Benjamin Franklin

How not to make regrettable mistakes when hiring ad agency for your start-up?

How not to make regrettable mistakes when hiring ad agency for your start-up?

How not to make regrettable mistakes when hiring ad agency for your start-up?

Startups have limited resources – both money and human. With renewed emphasis on sustainable growth and unit economics, it becomes all the more imperative for start-ups to make a considered choice of agency to ensure optimized resource deployment.  We have curated a list of five mistakes to watch out for when hiring an agency for your startup

 1. Specialist agencies for different requirement

Large established business with clearly defined structures and roles with specific people doing specific roles can afford to have different agencies for different mandates.  However, in a start-up scenario, where roles are not clearly defined, and resources are a constraint, choosing a full-service agency – Research, Creative, Digital, PR, BTL can help ensure higher bang for the buck through an integrated approach while saving you valuable resource time on multiple briefing and on-boarding sessions.

2. Consulting vs execution

Startups tend to divide their objectives in terms of execution focused agencies vs conceptualizing agencies. However, a good concept without proper execution or good execution without significant investment in developing insights-based concepts and communication ideas don’t deliver the delta that start-ups are looking for. Hence, it is imperative that Startup look at holistic solutions and judge the agency on their ability to understand and deduct their business concept and TG and their ability to carry it through in terms of targeting, channel selection, creative and execution.

3. Business understanding

Another aspect to look out for while selecting an agency is their ability to understand business. Not all good sounding ideas are good for your business. Hence, have your antennas up and running when evaluating an agency pitch for business understanding.  Believe me, lots of money has been burnt on fancy ideas that did not deliver.

4. Partnership vs retainership  

Limited resource and marketing know how in house is what necessitates a startup to recruit an agency. Unlike established businesses, there are no documented best practices or years of learning experience in house to guide a startup in its marketing effort. Therefore, it is important for a startup to hire an agency which is willing to put its money where their mouth is. The need for an agency to be equally passionate and invested in your business can not be over emphasized.  Look for people who want to prove themselves by making your business a success.

5. Balance between experience and talent 

Another common mistake that start-ups make while hiring an agency is to put a lot of premium on pure play talent – especially creative. What startups forget is that a creative idea without any sync with business and TG will more often than not fail to deliver on your consumer acquisition and revenue targets even if they end up creating some buzz. So, consciously look for an agency which has a balance of whacky talent and ground level experience.

6. Hiring agencies who just supplement and not complement your understanding

The marketing world is going through an interesting phase with digital penetration. Every day is a new marketing channel, ad form, targeting options, strategic tie-up opportunities get birth. If your agency is talking only Facebook and Twitter just because you are asking for the same, they are doing you a great disservice. A good agency is one which will invest in educating you and your team about new possibilities, analyze each opportunity fairly and then mutually decide on the right channel mix.

So, if you want to reduce costs, first step would be to start learning at others cost.  Avoid these 6 costly mistakes that others have made.

 Happy hiring. May the best agency win !


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