Agency Shopping? Don’t Start Without These
5 Helpful Tips.


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As you start making plans for the new year and your goals for reaching new customers, creating new digital experiences or expanding your services and/or products, it may be time to bring in a marketing agency for outside expertise. In 2024, here’s what you should be thinking about as you explore potential partners and marketing companies for hire.

Recommendations for Clients Who Are Agency “Shopping”

Over the last 25 years, J.O. Agency has helped steward the culture and business of our hometown, Fort Worth, Texas. We’re proud to be a part of the agency world in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex. From years of working with new and repeat clients, we’ve learned some best tips and tricks of the process. Here’s what we recommend as you search for an agency.

A business that is ready for agency shopping needs to go beyond web searches and talk to teams in person.

Have a clear idea of what you want to accomplish.

To be successful, any marketing agency is going to want specific goals to accomplish. Whether it’s a new website, more business leads, the roll out of a new service or a larger audience on social media, you need to know what you want so you can find the right company to deliver it.

Talk with friends in your industry for marketing agency contacts.

If you’re unsure of where to start looking for agencies, before you google, ask friends in your industry who they have worked with in the past. If someone has had a positive experience, it’s likely they’ll be more than willing to share names with you.

Narrow down your choices to a small handful and then reach out.

Once you have an idea of what you want to accomplish and have talked with friends, you can agency shop by searching for agencies online. Be sure to look specifically at the services each agency offers, who they have previously or currently work with, and even what technologies they specialize in. Some agencies are know for their public relations work while others are all about UX design and others have a niche of working with nonprofits. There’s a lot of options out there!

Once you have a few favorites, reach out through their website or phone number to start the conversation about developing a working relationship.

Look for These 5 Things When You Are Agency Shopping

There is an incredible array of agencies just in Dallas, Fort Worth and North Texas in general. (Read our blog on the difference between Fort Worth and Dallas branding here to learn more.) As you search for partners, look for these five things in your conversations and visits with prospective agencies.

Beyond cost and fees, there are some important things to look for when a partner in marketing and PR.

You want a team that excels at creative solutions.

So much of advertising and creative work like branding, writing, editing, and filming is creative problem solving. As you are agency shopping, make sure the agencies you talk to demonstrate that along with excellent services, they can roll with the punches and find ways to address the issues that pop up with any project.

You want a team that can demonstrate high level performance.

Ultimately, you want to ask questions about their service and performance levels. Have they met past clients’ goals? Do they create change for their clients and do they get real results? Ask for examples and access to their case studies.

Speaking of case studies, we’re proud of what we’ve accomplished for clients here at J.O. You can see our past work right here.

You want a team that understands brands and has access to a pool of talent.

Agencies come in every shape and size. As you meet with an agency, ask about their past work experience and what services they best provide. You want to make sure they have all the right employees to accomplish your goals. Furthermore, you’ll want to know how the team operates, who leads on projects, and who would be working on your needs specifically.

You want a team that’s authentic to itself.

Public relations, marketing and advertising is a world where authenticity can go out the window in the pursuit of creating an impressive persona, a flashy client roster, or award-winning work. At J.O., we’re really proud that 25 years in, our team has stayed true to ourselves and prioritized relationships. Why would we want to be fake to clients that may not fit our persona or accept us for who we REALLY are? We believe the transparency and sincerity we bring to our work has charted a different course. You want an agency that knows who it is and is wiling to tell you — even if it means saying goodbye to potential new work.

At J.O. Agency, we don't take ourselves too seriously, have fun, and pull together for the good of clients always.

You want a team that is clear about their process and willing to develop it based on your wishes/needs.

To ensure the best working experience, both parties should be open and clear about expectations, deliverables and timelines. Expect an agency to be direct about what they can do and under what specific timelines. With that said, a great agency will likely have some wiggle room to help you accomplish what you need.

What Recommended Agencies Have in Common

Agency shop in Fort Worth and you'll find groups that specialize in a number of marketing categories.
  • A good agency will be honest about what they can and cannot do for you.
  • The right agency for you will know about brands in your field — who they are, what they’re doing, and what their successful messages are.
  • Excellent agencies love creating relationships and can work in multiple categories.
  • Agencies of merit back up their words with excellent work.
  • Agencies worth partnering with will exceed expectations and speak well of other brands and agencies.

J.O. Agency Knows About Marketing Excellence

Located in the thriving Near Southside neighborhood of Fort Worth, J.O. Agency has been in the business of exceeding expectations and nurturing client relationships for 25 years (read more about our tactics here and history here). Jennifer Henderson, our founder and president, recently asked the J.O. team what they think makes our agency authentic and every answer came back to roots and relationships — working together in the best interest of the client, the freedom to be silly and not take ourselves too seriously, being proud Fort Worthians.

We’re here to be your partners and create something great for your brand. Let’s talk about how we can partner together in 2024 and beyond — contact us here on our website or call 817-335-0100 today.

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