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It’s a smart move to hire an ad agency for big budget projects. After all, they are experts in their field, they have the most up-to-date research, and they even get better media prices, leveraging the quantity of their placements and their industry reputation.

But working with an ad agency is so much more than signing a contract. Companies that don’t ask their agency the right questions could be risking serious ROI, and could find themselves frustrated at the end of their high-cost ad cycle.

You’ll get an edge in advertising by asking the following of your agency:

1. What are your areas of expertise? Find out if your agency’s edge is in local marketing, or if their strength comes from being part of a national network. Ask if they have a history in your industry and if so, do they also represent your competitors? Be sure that your goals align with their experience, and that their loyalty aligns with you.

2. How will you help me constantly improve during our contract? It’s not enough to just start an advertising plan and run the course. Make sure you know how your agency will continuously evaluate your placements and help you tweak your messaging to get the most bang for your buck. We’re talking A/B testing, social media targeting adjustments, and more.

3. What additional checks can help make sure we’re getting our money’s worth? If you’re advertising to get new customers in the door, but customers aren’t sold on their experience once they get there, you are wasting valuable dollars. However, if your advertising agency employs the safeguard of a mystery shopping company, you’ll be able to find out if your internal practices are resonating with customers. This strategy will help sell to and retain the customers you’re initially reaching via ads.

Is your team using an ad agency? Share this post with your colleagues, and start getting a better return on your dollars.