5 Questions to Answer when Interviewing Experiential Agencies
January 26, 2017
Collaborating with an agency is a smart way to save precious time and marketing dollars. You already know you need to focus more effort on experiential campaigns, but you have no idea where to start, or how to show measurable return. Experienced agencies can offer tons of advice and expertise that you need, but how do you know which one to pick?
What is their Value Proposition?
Most agencies operate under the same organizational structure and provide similar offerings. So, the most important element to notice when interviewing potential agencies is how the agency would handle your projects. How would they approach your unique activation, meet your individual needs, and address your common obstacles? Take notes about what makes each agency different from the others. Which makes you feel most confident and comfortable? If things feel fishy during the interview, don’t ignore your instincts. They’ll be important moving forward.
Who is your Point of Contact?
It can be flattering when an agency’s president or CEO wants to meet with you. But before you’re dazzled by fool’s gold remember, the CEO is not managing your account. It’s much more important to meet the person that will be handling your day-to-day interactions. This person will be working closely with you for months, possibly years. Don’t underestimate how amazing or awful they can make your life.
How do they answer your questions?
When you ask questions, listen carefully to how they answer. Did they answer you completely, or does it sound like a cut-and-paste response? This is a big red flag that they aren’t listening to you. Alternatively, consider it a good sign if your complex question is met with, “I don’t know. Can I ask around and get back with you?” There’s no reason they should know everything about your industry and your business right away. So, this kind of honesty and transparency is a huge plus when working with agencies.
How do they treat each other?
Chances are, more than one agency member will meet with you to discuss your activation or tour. It’s reassuring if they disagree (respectfully) when responding to your questions. Complex issues can be approached in a million different ways. Knowing that they have conflicting views, and perspectives means their solutions are probably just as diverse. In the creative industry, that’s a very good thing.
That said, there are some warning signs. If one person seems scared to speak up or you can sense the room literally (or figuratively) rolling their eyes when one person talks, beware.
What did they do next?
You’ve finished the interview, and naturally they’ve promised to follow-up with relevant materials. Is the email with the promised collateral and notes waiting for you when you get back to the office? Did it take them a week to get back? Did you have to remind them? Twice? Though the sales rep. may have different work habits or priorities than your POC, their follow-up strategy can give you some insight into how the agency will handle your projects.
Using the answers to these questions will make the agency selection process so much easier! When you move forward with your agency partner, you’ll know what to expect, who to expect it from, and how it will affect your activations. We work with some of the best agencies in the business! So, if you have any questions about how to make the most of your experiential marketing plan, fill out our contact form. We’ll be happy to help you determine what your next steps should be!