4 questions to ask before appointing a digital marketing agency in Japan

So, you think you’ve found the perfect digital marketing agency to help amplify your brand and get your products and services in front of potential customers in Japan.


Before you go any further, it's essential that you ask the following four questions before you sign that contract. Not only will this allow you to delve deeper into the skillset and reputability of your chosen digital marketing agency in Japan, but it could also raise some warning signs that you might not have thought of before moving forward.


Q1: What experience do you have creating digital marketing campaigns in my industry?

Many agencies will shower you with examples of previous campaign successes, but if you’ve noticed that they can’t offer any examples in your sector, then it’s time to move on.

Digital marketing agencies that work in specialist sectors have an in-depth knowledge of the behaviours and needs of potential customers for that particular industry. They will also have tried and tested several different strategies before creating a winning formula for success within that niche, including studying consumer preferences, buying habits and channels.

If you want to make the most of your marketing budget and avoid being a test campaign in an industry that the agency knows little about, reconsider your decision and seek out a company that has the insight and experience in your sector.


Q2: Is every element of the digital project carried out in-house?

Some digital marketing agencies look to cut costs and save themselves time by outsourcing certain elements of your campaign to third parties.

Not only does this lessen the degree of management and control the agency has on the overall project, but it can also lead to missed deadlines due to poor communication or a less than adequate appreciation of your specific goals and campaign objectives.

Ask the agency who will be working on your campaign, what experience they have and what partnerships they have in place. Established agreements with trusted, time-served experts are fine, especially if an element of your campaign is very niche, but, beware of those agencies who can’t tell you who will work with you, who your point of contact will be or give specific examples of expertise.


Q3. What transparency can I expect from your business?

Any digital marketing agency worth your time (and budget) will be wide open to the progress of your campaign and will facilitate easy access to reports throughout your campaign.

Being accountable means that your agency will be quick to realise when something isn’t working and fast to spot new opportunities.

If you’re just being offered an end of campaign report or find that the agency you’re in talks with seems very rigid in their approach to your project, it might be a sign that you won’t have much accountability or collaboration when your campaign is actually live in Japan.


Q4. What do you know about the market I want to target?

If you’re UK based and want to target customers in Japan or vice-versa, you need a digital marketing agency that has grassroots experience of both markets.

With subtle yet important differences in communication styles, culture and language just a few of the elements you’ll need to take into account, you need to be 100% positive that whoever you select for your digital marketing needs has more than just a basic understanding of the demographics that you want to engage with.

Ask for country and sector specific examples from the agency’s portfolio before making a final decision.

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