When a business interviews a new marketing agency, it should never be an interrogation. The goal is long-term here. No one wants the first step in a mutually beneficial relationship to be an attitudinal stumble.

But the questions that beg still need to be penetrating and comprehensive. There’s a lot at stake here. Current budget and future revenue, for starters.

Well-crafted questions will augur the delicate balance while covering the bases. Just give the process the time and respect it deserves. There are no formulas here, just smart queries.

The payoff is measured in hard currency.

As the interview unfolds, remember:

  • Understanding needs to be front row and center for negotiation to reach true teaming alliance. 
  • Be sure to reciprocate on each query with genuine transparency.

Failing to do either simply slows the speed of trust.

Understanding the Agency and Its People

  1. Describe your corporate values. How do they live themselves out? (Alignment)
  2. What is the largest project you’ve tackled so far? What were the results? What’s the smallest project you’re willing to work with? (Scope)
  3. Tell us another of your more successful campaigns. Why do you think it worked? Where do you see similar results? Does our project fall into that pattern? (Confidence)
  4. Tell us about one of your less inspiring campaigns. What did you learn from it? (Genuineness)
  5. What kind of projects will you say no to? Which ones do you fully embrace? What are you particularly exceptional at? (Specialization)
  6. Do you have any clients that also work with us in some way? Are you comfortable with our asking them what their experience with you was? If not, why not? (References)

Understanding the Project and Its Direction

  1. Give us a feel for how you would approach our project. Is there more than one way to tackle this? (Competence)
  2. Which of all your strategies would have the most impact? (Pareto Principle)
  3. When can you start? How long would the rollout be? At what points along the way will you give us status reports? (Timing)
  4. What will your metrics be? What ROI do you anticipate for us? We were actually expecting this kind of ROI. Why are our expectations unrealistic? (Accountability)

Understanding How to Move Forward Together

  1. What aspects of this project do you need our cooperation on? Is there something we can do to save costs? (Collaboration)
  2. What activities do you do for corporate team-building? What event could we plan for our teams to get to know each other? (Likeability)
  3. What does your contract process look like? Is there a guarantee that comes with your work? Could we include this opt-out clause and still be fair to you? How can we make you comfortable with the payment process? (Trust)

End well with that last question, and you’ve got an energized marketing team, ready to serve with sparkling motivation.


We know that finding the best agency for your marketing project can be difficult. Hundreds of agencies. Dozens of disciplines. Good versus great. The considerations are many. Rnked can help. Our broker team intelligently matches growing businesses and marketing agencies. We give you choice, freedom, and zero obligation in the process. Using smart data and years of experience, we take an important marketing decision -- and simply make it less difficult. You're still at the helm, but we're here, aiding along the way. And we do it without cost to you.

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Manfred Koehler

Manfred Koehler is Rnked Marketing Broker's Chief Content Creator. As a speaker, writer, and photographer, he is an addicted creative. Stick-ability is his favorite word. And Rnked is Manfred's favorite place to work.