Choosing a good marketing consultant is a tricky task. There is so much that goes into creating the right marketing strategy, one that can actually deliver the results you are looking for.

Just think about it. At a high level, marketing includes positioning, user journeys, strategies, brand message, channel distribution, SEO, SEM, analytics and more. That’s a lot of factors that need to work well, in tandem, to deliver the results you’re looking for.

In this article, we will cover five tips to help you find the best Chicago marketing companies that can position your marketing initiatives for success. A strategic marketing consultant must know how to solve your biggest marketing challenges by looking at what you’ve done so far and by helping you define medium and long-term objectives for your marketing campaigns that are measurable and in line with your company’s vision.

Here’s what you should look for in your next Chicago digital marketing agency partner.

Get an agency that really knows digital strategy

If you need a strategic consultant, then you need someone who can craft the vision of your marketing campaign. In a world in which there are hundreds of marketing activities you can deploy as part of a campaign, you need someone who can actually help you pick and choose, and who can and will choose the right things to do at the right time. When you start talking to strategic marketing consultants, ask them a simple question: how are you different from everyone else? Why would your strategies result in better outcomes than what everyone on the market is already doing today? Look for someone who can set the marketing goals for your campaign and who can help you achieve those goals. But most importantly, look for visionaries, look for those who really think outside of the box and who can see the big picture for your marketing efforts.

Work with agencies who are expert planners

When talking to great marketing consultants, they will always mention the need to plan out your marketing campaigns in a sustainable fashion. The reality is that unless all you do is programmatic ads, every other marketing initiative will take significant time and effort to execute correctly. Too many marketing agencies are made of creative people who simply know how to execute various marketing tactics. But great marketing companies act like machines who can stay the course and execute smartly against a set of clear objectives. To that end, the best marketing companies are the ones who are great at planning out a specific marketing tasks against a specific goal. These companies can define intermediate milestones, clear objectives, dates and resources assigned to a campaign and more.

For example, if you’re in the healthcare business, make sure you choose an agency that stays on top of the latest healthcare trends like artificial intelligence, big data or telemedicine. Each healthcare marketing campaign is different and may pose separate challenges. And, more importantly, different campaigns require different types of planning activities. In short, proper planning can literally make or break your marketing campaign. So you need to make sure to choose an agency that can ace the delivery of marketing implementation project plan.

Work with agencies that know how to set clear objectives for your campaign

When you work in marketing, there are hundreds of things you can do to position your company for success. I mean it – literally hundreds of strategies you can deploy. Great marketing agencies will temper your enthusiasm and help you focus your efforts on the activities that are most likely to generate the results you’re looking for. But in order for any agency to deliver on its promise, there’s one thing you as the business owner must do. You must set clear objectives for your campaigns. An agency partner will fail if you don’t help them define clear objectives. So make sure you start your relationship on the right foot by having clear, measurable and realistic objectives for your next campaign. Your success depends on that.

Get the most creative digital agency you can find

We work in a saturated market. A market where millions of companies compete over customers’ attention. All, at the same time. So when you choose your next marketing partner – make sure it’s a great one. Make sure they’re able to think outside of the box and define ideas, angles and approaches that are both unique and in line with customers’ expectations in 2018. Creativity is one of the most important factors that set companies for success. So get a Chicago creative agency that’s not afraid to innovate. Get an agency that’s not afraid to experiment with new ideas. Put your trust in a Chicago marketing company who offers you a solution that is not the one you would have thought of, one that defies the norms. Only that way you’ll be able to stand out of the crowd.

Get a marketing consultant who is transparent

Amazing strategic marketing consultants always want their clients to understand, share and even learn what they have done. They have no secrets and teach others why they do certain things, what they do with a budget and why their approach is better than others. The simple reality is that great marketers are not afraid of being imitated. So if you come across a Chicago marketing agency that is secretive and lacks transparency – run away. They’re not a strategic partner and are likely afraid of failure if they share their secrets with you.