In our past few blogs, we talked about how to approach discussing business goals and KPIs with a potential marketing agency. If you haven’t already, give them a read to get yourself up to speed.

Once those first few questions have been laid out on the table, then comes the next step: determining the ways an agency will methodically go about meeting your goals and KPIs. 

That’s when it becomes a question of marketing solutions vs. services. A lot of companies, when they first start looking for an agency, are thinking about services. This approach actually limits growth. An agency that offers services is not going to be a strategic partner that comes in with a playbook of what needs to be done. 

The concept of services revolves around the scenario where a marketing director already has a game plan and just needs someone to come in and execute. They’re not necessarily looking for or in need of an agency that’s going to share your company’s vision and speak it into existence by really moving the needle. 

At DSM, we’re personally about sharing your vision, speaking it into existence and moving that needle. This approach, which is what we like to implement as a 360-degree approach to marketing, is based on providing marketing solutions rather than services in separate silos. When someone comes in and says, “We need to increase sales” or “We have a solid sales mechanism in place but we just need to fill our funnel,” that’s when an agency can help you with legitimate marketing solutions. This allows the two parties to sit down together and collaborate on what the strategy is going to be and how you are going to hit your benchmarks. Isn’t that the point? 

If you’re considering looking for an agency based on services, that means you already have your game plan and strategy, but you just don’t have the hands-on-deck in house to do it so you need to subcontract out the legwork. If that’s the case and that’s all you need, then, hey, that’s totally fine. There are absolutely agencies out there who do that. However, if you’re looking for someone to really help you reach your goals, provide marketing solutions and strategic advice, that’s when you look for an agency that can be a true partner to you. Our philosophy falls under the latter category. 

To get an even more in-depth understanding of what to ask and look for when hiring a marketing agency, our free guide is your ultimate toolbox for tips, tricks and the  “8 Questions Marketing Directors Should Ask When Interviewing Agencies.”