If you are a CMO or executive at a DC-area organization seeking to hire a digital marketing firm, do you Google search for “Top DC digital marketing firms” or “Top digital marketing firms?” Maybe you don’t use a search engine at all, but that’s a conversation for another day.

The point is that for many organizations, there is significant perceived value in having a marketing agency that is “local” – whether it’s a b2b marketing agency, b2g marketing agency or b2c marketing agency. The true value of engaging with the best “local” marketing firm as opposed to just the best marketing firm period is a more nuanced consideration that depends on the specific needs of your organization. To help with that decision, I’ve assembled five key questions to ask yourself before deciding if your marketing partner should be local:

How much value do you place on face time?

CMOs must be honest with themselves upfront about how important it is to have your marketing agency team available for in-person meetings. This should be a factor in the pre-hire evaluation phase – how big a factor is up to the CMO. It can be practically and economically unreasonable to expect a non-local marketing agency to show up on short notice, but it is also true that getting together in-person can foster improved team chemistry and allow for easier oversight.

How specialized are your marketing requirements?

As is the case with any product or service, the laws of supply and demand apply. If your organization is based in Cleveland, there will certainly be sufficient marketing agencies to choose from. But how niche is your product/service or vertical market you serve? Perhaps you need an agency with experience marketing consumer-facing ride-sharing startups, or software for the healthcare industry. All of the sudden, the list of credible b2b marketing agencies or b2c marketing agencies with this type of experience in Cleveland shrinks. It is a tradeoff for CMOs, and based on your specialized your needs are, a non-local marketing agency may be necessary to provide the expertise your organization requires.

Does your marketing agency need knowledge of the local market?

Your local market, for various reasons, may be critical to initial or long-term growth. One of the reasons that leading technology brands turn to Bluetext for b2g marketing and b2g public relations is that we’ve developed unique expertise understanding what makes this market tic and the messages required to reach and influence decision makers.

That’s just one example though; it could be that your local market is a critical early engine for customer growth, or that you need an agency that has strong relationships with local broadcast, print and online media. Even the most skilled national marketing and pr agencies will require time to ramp up in better understanding some local markets.

Do you have the right technology to manage virtual teams?

If you already work with other vendors that are virtual, then you may have the necessary technologies, tools and processes in place to effectively communicate and mange a virtual marketing agency. These tools range from conferencing and collaboration to messaging, presence, video and project management, and it is important to lock in on a set of tools that can be used across all vendors – rather than continuing to add a patchwork of standalone apps that end up complicating rather than aiding vendor communication.

There is evidence that technology vendors recognize the need for more integration. Our own client BroadSoft delivers truly integrated business communications in response to the avalanche of apps and tools that marketing departments can now choose from.

Consider these factors when deciding if a local digital marketing and public relations agency is the best move for your organization. And to learn more about Bluetext, click here:

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