Table of Contents
- 1 Learn what a small business needs to know before select and hiring a digital marketing agency.
- 2 What to Look For in a Digital Marketing Agency
- 3 Why Hire a Digital Marketing Agency?
- 4 Choosing the Right Digital Marketing Agency
- 5 Tired of being overwhelmed and worried you’ll never scale your business?
- 6 Digital Marketing Agency Evaluation and Selection Criteria
- 7 Here is a list of questions you should ask a prospective digital marketing agency.
- 8 What was the marketing agency’s track record for similar cases? (Remember every business is different)
- 9 What digital marketing strategies did they implement for its brand?
- 10 What lessons have the marketing agency learned from using its marketing tactics in their business?
- 11 To what part or all of your marketing plan do you want the digital agency to perform?
- 12 How much will your marketing programs and projects cost?
- 13 How will your marketing programs be measure?
- 14 When will you see the business and marketing results?
- 15 Wrap Up for Digital Marketing Agency Services
- 16 General FAQ’s
Learn what a small business needs to know before select and hiring a digital marketing agency.
Hiring a digital marketing agency is a big deal. You want to know that they have the knowledge and expertise to get things done. You are considering getting help from a digital marketing agency. You are buried and just don’t seem to get ahead. I get it.
But what if you could get more done and improve your marketing performance too? Now that would be nice – right?
- Are you struggling to get quality sales leads?
- Are you getting enough web traffic to generate leads?
- The leads that you get are they turning into sales?
- Do you know what your conversions are over your marketing funnel?
CEOs are fed up with nonsense metrics. You should too. They are holding CMOs and marketing teams more accountable for bottom-line results.
Fournaise Marketing Group in London surveyed 600 CEOs and decision-makers to find that:
Startups, SMB’s to enterprise companies are all hiring a digital marketing agency but especially a small business. So you’ve decided to start exploring hiring a digital marketing agency.
Whether it’s your first time hiring a digital marketing agency or you’ve done it in the past. Follow these eight steps and hiring a digital marketing agency will become a snap.
- 72% of CEOs think marketers “are always asking for more money, but can rarely explain how much incremental business this money will generate.
- 70% think marketers bombard their stakeholders with marketing data that hardly relate to or mean anything for the company’s P&L.
- 67% think that, unlike CFOs and Sales Reps, [marketers] do not think enough like businesspeople. They focus too much on the creative, art, and fluffy side of marketing and not enough on its business science.
Only 9% of today’s marketing leaders believe traditional ad agencies are doing a good job of adapting their service capabilities to the digital transformation revolution.
Compared to 22% that believe their agencies are struggling to transition their service offerings and business model. 51% of marketers surveyed think their digital marketing agencies are playing catch-up.
Most digital marketing agencies are just bolting on different aspects of digital marketing. They do this without taking an integrated approach, according to a study conducted by the Chief Marketing Officer Council.
Not all digital marketing agencies were created equal. Choosing a digital marketing agency is not a decision that should be taken lightly. And if you are reading this article, I’m sure you get it.
Many small businesses have been forced to work from home and shift the way they market their business. They learned a lot over the past year during COVID-19.
With the countless digital marketing agencies that exist today, it cannot be easy to choose the right marketing agency for your small business. Your choice will reveal the quality of your marketing, which will affect your results.
In addition to our suggestions below, be sure to ask the potential agency, “How has COVID-19 impacted the agency’s work with clients?”
Marketers like you aren’t looking for digital marketing agencies playing catch up. I have talked to our clients over this past year who work with agencies. I found out what components they look for when evaluating an agency’s performance or potential partnership.
What to Look For in a Digital Marketing Agency
There are no shortcuts to success. Building your digital strategy in capabilities is a process that requires significant time, training, and experience.
If you want to drive traffic to your website, nurture leads, and increase sales you need a digital marketing plan. Companies that want to dive into blogging, social media marketing, video, SEO, email marketing, website design, might need some outside help.
The marketing world is constantly changing, and it is the hybrid agencies that are rising to the top. These agencies are tech-savvy, offer integrated services, hire and retain versatile talent and provide value for their clients.
The traditional agencies unwilling or unable to adapt will quickly be left behind. Legacy systems slow down large, established marketing agencies.
Whereas, hybrid marketing firms can install software and introduce processes, lower operating costs, increase productivity, and increase profitability quickly.
Hybrid agencies are able to build more scalable marketing technology models. They operate with cloud technologies, capitalized o online communication and mobility, and employ agile marketing methodology to drive results.
In today’s data-driven world, marketers are getting smarter about which agencies they choose to partner with. How do we know? We’re a marketing agency that been performing integrated marketing since 2002.
I have talked to our clients who work with agencies in the past. They helped me with the top 8 criteria they used to evaluate the effectiveness of their existing and potential partners.
Why Hire a Digital Marketing Agency?
Here are the primary reasons an organization seeks help from a digital marketing agency.
- They have a small internal team of 13 people, and just need ongoing support to lead them in the right direction.
- They lack an internal team and need to outsource everything because they don’t have the time or resources to accomplish it themselves?.
- They need help in a certain area of marketing. Such as content marketing, search engine optimization (SEO) strategy, website design, social media, marketing technology, or improving your lead conversions.
Choosing the Right Digital Marketing Agency
Before you start your search for the ideal digital marketing agency, you may want to think about it before jumping to the first agency you see. There?s a good number of businesses out there, but not all of them will offer what they claim. So be careful.
You want a digital marketing agency that can show you measurable results from their marketing services and help you grow your business.
Marketing has changed more in the past 2 years
From my experience, the results typically take time because the company may have a weak foundation. The foundation tells marketers how much building needs to be done. If a company’s foundation is weak, then resources need to be allocated to strengthen critical areas.
However, if your foundation is strong, then time and money can be focused on short-term digital marketing campaigns that produce results faster.
It is critical, to begin with, a full marketing assessment to help you determine what you really need. You might also want to do
Tired of being overwhelmed and worried you’ll never scale your business?
Learn how to evaluate and select the right digital marketing agency for your business.
Marketing success requires a commitment to consistently create an exceptional customer experience. Combined with transparency, agility, and accountability at all levels.
Let the digital marketing agency tell you the primary industries they cover, and they must share with you some tools and techniques they use.
Listed below are the top 8 components you should be looking for when evaluating and selecting a digital marketing agency.
Digital Marketing Agency Evaluation and Selection Criteria
1.Trust and Credibility
- Did they address my business goals in the sales process?
- Do they practice what they preach?
- Do they have: Social media presence?
- Blog? How often do they post?
- Do they have references and/or case studies?
- Are the agency personnel easy to get along with?
- Does their cultural vibe mesh with ours?
- Do they have the necessary marketing experience?
- Do they have proven industry experience?
3. Pricing and Value for Marketing Services
- Are their services within our marketing budget?
- Does the pricing reflect the value we will receive?
4. A Holistic Approach to Marketing Delivery
- Do they provide services for traffic generation, lead generation, lead nurturing, and customer acquisition?
- Do they have services to reflect all stages of the buying cycle?
- Do they use data to guide the ongoing marketing strategy?
5. Efficiency and Efficacy
- Is the turnaround time for services and deliverables reasonable?
- Do they have systematic delivery processes for services?
- Are they nimble and can act fast to real-time marketing opportunities?
- Are they results-driven and demonstrate that they will constantly test, change and innovate?
- Do they set clear expectations?
- Do they have a clear process for updating our team on the progress and timeline?
- At any given time, can the agency provide numbers around our progress toward our established goals?
- Will they be responsive if I have questions or concerns?
7. Education and Training
Will they invest in training our team on software, methodologies, and digital tools to help us achieve our goals?
8. Accountability and Measurement
- Are they laser-focused on driving business results?
- Do they set challenging but reasonable goals?
- Are they focused on measurement, but won’t bombard us with meaningless metrics?
Here is a list of questions you should ask a prospective digital marketing agency.
Please describe your digital marketing agency’s process to meet our marketing goals?
Instead of asking about how they will help you accomplish your goals, ask them how. The plan must outline an agile approach. It’s easy for a marketing firm to say that they will help you develop a sound marketing strategy. WOW, not good enough.
Ask about the process itself and how it will yield more insights and results.
What was the marketing agency’s track record for similar cases? (Remember every business is different)
Most digital marketing companies say they do it all. Maybe. Digital marketing services — from PPC to SEO to a website redesign — can help address your marketing needs and requirements. Remember not all agencies can walk the talk. Have them show you.
Before moving forward with a digital marketing agency that says that they can help you with everything, be careful. If search engine optimization (SEO) is your brand’s focus, ask the agency about previous clients they’ve helped grow through an SEO rollout.
If you’re still unsure about the specific marketing services you’re looking for, go for a marketing company that has been in business for 7-10 years or more. Opting for a marketing agency with experience, setting goals, and executing campaigns may be easier because they are already adept at understanding what makes your target audiences take action.
What digital marketing strategies did they implement for its brand?
Before you sign an agreement, take a step back from your business marketing goals and ask a prospective digital marketing agency about theirs. You found them. Know to spend some time getting to know them. Let them give you insights into the digital marketing agency’s thought process and where it’s going.
- Do they keep up with the industry trends?
- What have been the results of their marketing efforts?
What lessons have the marketing agency learned from using its marketing tactics in their business?
A digital marketing agency can show you how but results reveal more. Review its marketing case studies.
To what part or all of your marketing plan do you want the digital agency to perform?
The digital marketing firm you hire should communicate what needs to be done to reach your goals. But that isn’t enough. For your marketing campaigns to deliver results, the marketing agency of you choose should be able to train you on meeting goals and mapping KPIs. Training ranges from how to use automation platforms or interpreting data from analytics platform like Google.
How much will your marketing programs and projects cost?
What is the budget required to implement the campaigns you want to invest in? Cheaper doesn’t necessarily mean better.
Ask about the estimated return of investment (ROI) and the agreement. What are the marketing deliverables you can expect? How long is the agreement? What is the timeline?
How will your marketing programs be measure?
Marketing is more than just an art and science. Holistic marketing is not just designing the best call-to-action on your landing page or picking the right font size for your web pages. The marketing agency you work with must be able to support its recommendations with data.
When talking with a prospective agency, ask questions on benchmarks, metrics, and analytics. If the agency uses jargon you don’t understand, ask what it is?
Aside from asking what should be measured, inquire how often the progress reporting should be made towards these metrics. Also, what adjustments can be made if data indicates that the campaign is not working?
When will you see the business and marketing results?
Marketing agencies promise that you can expect substantial ROI quickly. If you require inbound methodology, then it will take time to yield results. However, once you’ve built a revenue-generating machine, you’re in it for the long haul. Think of it as a long-term investment with compounding interest.
At Matrix, here’s the timeline that we share with our clients who ask about the amount of time it takes to see results when using inbound marketing:
- 3 – 6 months: You should see positive movement compounding each month.
- 6 – 18 months: You should see substantial traffic growth, Marketing-Qualified-Leads (MQLs), and Sales Accepted Leads (SALs).
Wrap Up for Digital Marketing Agency Services
Technology innovations continue to accelerate the rate of change in the marketing industry. Therefore, it has created a growing demand for tech-savvy, forward-thinking digital marketing agencies.
Trends and shifts in consumer behavior, business processes, software, data analysis, communications, and marketing philosophies have affected the need for evolving services.
Traditional marketing agencies, public relations firms, advertising, search engine optimization, and website development firms are all fighting to remain relevant.
They are grasping for new services, such as social media, mobile, and content marketing. The modern digital marketing agency is focusing on what really matters to their clients. This includes pricing, technology, staffing, infrastructure, processes, and purpose.
These agencies in professionals will adapt and evolve, and many traditional marketing firms will become obsolete.
Share your best tip with us.
Are you not getting the results you had hoped for with your current marketing agency?
How do you select a digital marketing agency for a small business?
You might think you have a need or not, so start with an honest marketing assessment to find the gaps in your strategy, talent, and technology. Do this before you begin an engagement, and you will learn a lot.
Why do I need a digital marketing agency?
Whether it’s the digital transformation or understanding your customer touchpoints, to sales funnel lead generation campaigns digital marketing agencies have the talent and understanding of the digital landscape.
What questions should you ask a digital marketing company?
Here are seven critical questions to ask for a new digital marketing agency.
1. What types of companies do you serve, and in what industries or markets?
2. What are the core capabilities of your agency?
3. What is their pricing model?
4. How would you describe your company culture?
5. How long have you been in business?
6. What marketing and sales technology do they use?
7. What is their engagement process?
What are the benefits of hiring a digital marketing agency?
The most important reason why digital marketing is taking up the traditional marketing channels is as a result of the internet has enabled businesses to interact with targeted audiences in real-time. But as important is the ability to set goals, track, test, and real-time data. Digital marketing is more affordable when compared to traditional marketing channels.