Trusting someone to help grow your business is a huge step. It’s like letting someone you don’t know watch your toddler on the street while you run to the mall for an errand. Well, let’s hope the previous never happens, but the point is, communication is the essential building block for any and all relationships.
When it’s time to nurture your money-maker, any b2b digital marketing agency simply will not do. Not all inbound agencies deliver the same results, so this is the time to put on your “boots of inquisition” and start asking some questions. Nothing hurts more than thinking you found a great digital marketing agency to only find yourself disappointed in the end.
And what’s the worst? There’s a good chance that disappointed feeling is just as much your fault than theirs. Why? Did you already forget? Communication is one of the most overlooked aspects business owners succumb to when interacting with a digital marketing agency.
Why is a Digital Marketing Agency Like a Partner Instead of a Vendor?
A strong, trusted and reputable digital marketing agency is hard to find based on websites, reviews, and testimonies. There are just so many!
When speaking with a potential agency that you’re considering bringing on to help ensure you meet your marketing and business objectives, there are a few questions you must keep in mind.
Hiring a b2b technology digital marketing agency to help expand your business and grow leads that converts will take more than a 5-minute phone call and a few email exchanges. It will even take more than reading review after review.
When you’ve finally decided that a digital marketing agency is what your business needs to get to the next step, then skimping out on the work to find a quality agency is a fool’s game, best played alone. It will take a nice, thorough conversation to learn more about the agency, their practices, and how they get the job done.
These digital relationships are more than just work relationships. A well-trusted digital marketing agency will get to know you, your goals, and what you expect.
How do they do this? They become more like partners or friends, sharing in the growth and helping you whenever anything snags or needs improvement. They are there when you have concerns and are even there when you’re not looking, just to make sure everything still runs smoothly and that your objectives are met.
So, the real question is, that if you’re forming a friendship/partnership, then what questions should you ask a digital marketing agency to ensure you’re making the right choice?
The conversation will be long, the answers thorough (well, they should be), and your gut is the final deciding factor on whether you’re comfortable with whatever online marketing agency you choose.
Hiring a Digital Marketing Agency: 7 Must-Ask Questions Before You Do
1. What Experience Do They Have?
Remember as a child whenever one of your schoolyard friends would tell you about something cool they could do? In most cases, your response was a quick, “Prove it!” and that is exactly what you should be asking a digital marketing agency when looking to hire a strong b2b digital marketing team to expand, grow, and sustain your business. While looking over case studies and talking with the agency consultant on the phone, there is still little competency to back a true decision without having a little experience yourself.
However, looking at past projects and discussing the pros and cons they faced will help give you a better understanding of the agency’s’ experience and level of professionalism required to successfully help your company. So, if an agency tells you they can do something for you, simply say “prove it,” and have them show you their previous work.
2. How Are They Going To Get Results?
It can be easy to lay out a plan and hear a brief of expected results, but do you really know how they are going to get from point A to B? It’s your company and you have the right to be nosey, so keep asking questions. More importantly, find out how they are going to produce their promised results.
Let’s say an agency told you they would be doing hundreds of blog comments every month. At face value, that sounds like a really good idea, and you’d be none the wiser until you went in for a second opinion only to be told to pack your bags and run for the hills.
Knowing how the b2b digital marketing agency works is vital and can help save money and time by avoiding poor quality and bad practices. The digital marketing agency should be able to create high-quality content and know exactly how to market it in your niche.
Keep your ears open and listen because the last thing you want is to hire an agency that cuts corners. The repercussions can haunt you and your business for years. They have the tools and resources, make sure they know how to apply them to your business.
3. Who Is the Team Doing the Work?
Knowing how the business provides results is important, but so is the team of individuals doing the work. Having this little chat will help you make a connection with the account manager and get a better grasp on why they believe they are capable enough to work with your business. Be sure to get into the specifics so that you can get a better sense of trust. Remember that for all relationships to succeed, they need to be based on communication and trust.
4. Time Frame: How Long Before Results Come in?
Perhaps one of the largest sets of negative comments and complaints are about how SEO takes too long. The real deal is that in the world of digital marketing, just like most other marketing strategies, it takes time to see, produce, and monitor the results you really care about. There is no overnight plan where you go to bed and wake up ranking at the top of the search results, etc.
Know what you are looking for and what typical results are. A lot of clients come in with unrealistic timeline expectations and start to get irritable and worrisome when their budget begins to run thin. This is why it is important to have a thorough discussion with your potential digital marketing agency so that everyone is on the same page about schedules, deadlines, and expectations.
In the end, you don’t want to wind up feeling cheated or like you did not get the value you were expecting. It is absolutely essential that both you and the b2b digital marketing agency you are speaking with are on the same page and know how long the project is planned to take. This not only helps your pocket with budgeting, but also helps the digital marketing agency get a better understanding to develop a working strategy to reach expectations within the agreed timeline.
5. What Results Should You Expect
Once you feel comfortable, have reviewed their experience, and have asked a good deal of questions about their approach, it’s time to put your perspective into results. Whether you are a CEO or a CMO, numbers are important and give direct insight into how the business performs. During this phase, the discussion should be on what metrics, KPIs and other actionable goals you are looking to achieve.
Since no two businesses are the same, it is important that you make sure the digital marketing agency that you have elected understands your company, the customer base, and your industry well enough to make your goals attainable.
Keep your timelines realistic and be sure to question the b2b digital marketing agency to make sure that at the end, the results will only be shocking if it over performs 😊.
6. What’s the Proposed Budget
This is one of the most important questions and yet one of the most awkward to discuss. It’s a proven fact that people do not like to talk about money, especially when it gets down to something they’re passionate about, but talking dollars has to happen in order to achieve the results you’re looking for.
In general, most digital marketing agencies will be able to provide an upfront quote of projected costs for completing the work, rather than work on a non-transparent hourly basis.
Reaching an agreed price upfront lets you feel at ease and able to sign the contract, knowing you are on a fixed price without any budget surprises.
Once you have a budget, timeline, and set of actionable deliverables, you are well on your way to being able to prevent several common mishaps people undergo when hiring a digital marketing agency.
7. What About the Growth of Their Agency
Having experience is great. Meeting your budget – even better! However, one thing to keep in mind is to know that the digital marketing agency you have chosen is also experiencing growth and expansion.
How can a digital marketing agency scale your business if theirs is stagnated and shows no signs of improvement or growth? Be sure to ask how the agency keeps up with digital trends and how they implement new techniques into their own personal strategy.
Now is not the time to be shy. You are not hiring a one-off agency that will get you going and then take the training wheels off and see if you ride or fall. The digital marketing agency you choose is more like a personal advisor or consultant that is there to steer you, your company, and your service or products forward.