Questions a Marketing Agency Should Ask You

Questions a Marketing Agency Should Ask You: What Are Your Goals?

While the perfunctory query “What are your goals” is part of any initial agency/prospect meeting (and, honestly, every job interview), it’s what happens next where better insights are born.

This simple, four-word question can — and should — take you and your prospective agency partner down many paths via a range of follow-ups that will open the conversation to not only understand your present situation but also your outlook on what you want to accomplish.

Initial responses are telling about how just how deep thought about the question goes.

For example, a financial services client responded with “find more people with a million dollars to invest”. That was a 30-thousand-foot view in our estimation that required more conversation about “the right prospect”.

Compare that with event industry company that responded with “by targeting medium to large corporate clients to grow gross revenue by 10 percent”. We call that tight and specific.

But as we said, that’s just the beginning. Here are some examples of the kinds of questions that will come next to give context about how to reach those goals and what could be standing in the way:

  • What are your short and long-term goals as a business?
  • Where do you expect your company to be in terms of customers, sales, revenue, and profit five years from today?
  • Are there changes you anticipate making now and over the next five years?
  • What are the current trends occurring and impacting your industry and the marketplace(s) you serve?
  • What obstacles are you facing? What is your current thinking about how to overcome them?
  • Who are your biggest competitors and best alternatives?
  • What service offerings or abilities do you believe differentiate you from all others?
  • Do you have a current business plan we can review?

Yes, you likely recognized a general SWOT analysis with these queries. This is intentional, as you’ll want to give the agency an honest account about the state of the business.

Be willing to share what you’re looking to change. Or disclose why you might be looking to keep on the current path in a different way.

Of course, far more granularity and other directions of inquiry will begin coloring in the initial line drawing that began your conversation.

So, why do we ask? Understanding client goals are vital when it comes to creating campaigns customized to a client’s distinctive goals. The resulting program and services rendered should be tailored to you.

Getting the agency properly dialed in to the state of the business, understanding expectations, and establishing milestones delivers an optimized campaign that tracks the right data to deliver the expected outcomes.

Asking goal-related also gives your prospective marketing partner insight if there are potential gaps in understanding. We call this establishing a definition of terms.

Since marketing is a very broad field, it’s likely you are looking for help with something more specific under that umbrella. While you might be looking for help with public relations, for example, the agency should probe a bit deeper to help clarify, asking about specific aspects of public relations, such as content marketing, social media, strategic communications, email marketing, social media advertising, media relations, crisis communications, and so on. This helps simplify the process and can greatly reduce any misunderstandings in expectations.

Asking about goals ultimately enables your prospective marketing partner to understand what you’re looking to achieve (or problem to solve) so they can help you determine what the business needs to do reach its goals, and where to prioritize attention and resources. It’s the runway that allows an exceptional marketing program to take flight.