With experiential marketing on the rise, NOW is the time to consider adding a staff agency to power and enhance your team (if you haven’t done so already). The purpose of experiential marketing is to connect with consumers through live interaction to hand deliver brand messaging and potentially obtain new leads. More importantly, it provides individuals with a better understanding of a product or service by engaging each of their senses with intentions of influencing their purchasing decisions. Combining face-to-face interactions with branding to your marketing strategies can do wonders and develop a strong ROI.
Whether you are looking to hire a staff agency, or are merely re-evaluating the one you’re currently partnering with, it’s important to know your options and choose wisely. There are many things to consider before you sign the dotted line and below is a list that should never be overlooked.
1) Retention Rate: how long has the staff agency been working with their clients? Comparatively, it’s a lot easier to secure a new client than it is to maintain and keep them. If the staff agency has been working with a number of clients for several years that is a testament to the quality of their work.
2) Financials: any staff agency worth working with will share their financials and how your contract could impact their bottom line. Preferably, no one client should make up more than 15% of their net income.
3) Return on Investment: can the staff agency demonstrate your ROI? This is at the heart of ALL good experiential marketing campaigns. You do not need an agency that claims its own figures. It should also be able to use independent research to demonstrate the returns of a campaign – which you may also need to contribute to, since you have access to sales results that they may not have.
4) Reporting: the staff agency should be vigilant and timely in their reporting. The agency shouldn’t be “cooking” their figures as this is the same as lying. They should aim to be as accurate as possible in the figures they are presenting. Make sure you question any numbers they give you. Keep in mind that they may need to work with their clients for accurate information (e.g. final sales) since a 3rd party simply wouldn’t have access to this on their own.
5) Transparent Agency Fee: there is nothing worse than a company that quotes one figure and then tries to bill you for another. Of course, there could be added costs if the clients adds or changes the deliverables of the project BUT only in this case. Find a staff agency that is up front about costs and won’t slip in hidden fees afterwards.
6) Talent Base: an excellent way to gauge a staff agency is by how well they treat their own people. This can be measured by their staff retention. If they have high turnover, this could be a warning sign. Their personnel should be happy, well trained and motivated.
7) Reputation: what do other companies and colleagues have to say about them? This is not all about awards and recognition. Agencies that are too showy with their accolades are often trying to over compensate for areas they are lacking. It is good however to have an agency that quietly acknowledges their achievements and is recognized by other affiliated agencies as a quality industry partner.
8) Consultants: you don’t want a staff agency that will say yes to everything you say. Rather, you need an agency willing to challenge your thoughts and pre-conceptions. You want experts that will come up with concepts that will drive your business FORWARD.
9) Pricing/Rates: Keep in mind that the rates should only be a portion of your assessment. A low rate may be great for your budget but means nothing if your account manager is not available or your talent is sub-par. Also, keep in mind that rates vary depending on the event type and location. Events in smaller towns which require travel from a major market or larger programs where several staff are needed for an extended period of time may be priced differently than a one-day, one-person event
10) Personality: like any other relationship, you have to like the people you are working with. It’s no good trying to work with an agency that doesn’t inspire you, are difficult to get along with or get a hold of. The foundation of all good business relationships is personality so find one that meshes with yours.
To inquire about Tigris for experiential marketing, events and more, call us at 416-283-9119 for a free no-obligation quote. Services from our staff agency are available all across Canada including top locations Calgary, AB | Toronto, ON | Vancouver, BC.