As multicultural advertising is becoming increasingly popular, one of the questions that many clients raise is, how to choose a good agency. Ethnic marketing is still a developing field and obviously, some do it better than others. To help you make a good decision, here is a list of 6 basic questions that you should ask your agency before you hop on board.
- Is your agency staff culturally diverse?
This one seems so obvious that it is often overlooked. Experience in ethnic marketing doesn’t necessarily translate into competence, let alone excellence. A diverse agency staff allows quick and easy access to immediate cultural insights and understandings. Those allow to bridge gaps and construct viable, strong messages for specific ethnic groups.
- What is the success rates of your previous campaigns?
Marketing is an investment. It is crucial to understand how an agency’s course of action directly influences their clients’ ROI. There are three factors to take into account here. One is sales, which is obvious. Then there is awareness. How aware are consumers in a certain segment of the brand? Last are loyalty and engagement. Those are hardest to quantify but still measurable. Ask about those things and base your decision on the answer.
- How does the agency work with your marketing needs?
Some clients have their own formidable marketing capabilities, and only need them complemented with types of outreach they don’t have. Other clients may need a top to bottom restructuring approach to their entire cultural marketing plan. Make sure the agency you choose is adaptable and offers flexible plans based on client needs. The ability to tailor a strategy to complement and work with existing resources is very important. Ask to see other client portfolios or a proposal from their creative team.
- What is the work and communications process?
A good, reliable agency will have an established work process with weekly meetings, reports and follow ups. How are the ads planned, what materials are required from you to develop a strategy, who are the people in charge of a client’s account? Is it one person or a team? What are the deliverables and timetable? The creative work (advertising and ad creation) should never overshadow things like market research, marketing needs and other aspects without which adequate, sound planning is simply impossible. Make sure they understand your company’s needs and know how to approach different segments of customer populations, representing your brand properly to each of them.
- Is the agency’s culture in line with your own?
Category experience is important, but it should not be the sole deciding factor on which to base a good client-agency relationship. Mindsets and behaviours that company cultures promote tend to be different from one organization to another. If your company or brand are very conservative, it may not be good to choose an agency that practices radical, risky marketing methods, unless you wish to go into a full rebranding.
- How does the agency work with the account?
This mainly has to do with deliverables and feedback, which may have been mentioned above, but could use some elaboration. The agency-client relationship and communication are crucial to the success of their mutual efforts. It won’t do to have your account passed from one person to another. If everybody is handling it, then nobody is. Make sure you have a person on the other side of the line for your questions and concerns, always ready to produce reports and numbers on request.
Good luck in your search!
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