What Questions to ask When Hiring an Ad Agency


Working with the right Ad Agency can be a delightful experience, if you know the right questions to ask, but all too many times customers make their choices based on the wrong types of criteria. Here are five questions to ask your next Ad Agency before you hire them.


Is the work they will be performing a fixed bid? Creativity can get out of hand fast, and if you’re not careful you could be over budget quickly. Make sure to ask what is included in a quote – and more importantly – what isn’t. Consulting hours, production time, image purchasing and even those long, drawn out concept meetings can quickly add up.


Are they outsourcing any of the work or doing it all in-house? Many times agencies will outsource some of the work to free-lancers and consultants.  This is not a bad thing, but it’s important to know who the talent is that will be creating your work, and the experience they have. Ask to meet with all the resources that will be working on your project, so you can familiarize yourself with their capabilities.  


Ask to speak to three of their current and/or past customers. This is nothing new, but many folks overlook this step. Don’t turn this into an exercise to uncover dirt, but instead ask their customers what things they really liked about the agency, what was lacking, and what type of responses they got from their customers on the work they performed.


Does their website accurately reflect their capabilities?  Don’t take their website at face value. Websites are marketing tools, and companies always put their best foot forward when creating their content. Don’t be fooled by the flashy look of a website and which examples of past work they choose to show. Ask to see 5-7 other examples of work, perhaps five relevant to your needs and two others for perspective.


Will the agency provide insight to you and your organization on tips and trends in the world of advertising and creative design – or will they be a closed door, creating your content in a vacuum? Agencies spend a lot time in R&D, and have significant knowledge about data, design and networks and can provide you with valuable consultation advice you can learn from.