Looking for an internet marketing partner can be a long, tedious task. Making the wrong decision will be a waste of money, time & brand equity.
Here are eight key characteristics you should be looking for in your marketing partner.
Clearly Defined Process
A marketing partner is more about the process than about product. Every service and every method isn’t going to be equally effective for each client. Beware of marketing firms that plug you into their systems and do the same activities for each client. Just because their service works for one client doesn’t mean it will work for your unique business or your specific audience.
Explores Your Goals
During the process of exploring a new relationship with a web marketing partner, they’re going to do one of two things. Either they’ll (A) make sure you articulate your goals in an understandable way or they’ll (B) tell you what you should do without listening.
If a potential provider doesn’t get a clear understanding of your business goals, don’t waste your time. They can’t solve a problem unless they know what the problem really is.
They Succeed If You Succeed
Is the marketing firm trying to win awards because of how “cool” their campaigns are? Or are they trying to win you new business or new leads?
Is the graphic designer dreaming up amazing work to put in their portfolio to impress other designers? Or are they trying to solve your business problems through a visual medium?
The differences are subtle, but they’re important. Make sure your marketing partner is invested in your success and clearly shows you how they’ll solve your marketing problems.
Has Specific Areas of Focus
Each firm is going to bring something different to the table. Whether specializing in SEO, Social Media, PPC Advertising or Email Marketing; each firm is going to suggest a slightly different solution. Make sure their area of ability overlaps with your needs.
Also, beware of a marketing agency that suggests they’re great at “everything.” This is never the case and when you find a firm acting like it, they’re not worth trusting.
Teaches & Trains Your Team
Each marketing service provider is going to handle this differently, but make sure that the agency you choose is capable of training your team. Are they willing to show you how to make changes to your website? Are they going to show you what improvements they’re making on your social networks?
For example, Shout Out Studio works with some clients to train them how to make changes to their own website while others would rather us handle those changes. We can train clients on using social media, improving their search engine ranking or engaging a new audience through PPC advertising. At each junction, Shout Out Studio is more than a mere vendor, we’re a partner that coaches and teaches our clients.
Emphasizes Analytics and Measurement
It’s one thing to judge a book by its cover, it’s quite another to judge a book by how quickly readers move from page to page.
This is the scenario with web marketing. One might look at a Facebook cover photo or landing page and may notice its beautiful design, but the savvy marketer is going to notice its effectiveness in creating traffic, leads or sales.
With a whole host of methods for tracking data and engagement across web marketing platforms, it’s ludicrous to ignore analytics and measurement. What percentage of visitors to your homepage make it to your email opt-in form? What percentage of that form’s viewers share their contact info with you?
If your marketing provider isn’t sharing data with you and suggesting changes, tweaks, and overhauls based on those numbers, they’re missing the mark.
Compelling Case Studies
As you’re exploring web marketing partners, be sure that their case studies contain compelling business stories.
A portfolio of work that looks “cool” is much different from a case study showing how their client’s ROI was 20:1.
If you’re looking for a web marketing partner, we’d love to talk.
Are there any other keys you’d suggest? If so, head to the comments below and leave your suggestion.
Photo Credit: Resolve