Have you struggled with the what, how and when of digital marketing to grow your business effectively? Having tried the DIY route, and the plethora of tools and techniques, you are not sure if you are doing the most optimum for your business and the expected benefits do not really stack up?
You are not alone.
“Digital business doesn’t just disrupt markets. It disrupts tried-and-tested management behaviours as well”, says a Gartner Report. And, CXOs prepare and adopt new leadership styles to be able to tackle the challenges of digital business.
Likewise the CMO of today definitely needs to rethink how to run the marketing organization. Is it possible to acquire all skills in-house that are required to take advantage of the potential of digital marketing inside the department?
Is it possible to seamlessly add required the tools and technologies and the personnel with the right level of business and technical expertise in the digital space?
Given the strengths and the constraints of any business, it is only prudent for the CMO or the business owner to make decisions about different levels of make versus buy decisions; in this case execute digital marketing programs in-house versus outsource.
Here comes the critical question: How to pick a digital advertising agency as a partner in growth
ROI is key
Advertising as we all know is considered an expense in the accounting world. But, some agencies are clearly able to compute the ROI on the ‘spend’ on digital initiatives. And this is where lies the difference between an agency that understands and can demonstrate the benefit value of the advertising spend versus those that cannot.
Examine the Site
Most often than not such agencies have sites of their own. By going through the site and how well it is managed you can get an idea about how seriously the company takes its job. A poorly maintained site, would surely speak volumes about the capability and responsibility of the company.
Jack of All, Master of None
When reviewing their website, if you find the Agency making tall promises as a know-all without references to back up, that is a tell-tale sign. Digital Marketing and Advertising is a huge space. There are several skills, methods, tools, techniques and platforms that can be deployed in making digital marketing work for any business. If the Agency states that they are experts at specific digital mareting methods and call out what they cannot support, that is a great sign to look out for.
- Before hiring any company it is a good idea to read up on some testimonials or comments which have been posted online by past or current partners.
- There is simply no harm in asking for references from the agency.
- Sometimes it is possible that a new Agency may not have many or any testimonials. In that case an agency that is backed by a team with strong credentials and testimonials will be a great criteria to look for. And that is something which will help you make some informed decisions.
- Asking around among peers can help too
To develop expertise and authority in Digital Advertising comes neither easy nor cheap. It is a combination of several attributes including creative talent, an in-depth knowledge of technology, experience in the industry and above all hard work. And it costs.
If there are digital advertising agencies promising to provide cheap and low cost services, it is best to strike them out.
What is more important is an Agency that can demonstrate with adequate competition research, strategy and planning not only what needs to be done, therefore what it may cost but also what benefits to expect.
Agencies often times lock you in into contracts that are difficult to terminate.
If contracts are conditional upon expected results, those should be welcome. But contracts without specific governance on benefits achieved are something to be wary of.
If the prospective agency allows you to opt out of a contract if certain results are not achieved, that is a great sign to look for as this team is extremely confident of the results they will deliver for you.
If the agency has served businesses in your niche then they probably have the right experience too. If the rest of their credentials are what you are looking for, but they do not have the niche experience, you may want to interview them for how they may be able to fill the gap. If satisfied with the responses, go for it.
Check, if they rank high on Google for the terms you are looking for. It shows how much they are invested in serving in the space.
In the field of Digital Marketing, it does not matter where your agency operates and executes from. However their client engagement team should be locally available to engage, report and look into any of your queries or concerns.
Long Term Association
Do you see your company having a long term association with the prospective agency?
Your company resources and the agency resources need to complement forming a seamless team driving your marketing initiatives to your set goals and objectives.
Also, given the nature of marketing in the digital world, it is often times required to involve other departments to fully realise the benefits of your marketing efforts; like sales, customer support, even product and services design.
If your digital agency understands this nuance of not working in insolation, that should give you much comfort in terms of making it an extension of your in-house marketing arm.
If you see all this as feasible, then it makes complete sense to initiate the association. It does not though remove the need for adequate governance to keep an eye on not just the expenditures, but also the results.
Rinse and Repeat
Marketing is an ongoing effort. Certain marketing initiatives will provide continued benefits over a long period while others will be short lived and immediate focused.
Besides, the realm of digital marketing has allowed businesses to experiment the efficacy of out-reach strategies making marketing agile and benefits based.
Check what your agency has to say about the options for testing, experimenting and scaling up efforts that are most effective for getting the maximum bang for your buck. Do they have the maturity to understand and offer possibilities?
In summary, dependable and results oriented digital agencies are able help various companies reach their full potential no matter the odds. The best part about such agencies is that they help all aspects of the company function in a synchronized manner.
Hence the need to engage an agency that demonstrates sound engineering of the marketing strategy and plan, the wherewithal to achieve the estimated benefits and above all the confidence to not lock in clients into long term contracts. We did not say, low cost, you see?
After all in the world of business and marketing where science and ingenuity meet, right but little effort can also yield rich dividends.
Good luck with your search for a Digital Agency that best suits your company’s needs – Team ReignSearch here from Digital Marketing Agency Toronto