Big cities attract businesses of all shapes and sizes. When you are in a business to business field, like digital marketing, it makes sense to be at the same place as your potential clients. This leads to big cities, like Philadelphia, having an overabundance of B2B businesses. If you google “Digital Marketing Agency in Philadelphia” you can see just how many exist. Those results include more companies and freelancers than anyone wants to count (I stopped at 50). So how do you know the right agency for you and your company?

ONE – A Cult of Personality

As a digital marketing agency in Philadelphia, I can tell you that the worst client relationships we have had were due to a mismatch of personality. No one ever wants to say it, but if you don’t like the people you are working with, you aren’t going to work with them long. This applies to vendors as well. No matter how good a digital agency is, if you value a traditional workplace you aren’t going to mesh well with the quirky agency that has pajama Friday’s. On the other end of the spectrum, if your office is a little looser, you may not want a digital agency that is 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. only and has rigid processes.

Instead, find a digital marketing agency you would like to have a meal with. The better you get along, the more out of their way a company will go to help you. We have seen the same account run by two different people have completely different results. This was because of the relationship between account manager and client. When they got along well, work went smoothly. When personalities clashed, it was a battle at every step.

TWO – Budget Requirements

There are plenty of big fish in the sea when it comes to digital marketing agencies in Philadelphia. Those big fish have good reputations, large teams, and a lot of buzz. They also have very large price tags and fixed pricing models. If you can afford it (and they don’t currently have a wait list), those big fish may be what you need. If you are a small business, however, you can usually get more personalized service at a smaller price point by going with a smaller agency. Often times, those smaller agencies are better able to accommodate smaller budgets. Going with a smaller agency may also come with giving up certain perks. If they are willing to be flexible with you on pricing, you need to be willing to be flexible with them.

THREE – Strong Suits

Is there something in the digital marketing mix that is especially important to your company? Do you have a strong social media community built or an expert level blog you are looking to have help with? Most digital marketing agencies in Philadelphia have something particular they excel at. Ask a digital agency about their expertise and their weaknesses. If an agency is any good, they will want you to have realistic expectations of their work. That way, they aren’t overpromising and under delivering. This will help you find the one that can help you where you need it most.

FOUR – Communication Style

This one is related to personality, but it still deserved its own point. Every person and every agency has their preferred way of communicating. I, personally, like an email to set up a time to get on the phone. It seems like a lot of steps, but it helps me stay productive. I know other people who prefer to just pick up the phone and others who want to do everything via email. Some larger companies will insist you use their communication and project management tools.  If you aren’t on the same page about how to send in a request, you aren’t going to be on the same page for anything else.

This can be a huge point of friction in a relationship between you and any agency. If you are particular about how you communicate, ask them if they are open to that style. If not, you will want to find a different company. Likewise, if they tell you they have a specific way they like to communicate, make sure it is something you can work with. No matter what the situation is though, once you agree on a channel or process, stick to it unless it is an emergency.

FIVE – What your peers think

Lastly, you want to look up reviews. If you know any of the people who have worked with a digital marketing agency in Philadelphia, go talk to them. Go past the references and dig deep. You are going to find unhappy people. Every agency has burned bridges behind them. Find out why. Dig into the reviews, ad talk to real people while you can. You may find that some of those burned bridges are just personality clashes. Some other companies who have all glowing reviews may be really good at hiding the bad ones.

Do you have any other suggestions you found useful in your hunt for a digital marketing agency? Let us know! You can reach out to us in the comment section below or hit us up on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram