Our brand strategist, Brooke, explains what the questions most digital agencies won’t ask, and why!

If you’ve ever sat in an introductory meeting with a digital marketing agency, you’ll know that you can get a good sense of what they’re like from the questions they ask. Or more importantly, the questions they don’t ask. 

Some agencies focus on doing all the talking – purely telling you about themselves and seeing it as an opportunity to pitch. They fail to ask many questions at all – leaving you feeling talked at and frustrated. 

Others ask lots of questions – but they feel quite shallow. How many visitors do you get to your site? What social platforms are you on? How many followers do you want? Questions that may well be relevant, but lack context when asked on their own. 

A rare breed asks insightful questions. That show they’re interested. That show they’ll be a good partner. That show they get it. 

Here are the three questions you want to be asked by a digital marketing agency in that all-important first meeting – and why not all agencies ask them:


  1. Please can you tell me a bit about your business?

An open-ended one – the agency should be looking to hear you talk about your business in your own words. They’ll be listening out for the history, the successes and the pain points. They’ll probe on certain points further to guarantee their understanding. And they’ll give you a sense that they’ve done a bit of homework themselves. 

All too often, digital agencies dive into digital first. They think that this makes them look expert in their field, and shows that they’re focussed on all things digital. Which is all well and good. But, if they don’t ask about your business, are they really going to develop a digital solution that’s bespoke to you and your offering? As a Surrey marketing agency, we believe that having a full and clear understanding of your business is critical to ensuring the digital plan will work for your specific business. 


  1. What are your business targets? 

Down to the nitty gritty – what do you need to achieve? This year. Next year. Over the next five years. Whatever the time frame, you want your digital agency to be asking you about the numbers. From here, it should get more detailed – what’s your margin, what’s your average sales value, how many sales do you need to hit that target, what’s your conversion rate etc? The questions will be tailored to your business, but they should show that the agency wants to understand your numbers. 

And why might an agency not ask these questions? Some just don’t see the relevance – they don’t get the connection between what they’re doing and your business performance. And others? Well they might understand the connection – but if they don’t ask, they can’t be held accountable…


  1. Do you know how you differ to other brands out there?

The million-dollar question. Whether you call it your USP, your Unique Selling Point, your point of difference, or one of the hundred other terms out there, this question is whether you know what to say in your marketing to stand out. It doesn’t assume the answer will be yes. But it raises the question. 

When this question doesn’t get asked, more-often-than-not it’s because the agency assumes you know the answer; they’ll ask you later down the line when they’re writing the site copy or the Facebook ads. But the issue is that you may well not be 100% sure about what makes you unique – and so by not asking early enough, there isn’t a chance to fill this knowledge gap. There isn’t a chance to do some work upfront to identify that key message. And you’re left with another bland website and set of ads that don’t stand out from your competitors, just like the ones you got from your last digital agency.


Other questions agencies should be asking you

Beyond these three questions, there are lots of other questions we ask prospective clients here at our Surrey marketing agency, Thunderbolt. From who currently buys your brand and who do you want to buy it, to what marketing has worked for you in the past. And we obviously get into the detail of your digital channels as well. But the key for us is that everything we do in digital marketing is in the context of that bigger picture, so we can be a good long-term partner to you and your business. 

So next time you’re looking for a new digital agency, look out for these three questions in your initial meetings. If you don’t spot any of them, give us a call at Thunderbolt. 

We promise to ask the right questions. And to develop the right solutions.  


Contact Us – Surrey Marketing Agency

We are an award-winning Surrey marketing agency that won’t spend your digital marketing budget without fully understanding your business and goals first. Contact us today by calling 01252413757 or send us an email to howdy@wearethunderbolt.com – we look forward to hearing from you.