How To Choose The Right Digital Marketing Partner?
In the present times, businesses are left with little choice but to go the digital way. In the process of digitalisation and automation of various processes, one important vertical that mostly draws attention is the Marketing of the products/services/brands etc. Companies are designing a sizeable budget for running their marketing activities on the online platform, and why not? Afterall, if done right, it can actually work wonders for your business. However, to stay relevant and ahead in the cut throat competitive market, it is very important to seek expert guidance on formulating your digital marketing moves. Companies have the choice of either hiring a professional or outsourcing the entire gamut of marketing to an agency. The second option is often feasible as far as planning, execution and implementation is concerned.
After arriving at the decision of hiring a digital marketing partner, the next hurdle that lies ahead is choosing the right vendor. This is a tricky issue given that there are hundreds of agencies that are flocking the market and it is very much possible that one may end up in confusion while choosing the right variety. If you are facing a similar dilemma, read ahead in this blog, in which we have curated a checklist, to help you overcome this hurdle and get the operations running smoothly.
1. Clarity of Business Goals : Even before hiring a digital marketing agency, the primary step is to arrive at a clarity on the business objectives. No matter how good the agency, if you do not have the answer to a pertinent question as to what exactly do you wish to achieve by engaging an agency or what is your budget for this hire, the whole exercise will be useless. The business needs may range from enhancing your presence in the social media or simply rebranding your products or services. The agency can help you out only if you specifications are crystal clear. Companies usually brain storm a great deal to arrive at the business objective before finalising the decision of hiring a digital marketing agency.
2. Background Check : Once the decision to hire an external digital marketing partner is finalised, a thorough background check is a must. Most of the agencies commit a lot of things but may not always be successful in meeting the expectations of the clients. On the other hand, the client after banking on the agency for certain crucial marketing strategies may end up losing time, energy and resources without any fruitful outcome. An easy way to handle the background verification of the agency is to find out the kind of work that the agency has done for enhancing the social media presence for its clients. A word of caution here is to never ever choose an agency solely based on the low price it quotes. The low price is often at the cost of quality of work.
3. Knowing the core team :After short listing a few prospective agencies, do make sure to meet with the core team including the promoters, founder members and the senior leadership team to gauge their level of commitment in delivering your project. During the meeting, the aim should be to know the background and understand the depth of knowledge of the agency.
4. Client Testimonials : An extended part of your reference check must always include checking the customer list that a particular agency has handled in the past. This gives an idea about the agency's industrial domain expertise as well as the work quality. Smart players in the market usually display the client testimonials or appreciations in their web page as an added USP.
5.Demos and samples : It always helps to ask the agency to produce samples of their past assignments. In some cases this may run into non disclosure agreement issue for the agency. Another option is to ask the agency to come up with some marketing ideas or launch a marketing campaign for you, to assess their capabilities. This is a practical way of finding how good the agency is in dealing with hurdles pertaining to the digital marketing gamut.
6. Clarity in Communication : An important factor to keep in mind while selecting a digital marketing agency for your business process is to keep an eye on their manner of communication. A common trait that differentiates a good from an average agency is the ability to reach out to the clients with clarity and at regular intervals. An agency that acts like a business partner to its clients and/or one that provides regular updates about the work progress in a phase wise manner is any day a preferred choice for business houses.
7. Some important questions : Before signing the final contract, please remember to ask the basic questions and carefully analyse the answer to each. Some of the important questions which you may ask can cover the following aspects
a. Campaign examples
b. Client retention
c. End results
d. ROI measure
8. Knowledge and expertise : Apart from the above check points, you also need to keep an eye out for the digital agency that strives to constantly keep itself updated in current trends of marketing. The manner in which an agency handles multiple clients belonging to myriad verticals speaks volumes of its expertise in creating a value proposition by suggesting customised solutions to clients enabling the achievement of business goals. This is surely a preferred variety than the ones who appear orthodox in their approach and are generally rigid in accepting suggestions or customisation requests from clients.
Hope this blog helps you to find your right digital marketing partner with ease.
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