How To Get The Most Out Of Your Digital Marketing Agency
After a couple months of calling around, gathering information, and meeting, you have finally found a digital marketing agency to take charge of your business and get you real results (Revenue$!$!!).
There is every possibility that you want to sign a contract, throw some money on the table, and turn a blind eye – hoping it will all get done in the background.
Unfortunately, that’s not how we [and hopefully most agencies] get the best results.
In order for digital marketing efforts to have a measurable impact on your business, you’re going to have to belt-up and get comfortable, because your level of involvement is integral.
Get the most out of your digital marketing agency by following the simple, yet effective, relationship pointers we’ve compiled below.
You’re about to become a match made in cyberspace.
Make the Call When it Comes to Communication
Depending on the people and the type of relationship, you always find a different preference when it comes to communication.
At the end of the day, depending on your lifestyle and availability, you will have a communication preference.
It’s important that you outline the easiest and most effective channel for communication, as well as the time and frequency you would like to be contacted.
The agency will most likely have a few of their own requests, but where there’s communication there’s compromise…right!?!
In our experience, the most effective way of communicating is broken down into the following points:
- Establish the points of contact, or personnel, within both businesses, then
- Set regular times to chat via WIPs
Following this communication structure allows our clients the opportunity to talk about any new ideas for the campaign and ensures the campaign remains on track.
Keep Score of Your Goals
What are your core goals? What is your big hairy audacious goal (BHAG)? When you consider your vision, what realistic, measurable and achievable goals do you have that will bring you to your ‘end goal’? Maybe you want to increase sales by 50% by the end of the year, build brand awareness within a specific market segment, or increase newsletter signups for your email marketing efforts?
It’s vital that you know and define your goals before you get started – it’s not your agency’s responsibility to set business goals for you. Your agency should have the skills and the foresight to be able to create a strategy that aligns with these goals along with an actionable plan to make your vision a reality.
Walking into this relationship with solid foundations will provide the agency direction and drive to work with a focus toward your goal.
Drive The Goals Not The Projects
In the past, we have had clients come to us seeking ‘…Facebook likes and Instagram viral images.’
It’s at this point that we refer them back to goal setting. In this case, if your business goal is to create leads, ‘likes’ will not create leads with Facebook’s recent algorithm changes, so we need to work on tactics that will.
You will get the most out of your digital marketing agency if you remain goal oriented and create key performance indicators to establish whether or not targets are being met.
Their job is to grasp the fundamentals of where your business wants to go and find the right vehicle to get you there.
As long as you provide the destination, they will provide the maps.
The creative, campaign or general strategy they come up with will be crafted by evaluating raw, big data, as well as through previous experience.
In spite of this, offering some ideas won’t hurt, on the contrary, it will assist in the process – just don’t start demanding crazy goat videos.
Transparency, Trust and Time
Although the first important aspect of your relationship is to establish trust, it’s actually a notion that needs to be expressed through-out your relationship.
Like any relationship, the more honest, up front and direct both parties are, the less room there is for confusion and miscommunication.
When it comes to client-relationships, we’re traditionalists. We don’t view our clients as you and me, it’s us all the way.
We believe strong partnerships get the best results. Instead of feeling like you’re another ‘account’ in the books, you should feel like your agency is an extension of your business; a partner who’s always got your back.
When you’re both as transparent as possible, you allow the trust to enter your partnership, and as a result, a cohesive sense of accountability and dependability forms.
But what does time have to do with transparency and trust (3Ts)? A lot, actually.
The way you communicate will have a huge impact on the overall success of your campaign, as well as the time spent to achieve the results.
Time = Money. Correct.
We’ve realised that the 3Ts encapsulate a simple algorithm when it comes to ensuring leads, conversions and the overall success of a campaign.
Let’s consider the project or campaign as a percentage; 100%.
The algorithm that ensures we always get to this 100% is as follows:
- 10% of time needs to be allocated to detailed briefing, strategising, and setting KPIs
- 80% of time needs to be allocated to production, execution, and analysis
- 10% of time to reporting and debriefing
This works just as well in theory as it does in real life, but with real life, there is room for human error. Often with clients, that 10% of the time will be spent in the initial briefing, but then later on during production, a new found piece of information or change of direction will be proposed.
This is fine, it just means the client will need to be understanding of the agency’s time, and know that the execution date may be pushed back.
Naturally, reporting and debriefing come last but it’s not least. This important process allows the agency to distinguish successors, weakness, and areas of growth and opportunity.
Where There is Digital There is Data
You’re joining forces with a digital marketing agency because they have the expertise, experience, and resources to get the most out of your budget and drive your brand into the future.
As time goes on, they will learn more about your brand and what works best. In order for you to get the most out of your digital marketing agency, you need to make time to discover the data available to you.
Not quite sure what data to look out for?
There are two key areas you will want to track: acquisition and conversions. The data needs to be in-line with the campaign goals.
For example, if you had a ‘T-shirts and Caps’ eCommerce store, and your objective was to increase conversions by 200% from your ‘Caps’ section of your website, you would probably want to ask the following questions:
- Which channels are bringing in the majority of your websites traffic? Is it organic, paid, social, referral, etc…?
- What channel is delivering most of your revenue?
- Where are there opportunities to capture more traffic from these best converting channels to drive revenue growth?
- What channels are not being targeted that could become large revenue generators?
- Are we doing enough email marketing? Is it being done well?
The more time you apply to reading reports and asking questions, the more you will understand and learn about the services your agency is providing and how it benefits your business.
When deciding on a digital marketing agency to join forces with, it’s especially important that you take the time to understand their service offering and how they translate their actions into translatable data.
Be Open to Opportunities
As time goes on, expect and be open to new-found opportunities and service offerings from your agency.
If your agency fails to introduce new strategies, technology, platforms, campaigns – quite frankly anything new…they’re not giving you their all.
We’re going to take a moment to establish one thing: as an agency, continuous growth is instilled into our brand, and we take every opportunity to enhance our client’s strategies with new ideas and technologies.
In saying this, nothing is recommended on a whim. Anything proposed to you must be backed up with data.
It’s in our general practice to explore ideas through testing in small-scale, then and only then can we ethically propose an idea to our clients.
Always remember to take the time to set foundations at the start of your relationship, maintain cohesive communication, and practise the 3Ts.
The world of digital marketing is forever changing, so don’t get stuck behind and go where it goes.
In the words of Henry Ford, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.”