references, and online reviews. Reach out to past and current clients of the marketing agencies you’re considering. Enquire about their experiences, the results achieved, and the overall satisfaction with the partnership. Additionally, explore online platforms, social media, and industry forums to gather unbiased reviews and feedback. This will give you valuable insights into the agency’s reputation and reliability. 

Top Tip: If you spot a negative review, read the agency’s response! This is a great way to see how their customers are serviced post-sale! 

Be Transparent and Ask for Transparency in Return 

It’s probably no surprise that transparency is a cornerstone of a successful marketing partnership. When considering a potential marketing partner, prioritise those that value transparency in their processes. A transparent marketing partner is open about their strategies, timelines, and performance metrics, providing you with a clear understanding of how your marketing budget will be utilised. Be sure they can also show you how you can track your campaigns independently, via dashboards or apps. 

Transparency should go both ways – be sure to be clear on the goals you want to achieve and the budget you have to spend. For example, if your goal is to grow your local presence and boost business within your local community, be sure to share this with your potential marketing partner. You’d be surprised how much your business goals will influence the strategy taken. 

Discuss their Ability to Scale 

If your goal is to grow your business, remember to ask about their ability to scale. While you may only be interested in a website now, when your business begins to grow, you may wish to expand your marketing toolkit to include SEO and Google Ads services. Is having all those services under the one umbrella important to you?If it is, you may want to discuss their full suite of offerings from the get-go. 

Data & Security Measures 

Data and privacy measures have never been more important so be sure to enquire about the agency’s data security measures. Any partner should have robust data protection protocols in place to safeguard sensitive information. Don’t be afraid to ask them about how they plan to keep you and your customer’s data safe – especially if you’re building a new website.

Other things you may want to consider

Industry Knowledge and Expertise – Look for a marketing partner that has experience and expertise in your specific industry. A deep understanding of the nuances and challenges within your sector will contribute to more effective and targeted marketing strategies. 

Adaptability and Flexibility – The business landscape is ever-changing, and marketing strategies must evolve accordingly. Choose a partner that demonstrates adaptability and flexibility in adjusting strategies based on market trends, consumer behaviour, and your business’s changing needs. 

Do they Take a Collaborative Approach – A successful marketing partnership involves collaboration. Choose an agency that values your input, considers your ideas, and works collaboratively to achieve shared goals. A partner who sees the relationship as a true collaboration is more likely to contribute positively to your business’s success. 

Response Time and Availability – Evaluate the agency’s response time and availability.  Quick response times and accessibility are crucial, especially when time-sensitive issues or opportunities arise. A responsive partner demonstrates a commitment to your business’s  immediate needs. 


It is more important than ever that SMEs have a strong online presence in order to stand out amongst the saturated competition. Although the large selection of digital marketing options can be 

overwhelming, these tips should make this decision more manageable.

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Daniel Stoten

Daniel Stoten

Daniel Stoten is a co-founder and Executive Chairman of Localsearch.

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