5 questions you need to ask your digital marketing company before hiring them

5 questions you need to ask your digital marketing company before hiring them

A few weeks back, we talked about how important it is to have a holistic digital strategy. The strategy is the first step; it then has to be executed. Your amazing strategy is going to drive growth only when it’s executed well. Our ever growing market is abundant with digital marketing companies, who will – no doubt- all claim to have the best solutions for your needs. But how do you evaluate your options and pick the right team to do your digital marketing strategy justice?

Selecting a company to manage your digital marketing campaigns is a similar process to hiring a new employee. The company becomes an extension of your marketing team, so it’s essential that their operations and ideals are a correct fit with your company culture, your values, and desired final outcomes.

The best place to start is by knowing what you want, and asking the right questions that will cut through the marketing spiel and hype, and understand what you are getting from them.

Here are five tough questions that you should be asking any digital marketing companies you are considering to engage with:

1. How do you measure campaign ROI?
Digital marketing is about a lot more than just getting clicks, views, or people seeing your ads. For you to effectively evaluate the performance of your digital marketing campaigns, you need to be able to compare the cost of your campaign against the revenue and measurable value you gain from it. Bounce rate, total conversions, and the customer retention rate are a few of the key metrics you should be watching.

If the digital marketing company you are considering is not able to measure and report your return on investment, then how do they know if their products and services are working?

2: How does your solution help me convert more customers?
A fantastic follow up when you have answers to the first question. It is great if their digital marketing solutions measure the revenue and ROI that it generates, but what is the company going to do to help increase that revenue and ROI?
The best digital marketing companies don’t just deliver traffic; they provide guidance and advice, or even solutions to help you optimise your landing pages and conversion funnels as well.

Visitors don’t convert themselves, and if your prospective digital marketing company doesn’t focus on transforming visitors into customers, then perhaps their solutions do not align with your long-terms goals.

3: How do you make decisions on campaigns?
10 to 15 years ago many digital marketers evaluated campaign performance and made changes based on the limited data available, along with opinions and educated guess work. Times have changed considerably since then, and your digital marketing company should rely on accurate data and thorough analysis to evaluate campaign performance and make any changes.

When an organization uses reliable, accurate data to make decisions, you can expect good decisions on a regular basis. If the company you are talking to solely bases their decisions on ‘I know best’, rather than data analytics, it’s time to consider other providers.

4: What is your process?
You want to make sure that the company you are dealing with is organized and methodical. By reviewing their process, it will help you understand what they are thinking and how they work. Learning their process is the best way to work out exactly what they are going to do for you and how they plan on doing it, minus the sales pitch.

The digital marketing company you choose should have a transparent process that makes sense to you.

5: Can I get a few references?
Yes, it sounds like a pretty obvious question to ask; unfortunately, it doesn’t get asked enough. In many cases, working with a digital marketing company is a long-term relationship, so it is worth meeting or talking with some of their existing customers.

The fact that they have a good enough relationship with companies to get referrals is a good sign of their quality, but you will also get the benefit of getting first-hand reviews of the products and services. You can find out if it delivered results, service quality, and how they deal with problems and issues as they come up.

Unless the marketing company you deal with is a fresh start-up, they should have at least one or two happy customers who would be willing to give 5 minutes of their time for a phone conversation.
Only five questions?

There are plenty more questions that you could ask prospective digital marketing companies about themselves, their products, and services. This post covers some important items such as quality, reliability and performance.
 

Which questions do you ask digital marketing companies before engaging with their services? Add your own list of questions to the comments below or tweet them to me @nathan5ri. Try our Free AdWords Audit.

Image licensed under Creative Commons from Flickr

2 Comment

  1. It's interesting because most marketing companies aren't very good at marketing themselves. Then they cold call on their potential clients, as their main prospecting tool, and propose that they can do for their clients what they can't even do for themselves. Irony. http://www.fatboyinc.com/blog/the-great-irony-of-marketing-companies We actually talk about that very concept, the irony of marketing companies. I think your last point, the "references," is the most important one. Because every SEO/marketing company will be telling you the same thing: page 1 rankings, more leads, higher conversions, etc. The clients will tell you what really happened!

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