Irrespective of which domain you are working in, you must have seen that marketing managers are the ones who already know how operation people are doing, which areas need more marketing and what your strengths are.
Basically, the best marketing strategies are those which involve multi-vertical scenarios. Therefore, as it is quite a vast and complex discipline, most companies hire digital marketing experts instead of doing it themselves.
Make sure you ask these five important questions before signing a contract with a digital marketing agency:
Can you show us your workflow?
Online marketing is a sphere where working on different marketing channels only contributes 50%, the other part depends on the synchronization of channels.
When you are asking about workflow, cover these two areas: how they handle client communication and how good their internal synchronization is.
Once you have got general clarification for both these areas, dig deep with each marketing channel and ask how they handle each channel.
Some good questions to ask here are:
- What method do you use to increase search engine rankings?
- Does your agency have a Google Partner badge?
- How important are Google Webmaster Guidelines?
- How long will it take to see tangible results?
- Do you believe in generating repurposable content or unique content?
- What are the primary metrics to be reported on?
- How do you measure social media ROI?
Are you going to curate a customized team for us?
Not all companies need the same services; neither do they want to focus on the same platforms equally. If it’s a B2B company, LinkedIn and PPC campaigns should be given a higher priority; if it’s a B2C fashion e-commerce, influencer marketing, and SEO would work better; your focus should be on pop-ups and personalized email marketing if your business incorporates real-time locations.
Therefore, before choosing an online marketing agency, make sure the team that will be working on your project has special expertise in your project specifications.
Find out who will oversee which role, as well as the management structure, and have brief inductions.
Some questions to ask about the team:
- How are the strategies made and how does each team member contribute?
- What is the detailed escalation channel?
- How clear is the objective of the project to the agency?
- What are the disciplinary measures taken by the team?
What technologies and tools do you use?
In this era of automation, an agency that tries to do everything manually will only waste time and manpower. Therefore, agencies will use different types of software and technology to help with their work.
But there are hundreds of tools available, many for almost the same tasks, so it is challenging to pick the best in the market. Most agencies are still not comfortable discussing which tools they incorporate but it’s important to know what tools and technology, and what version, they will be using.
What distinguishes you from the rest?
In 2016, the USA alone had 13,800 digital agencies and the UK had more than 25,000 agencies. Are they all going to be a good fit for your specific needs?
Of course not!
The best way to find the right agency is to ask them what their USP is, or what points differentiate them from their contemporaries. The best answers include solid statistical data like their track record, case studies, process statements and client testimonials.
Also, to ascertain how this collaboration is going to grow in the future, ask them about their previous experiences with clients.
Some relevant questions are:
- What converts a client into a ‘dreamclient’?
- Why are you the best fit for us?
- What does a ‘horrible client’ look like?
- What things can damage the client/agency relationship the most?
- Are the KPIs defined by you or the client or both?
- Should we go for every marketing channel or do you have any suggestions?
Are there any hidden charges?
There is a common saying in the business market; a proposal statement speaks the loudest for a company’s credibility. The clearer the proposal is, with all the cost-related points, the better it is.
As online marketing incorporates multiple channel integration, money is spent on various factors. Therefore, as soon as you receive a proposal statement, ask what points are included in the charges mentioned and what are not.
We don’t want you to be waiting for blogs only to find out that content writing was not included on the service list!
Also, ask the company to clarify how any additional charges are invoiced; is it multiple times in a month, monthly or at the start or end of the contract term.
One more important point to consider is the timing of the payment: in advance or at the end of the contract.
Some additional questions to be asked in this regard are:
- If some additional services are required in the middle of the cycles that were not in the original agreement, what is the process of integration?
- If any service requires additional skill-sets that the marketing agency does not hold, which party is going to be responsible for arranging them and dealing with the additional costs?
So, these were the top five points that we believe reflect a digital marketing agency’s credibility the most. Here are few additional points that you should check before signing the final contract:
- What analytics do you track?
- Do you have clients who can recommend you?
- How often do you send reports and analytics?
- What is your content development and content marketing process?
- Do you run campaigns across multiple PPC platforms?
- What is the role of search engine optimization in web development?