Creating a comprehensive marketing strategy and optimizing your digital presence through methods like advertising, content creation, paid search, SEO and social media requires a lot of heavy lifting. No matter how good your internal efforts are, a lack of experienced digital marketing resources is a challenge faced by many companies. Hiring a digital marketing consultancy can be the perfect solution.
Whether you’re looking to completely outsource your digital marketing efforts or simply augment your in-house team, will have the resources and expertise you need. Bringing in a new perspective with solid digital marketing experience will help you stay one step ahead of the curve, which is crucial to success.
How to Hire the Right Digital Marketing Consultancy
Though you may have already decided that hiring a digital marketing consultancy is a necessity, it’s important to find the right one with which to partner. You should determine if the dedicated team a digital marketing consultancy brings to the table will have the relevant talent and skillsets to oversee your strategy, execute your digital marketing plans and deliver ROI-producing, data-driven, measurable results.
If you’re thinking about hiring a digital marketing consultancy, follow these 7 steps to take to ensure that you choose the right one.
1. Thoroughly Assess Your Marketing Needs
Before you bring in outside digital marketing help, you need to have an understanding of what your needs are. The better you can describe your business needs- be it a new website, SEO, content creation, social media, inbound marketing, or something else. – the more relevant your conversations will be with prospective digital consultancies.
If you feel like you don’t have a good grasp on your exact marketing needs, ask the digital marketing consultancy that you are considering. They are the experts and will have the insight to tell you what strategies are necessary to achieve business growth.
2. Determine Your Budget
Knowing the budget you’re working within is imperative. While this isn’t quite like shopping for patio furniture, where you’re dealing with a set price, a good marketer should be able to work with any reasonable budget and set your expectations accordingly.
However, reasonable is a relative term, as research shows that most companies allow roughly 5% of their annual revenue to be reinvested into their marketing spend. The U.S. Small Business Administration recommends spending 7 to 8 percent of your gross revenue for marketing if you’re doing less than $5 million a year in sales.
You will work with the digital marketing consultancy you choose to determine where the budget is being allocated. It’s their job to ensure you are investing in marketing strategies that are relevant to your needs.
3. Ask the Right Questions
During the selection process, you’ll be interviewing several potential digital marketing consultancies, so make this process as productive as possible. Start by outlining the important questions you’ll want to ask during the interview.
Here are a few suggested questions that should give you an ideal of whether or not the consultancies you’re talking to will be a good fit:
- What industries do they specialize in?
- Are brand strategy and creative design core competencies?
- How do they engage and communicate with their clients?
- Do they offer a data-driven, targeted marketing strategy?
- How do they demonstrate ROI throughout the marketing funnel?
- Can they scale and grow with your business?
4. Determine Their Areas of Expertise
Research and find a digital marketing consultancy that has expertise in your industry. This may be one of the most important steps in the hiring process. After all, you’re looking for the best match for you, your industry, and your target market.
They should be well-versed in industry-specific terminology, target audiences, product offerings, competitive landscape, regulatory restrictions, geographical considerations, etc. This will give them an advantage as they can quickly learn your brand and develop strategies to differentiate your messaging.
5. Assess the Marketing Tech Stack They Have Experience With
A knowledgeable digital marketing consultancy comes with experience using many of the industry’s most widely used marketing automation tools, so their clients gain access to the best technology on the market. Find out exactly what is in their digital marketing toolbox, as doing this job effectively requires specific automation, reporting, and communication. In addition to these tools, look for a consultancy that utilizes marketing platforms to help with the following:
- Email marketing
- Lead generation
- Automation workflows
- Analytics and reporting
- Search engine optimization
- Content management
Remember, the top marketing consultancies will employ a powerful marketing tech stack that gives their team the technology needed to effectively implement your marketing strategies.
6. Ask to See a Portfolio
If a digital marketing consultancy promises you an amazing marketing campaign or a cutting-edge new website, they should be able to demonstrate their ability to deliver. Ask to review projects that have been completed for previous clients. Request a portfolio of their previous work or see if they’ll walk you through some of the projects they’ve done in the past.
Be sure to specifically ask for samples of work that are relevant to your needs. For example, if you need web development, ask to see their previous clients’ websites. If you want them to manage your social media, ask for links to the accounts they have managed in the past.
7. Discuss Reporting KPIs
Although each digital marketing consultancy reports to their clients differently in terms of frequency and format, you always need to be kept in the loop. Set some reporting parameters upfront.
Ask this question: What KPIs are you tracking and how often will you be presenting those results? The top digital marketing consultancies track a wide variety of KPIs, ranging from metrics on your site to your search engine rankings to perhaps the most important KPI, leads. The metrics they measure will depend on your company’s unique goals.
A top-performing digital marketing consultancy will use these metrics to offer suggestions and insights, and to guide the strategy moving forward.