The big question today is how to know what agency to hire and on what basis an agency must be graded. Whether you are looking for Website Design, Logo Design, Branding Services, SEO, AdWords, Social Media Marketing or Video Production, you must do research about the companies before hiring them to do your project.
Our analysis is based on the digital agencies in Toronto, Mississauga and the GTA who have been providing services for years vs the new startups. This article will give you an in-depth understanding about how to grade a digital marketing agency in your area no matter what city you belong to and will help you determine if that marketing company is good fit for your project.
The first thing that is the most important aspect of grading an agency is the credibility that a number of digital agencies claims to showcase on their website and portfolio. You will notice that many web design companies claims to be associated with big brands such as Tim Hortons, Walmart, or even Canadian Tire. Well the truth to be told is that most of these giant corporations have their own internal marketing team and they do not outsource work to third parties. So, most of these claims of association with big brands can be a hoax!! You need to check for referrals and ask them about how they came to that particular association.
On another note, some websites claims that they have successfully completed “X” number of projects. When talking to such agencies please ask for their work portfolio and see if what they claim is true. Most of the companies that showcases false claims and associations to big brands actually showcase fake templates and projects on their websites where a number of their claimed projects is not their work. You should also ask for referrals so that you can talk to their customers and get an idea about how professional the company is at producing results. Any company under 100 projects in total is graded as 1/10 so companies over 1000 projects are 10/10.
Before grading a digital agency, you need to grade yourself on a scale of 1 to 10.
- Are you a business owner who will hire a friends son from a college with no marketing experience to do the work?
- Will you be willing to hire a web guy who has done couple of projects and still not at par with the latest trends?
- Will you hire a novice just because the pricing they give you is cheap?
Guess what? your score for being a non responsible business owner is 0/10. You are planning your business to fail. If you are serious about your project and business, you will always bring in professional experts to help you. Just by looking at a company’s website and work portfolio you can determine if this digital agency knows what they are doing or not. Further referrals can enormously help in determining the quality and performance.
A 360 degrees marketing agency will know way more about sales and marketing than a web guy. Your idea of building a website is to promote your business and get sales and for that you require a strategy. Web design is a very small part of marketing and working with a web guy will give you only a website and nothing on the marketing front. Think before you hire!
Do you get spammed everyday by digital companies that say: we can fix your website… we can get you higher ranking on Google? Well, most of the spam emails come from web guys and agencies overseas who are looking to either scare you by saying something is very wrong with your marketing or simply get hold of you and then sell their services. In both case, they will end up robbing you. We have seen hundreds of cases where people hired companies overseas to do their projects and the projects were never completed. In some scenarios, the agency overseas hacked the domain and hosting. The bad news is, if your domain, site and hosting is hacked by guys overseas, you can’t really do anything. The best suggestion here is to hire someone locally whom you can sit down and talk face to face.
In addition, there are companies locally who outsource their projects to companies overseas or to a marketing wholesalers like us (VOOFA) to do their projects. These are more like a digital marketing agents who showcase their websites like a marketing firm but are not really a company that would do the work themselves. They will hire people in Brazil, Mexico, China, India and countries in Europe to get the job done. They literally make huge commission on these projects. The labour is cheap in these countries and that is the reason why outsourcing has trended for years but now after seeing so many problems with hacking, poor design, lagging timeframe, non responsive behaviour of the customer service, people are back to hire locals to do their marketing.
A company that is building websites locally has an edge over the companies outsourcing work overseas. Even though it becomes a bit expensive but you get quality services. Local marketing companies know your marketing trends and it helps in your business marketing. Therefore, always check if the person you are dealing with is not an agent from companies overseas. The catch is to ask them about their offices and you many notice the guy telling you about their office in one of those given countries. Which means he/she is an agent.
Any locally established company that build website and advertising campaigns inhouse will be expensive but like mentioned above, the quality of work will be off the roof. In order to determine the cost for your project you may need to do some research. There are companies offering services for way lower price than standard prices and you know it why? they outsource. Whereas, there are companies that may charge you a catastrophic high end fee for marketing and the reason is the high maintenance office space, equipment, employees, their vacations, health benefits and other expenses they have to carry. So, who is gonna pay for all that? — YOU! and for sure you don’t want to pay for all their drama.
At VOOFA we have standardized the rates for online marketing services. We are the first company in North America that put standards to the pricing for web development, seo, paid ads, branding and more. We are a virtual network service where our team is based in North America and you DO NOT have to pay for our overheads — YAY! you pay only for the services. The rates are as low as that to even match with the companies overseas giving us an edge over the local companies and the agencies overseas. We have designed a great tool for you to calculate your pricing: