2017 remains a golden era for digital agencies. UK online retail sales eclipsed 100bn in 2014 reflecting the nations insatiable appetite for buying online. With digital ad spend increasing by 800% between 2004 and 2014 to 7.2 Billion, brands are responding to consumer demand and investing heavily with their online presence. The rapid growth and development of online investment and increased accessibility to advertising platforms ensures that digital marketing roles have rapidly evolved to become multi-disciplined and complex. Agencies are therefore a beautiful choice for brands seeking to deliver quickly on digital campaigns and projects.
The process of selecting web marketing services should be the same as for employing a permanent an affiliate staff. While the relationship will be different, the selection criteria are similar.
Within both cases you want to hire specific skills that deliver value in your organisation. Being sure that an agency is capable of deliver on a brief and can remain accountable within a campaign or project can be something you would equally expect of an employee.
Agencies tend to be good at pitching for business since they will regularly face the same questions from potential customers. Commonly a potted history of the company having a client listing of recognisable brands is going to be enough to make confidence in their abilities.
Once you`ve told the company what you wish them to do, and the way much you will need to spend your digital cards are outlined around the table.
If you`re going to decide if the company is right for your small business, you will want to ask probing questions on their team, experience and competence. The target is to know how the partnership will continue to work and just what the likelihood is of those delivering on your goals.
Budget may be notoriously hard for SMBs to define as much they want to invest depending on expected ROI. Its an oversight to hold back on revealing the accessible budget with an agency, being a campaign or project could be delivered with varying degrees of quality based on spend. Its important to focus on value, not merely cost.
If you`re clear about what you want the company to perform, and also the impact which will have on your business, then you certainly should certainly put at the very least tips price about what that services are worth.
Outsourcing is not really by itself a bad thing by any means. If effort is being outsourced to specialists then its more affordable and scalable than hiring permanent staff without compromising quality. The task to the agency (that you should explore) is how well they can maintain these freelance relationships to guarantee a continuous amount of service to their clients.
There aren`t many brands who want marketing 1on1 to disappear right into a black hole as soon as they sign the agreement. Requesting specifics in the project management and progress tracking including tools, frequency and metrics will offer clarity in the working relationship.
Too often, the daily management is glossed over on the pitching stage rather than assessing the agencys ability to provide the end goal. Asking them questions about tracking and reporting shows that youre focused entirely on delivery and value as well as an agency should respond positively to this particular.
Even if youre 99% sure youre going to sign up with a particular agency, its still worth looking around for comparable quotes. Saving your finances means it can be spent elsewhere, and speaking with other digital specialists implies that youll get a different perspective about the right approach for your project on everything from platform choice to advertising channel.
If you`re by using a tiny budget, then try some long tail Google searches varying by UK region to find agencies that dont use a large advertising spend on AdWords. You can find cases of smaller digital agencies and consultants that white label their services through more costly, larger agencies that manage the sales pipeline. This is one way to scale value over a small budget.
The sole time you`ll ever wish you checked an employment reference happens when a romantic relationship goes wrong. Be sure you talk with the agencys references prior to signing an agreement. The proper a chance to check references is in final stage of selection, if you have a couple of shortlisted agencies. Looking for references at an earlier stage might be unfair for the agency if youre not interested in signing them up.
Be mindful that delaying reference checks until youre able to sign a contract might be too far gone, for your decision is actually made. This bias in them being your best option on the table means theres a powerful chance you wont review their references thoroughly.
Contract negotiation can be something you can either love or hate. Often individuals who adore it try to fight the fee down or up without considering value, and those that hate it merely pay for the list price to avoid conflict. Either scenario can end up with a poor deal.
The very best negotiation tactic is going to be flexible to get what you want. You are doing this when you are clear regarding your deal breakers, but have a list of concessions you`d be willing to help make to acquire these terms. As an example, in the event the quote is above your finances then that`s an arrangement breaker. You can take it down by agreeing to a longer contract term or no break clause.
It`s a really good idea to insert an escape clause within the first campaign as being a project progress checkpoint. This may are usually 3-six months, but ought to be realistic based on precisely what the project is.
In case the agency don`t hit their target at this moment, and there`s no break clause then you`re made to continue to hire an agency that isn`t delivering. This is often a serious, 28dexapky situation and costly to rectify. If there`s justification for the missed target, then the decision to continue or perhaps not rests up to you while not having to experience a disorganized contract termination.
For all those seeking to develop their negotiation skills, I recommend a wonderful book called Acquiring More by Stuart Diamond.
Much like checking references, you should ask to meet other people with the agency if you feel confident in their abilities to provide. Visiting their offices, and meeting the individuals who`ll be delivering your job means you can test the competence and professionalism of the team overall.
Certainly one of my clients recently crafted a decision not to sign up get in touch with marketing1on1 at final stage in the basis that on visiting their offices, these folks were unable to have a laptop up and running to show for them.
Many agencies calls for their delivery team with the pitch stage, but for those that don`t it`s good to understand who you`ll work with in the event you join.