It’s hard to narrow down on the right digital marketing agency, when no one from your team has any idea how this “digital stuff” works. So far, most of you have asked friends, checked online for reviews and recommendations, or checked out what your competitors are up to.
While interacting with organisations, I’ve had the privilege of coming to know of many agencies and their delivery methodologies. Here is what I think differentiates a really good agency from the rest.
They do not start before understanding the domain
An agency’s job is not only to drive leads but also to communicate what the business objectives are, their vision, and what value you will receive, over the competition.
Only an agency that can understand your objectives, long-term vision and reason to be in business can deliver smart and efficient marketing campaigns. Marketing is all about communicating business value to the right target audience. If the agency understands your reason for existence and current challenges, they will deliver the best possible solution to achieve your targets.
They know your customers
I am often surprised to see when data clearly show that there is a shift in traffic and customer behaviour but the agency pays absolutely no attention to it.
Today customers live online
Smartphones are changing our behaviour with each new day. Google describes this shift as micro-moments – “I-want-to-know, I-want-to-go, I-want-to-do and I-want-to-buy moments.” Everything is right now, they do not want to wait any more.
Agencies that understand this make changes in their location and device-based targeting strategies.
They have experience or expertise
Clients with a larger budget generally prefer agencies that can demonstrate experience in waste reduction, data mining and can also check for references from existing customers.
In case an agency has worked with only a few clients you can gauge them with the following criteria: has the team cleared online exams like Google certification, Hubspot certification or does the agency hold a Google Partner badge? This proves that they have demonstrated advanced skills in creating and maintaining campaigns.
Industry prefers experience over expertise, but if an agency trusts their capabilities and showcases them with confidence and credibility, it is a good hire too.
They trust data
If an agency is ready to commit before looking at your past data they are frauds. For any good agency data is religion. They should request access to data first, and if sufficient data is not available they should request for sufficient time to collect data, based on which they can decide a future direction.
Good agencies constantly test, experiment and learn from data. They always focus on optimising that which works best and discontinue that which does not. They quickly learn and implement their understanding to move your numbers up.
They transcend limits
Agencies driven only by profit generally never cross limits and do not go out of their way to help clients. Good agencies trust data analytics, which give much more insights into business than the campaign performance data.
Good agencies are transparent and update clients if they make mistakes. Irrespective of the agreed deliverables, if they spot anything wrong that might affect business performance, they are never afraid of raising a red flag. If something is not working they discuss all possible reasons and own the mistakes if they have made any.
They are full of ideas
Agencies who are ready to implement new things and help clients with a creative and innovative approach always win the client’s trust. They are always open to new ideas and convey them without any delay, and even convince clients to implement them if clients cannot understand their true value.
They have good insights into the latest happenings in the digital world and how they can be used for client success.
These basic checks that I have outlined are often neglected but will help save you lots of time and money.
What other qualities do you consider while protecting your business from fraud agencies?
I would love to know how you select your digital marketing agency.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)