How To Evaluate Your Current Digital Marketing Agency
Let’s say you’ve been working with a digital marketing agency and it isn’t working out. You have goals that need to be reached and if you stay on the current path, you won’t reach them. Whether you’ve been with your marketing agency for six months or six years, switching is not easy.
Businesses often spend a lot of time, energy, and money when separating from their marketing agency. If you plan to leave your current provider, it’s important to do your due diligence. There are a lot of hidden problems you have to consider.
Tips For Evaluating Your Current Marketing Agency
When evaluating your relationship with your current marketing agency, a little self-awareness goes a long way. True, sometimes the agency just isn’t cutting it. But clients can be at fault, too. Let’s take a look at how you might be inadvertently adding to the problem.
It’s Not Them, It’s You
Time for some tough love: sometimes clients get in their own way. The so-called Iron Triangle of Service dictates that you can have things fast, good, or cheap, but never at the same time. How does this apply to your relationship with your marketing agency?
- Your goals might not be feasible.
- Your timeframe might not be reasonable.
- Your budget isn’t adequate.
If any of these conditions apply to you, it’s important to level with your current digital marketing company before switching partners. You might be able to work together to temper your expectations and develop a more realistic timeline, budget, or set of goals that will work for everyone. Changing agencies will cost you a lot of time, money, and energy, and might not solve the problem if the problem is, in fact, you.
Be Clear About What You Want
Whether you’re changing agencies or sitting down with one for the very first time, clearly identifying what you’re looking for is crucial. You need to be crystal clear with your agency about your goals, KPIs, and objectives. Remember, no one can help you if you don’t tell them what you want, and even the best agencies in the world can’t hit targets if they don’t know what they are.
Let’s consider two important areas of your marketing strategy: buyer personas and SEO. Your agency needs to know:
- What your buyer personas are for each of your products and services
- What tone to use with your audience
- Where to find your audience
- What content appeals to them at each stage of the funnel (awareness, consideration, and decision)
- What downloadable offers appeal to them
- What social media channels your audience uses
When it comes to SEO strategy, talk to your agency about:
- Getting a clear status on the health of your website’s on-page SEO and how to improve it (or, in a worst-case scenario, how to scale it to a new site)
- Finding critical keywords
- Developing domain authority
- Outperforming your competition in keywords they’re ranking for
What to Ask in an Agency Interview
SEO will play a huge and complex role in your marketing strategy, and it’s important to choose an agency that knows how to play ball. Our eBook, “The Top 50 Questions That You Need to Ask All SEO & Digital Agencies,” will help you maximize your interview time and figure out if the SEO agencies you’re talking to are the real deal. They’re also helpful in establishing what is and isn’t working with the agency you’ve got now.
Here are some of the questions you should be asking your current agency before deciding whether to make a change:
- What is our company’s messaging and how does it communicate our unique selling proposition?
- Do we feel confident that we’ve developed a content marketing strategy that gets the right message to the right client at the right time?
- Are we using a structured content strategy that fits SEO best practices?
- Have we connected our content strategy to marketing automation technology to consistently drip content to our potential clients?
- Do we have content for all three stages of the Buyer’s Journey?
- Have we implemented a guest posting strategy that allows us to communicate our message about our products and services to other websites that already have our ideal audience?
- Do we have a process in place to use SME content to establish our organization as a thought leader?
- Have we developed a wide range of consideration-level content on my website to push leads down the funnel to decision-level content?
- Have we pre-developed evergreen marketing content that can be dripped to my clients throughout their Buyer’s Journey via email marketing?
- Do we have an editorial calendar that will transition my organization from being reactive to proactive?
- Have I created slippage campaigns to drip to leads who have slipped off the hook with email marketing that tackles common objections?
Social Media Marketing
- Do we know which platforms work best to reach my target audience?
- Have we combined my organic social media with a paid social media approach?
- Have we investigated lookalike audiences, retargeting, and geo-targeting to reach my potential and existing clients with unique messaging?
- Have we developed a formal engagement approach to reach individuals and companies that have engaged with my brand through social media?
- Are we making data-driven decisions on my marketing or am I still relying on hunches?
- Do we have a standing meeting to review a wide range of goals and KPIs to make actionable marketing next steps?
- Have we implemented technology that can help my organization uncover the most effective ways to scale my marketing?
- Do we know my Cost Per Acquisition?
- Do we know my RoaS (return on advertising spend)?
- Have we utilized technology to track and lead score leads and prospects?
- Have we married technology to my ideal buyer personas to create highly personalized messages measured for engagement rates?
- Have we connected my website with Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and Marketing Automation Platforms?
- Are we using technology to inform my content strategy, SEO keyword suggestions, and advertising budget?
If you send these questions to your current provider and they don’t have sound answers, then you’d be justified in asking for both an explanation and a better marketing plan.
Utilizing a Team-Based Approach
The way an agency is structured is just as important as how they work. We recommend you look for a creative agency that utilizes a team-based approach, including graphic design.
A digital agency with a team-based approach provides your company with a team of SMEs, each with their own area of expertise, that can help you scale without the heavy cost of hiring internally or using multiple vendors. A good partner will also allow you to leverage game-changing software, creative design, and marketing automation that will help you tower above your competition.
For a closer look at what this means and how a team-based agency works, check out “Our Unique Process,” the first chapter of our Ultimate Digital Marketing Process guide. There you will hear the challenges that “Marketing Mary” faces between hiring internally or using multiple vendors.
Coming Soon: The Step-by-Step Guide to Switching Agencies
If this article has you thinking it might be the right time for you to switch agencies, be on the lookout for our next feature, which will walk you step-by-step through the process of changing your marketing agency. We’ve also published a Digital Marketing Masterclass on this topic, presented by Chris Carr.
Don’t let having the wrong agency cost you time, energy, and money that could otherwise be used to help your marketing success. Contact us today to learn more about Farotech’s unique approach and find out how we can help you implement a proven marketing system.