How to Select a Construction Marketing Agency

Want to get more leads? Consider a marketing agency.

They sure seem confident.
Marketing team making their pitch. Westend61 / Getty Images

One of the most important decisions you can make for your construction business is selecting a marketing agency that is capable of managing and implementing your projects competently and efficiently. You need to work with an agency that is capable of helping you be successful and can demonstrate measurable results.

It doesn't seem like it would be that difficult, considering that is why these businesses exist, but it can be.

There are some great agencies out there, but some aren't so great. How can you tell the difference before you find yourself in a contract situation with an agency that isn't a good fit for your business?

Entering into a contract with the wrong agency partner can not only end badly, but also be a costly and embarrassing mistake. Let's have a look at some of the things that make a marketing agency weak and then some of the things that make it a good ally for your construction business.

Signs of a Poor Marketing Agency

Many sub-par marketing agencies put up some obvious red flags. Here are a few things to observe, and if you see any of them, move along:

  • They cannot demonstrate good results in sales or marketing (or back up their claims with numbers).
  • They impose excessive fees and constantly dispute terms.
  • They are out of touch with SEO, social networking, blogging, and other forms of popular media.
  • They were hired by a previous manager and can't figure out how to work with the new boss.

Signs of a Good Marketing Agency

Conversely, there are those signs that aren't red flags, but rather ringing endorsements for an agency. Among them:

  • They are specialists in the construction field.
  • They constantly brainstorm and share new ideas.
  • Their actions prove that they want to be your partner.
  • They can demonstrate positive results.
  • They work well with management no matter who is in charge or how procedures may shift over time.

Like with anything else related to your business, due diligence is a major help in preventing disaster when working with a marketing agency. There are several reliable avenues to finding the perfect fit.

The first and most important is through referrals and networking. Just searching online will put you in touch with a lot of companies, but you need to pay attention to their reviews. If it's in your budget, you can even hire an agency search firm to do the grunt work for you. The selection process works best when you approach it in three stages.

Stage One: Establish the Terms of Your Selection

Assess a realistic budget for marketing services. Decide if you want an agency that deals strictly with construction or if one with only category expertise in that area is sufficient. Determine what marketing skills are most important. Finally, consider the geography contingency. You want an agency that is close by if you intend to have a number of onsite meetings.

Stage Two: Identify Possible Matches

Depending on the scope and scale of your marketing efforts, it is best to narrow the search to between five and 10 agencies and give each a thorough review.

Once you have it narrowed down further – let's say to three or four solid candidates – it's time to make contact and set up some interviews. At this stage, Skype or phone will work just fine. Follow up your interviews with onsite visits and be sure that the people who show up are the ones who will be working with you.

If yours is a larger organization, you might also want to recruit a committee to evaluate the candidates and get some extra feedback.

Stage Three: Hire an Agency

At this point, you (and your selection committee, is applicable) should sit down and decide which agency gets the job. If you select representatives you know to be team players and not dominant or controlling, it should be easy to come to an agreement about who to hire.

The above will provide you with a good basic formula around which to build your selection process.

Have more questions about how to improve your construction business? There’re plenty of other resources that can help you manage every aspect of your business, including construction management software (many of which even have marketing functionality built-in).