2017 continues to be 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 replying to consumer demand and investing heavily in their online presence. The rapid expansion of online investment and increased accessibility of advertising platforms means that digital marketing roles have rapidly evolved to be multi-disciplined and complex. Agencies are therefore an appealing choice for brands seeking to deliver quickly on digital campaigns and projects.
The process of selecting online marketing services should be the same as for employing a permanent an affiliate staff. Although the relationship may vary, the selection criteria are similar.
In both cases you want to hire specific skills that deliver value to your organisation. Making sure that an agency is capable of deliver with a brief and may remain accountable throughout a campaign or project is one thing you would equally expect of any employee.
Agencies are usually adept at pitching for business while they will regularly face exactly the same questions from prospects. Often a potted reputation of the agency having a client list of recognisable brands is going to be enough to make confidence inside their abilities.
Once you`ve told the agency what you want these people to do, and exactly how much you have to spend your digital cards are outlined around the table.
If you`re going to evaluate if the agency is right for your organization, then you need to question probing questions about their team, experience and competence. The goal would be to know how the connection works and precisely what the likelihood is of these delivering on your own goals.
Budget might be notoriously a hardship on SMBs to define as frequently they want to invest based on expected ROI. Its an error to support back on revealing the accessible budget for an agency, as being a campaign or project can be delivered with varying levels of quality based upon spend. Its important to target value, not merely cost.
If you`re clear about what you need the company to accomplish, along with the impact that may have on the business, then you definitely should be able to put no less than tips price on which that service is worth.
Outsourcing is not in itself bad whatsoever. If work is being outsourced to specialists then its more economical and scalable than hiring permanent staff without compromising quality. The challenge for your agency (that you should explore) is just how well they can maintain these freelance relationships to guarantee a continuous measure of company to the clientele.
There aren`t many brands that are looking marketing1on1 to disappear into a black hole every time they sign the contract. Requesting specifics in the project management and progress tracking including tools, frequency and metrics will provide clarity around the working relationship.
Too frequently, the everyday management is glossed over with the pitching stage rather than assessing the agencys capacity to give you the end goal. Asking them questions about tracking and reporting demonstrates that youre focused on delivery and value along with an agency should respond positively for this.
Even though youre 99% sure youre going to sign up by using a particular agency, its still worth looking around for comparable quotes. Saving your budget means it can be spent elsewhere, and talking to other digital specialists implies that youll get a different perspective on the right method for any project on everything from platform decision 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 invest in AdWords. You will find cases of smaller digital agencies and consultants that white label their services through more expensive, larger agencies that manage the sales pipeline. This is an excellent method to scale value with a small budget.
The sole time you`ll ever wish you checked an employment reference is when a romantic relationship goes completely wrong. Be sure you talk to the agencys references prior to signing a binding agreement. The best time for you to check references is in final stage of selection, once you have 2 or more shortlisted agencies. Asking for references at an earlier stage may be unfair towards the agency if you are not seriously 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 practically made. This bias with them being your best option around the table means theres a powerful chance you will not review their references thoroughly.
Contract negotiation is something either you love or hate. Often those who adore it make an attempt to fight the price up or down without considering value, and those that hate it really spend the money for list price to avoid conflict. Either scenario can get a poor deal.
The best negotiation tactic is usually to be flexible to acquire what you wish. You do this when you are clear about your deal breakers, but have a listing of concessions you`d be willing to create to obtain these terms. As an example, if the quote is above your finances then that`s an agreement breaker. You could potentially take it down by agreeing into a longer contract term or no break clause.
It`s an excellent idea to insert an escape clause in the first campaign as being a project progress checkpoint. This will likely are usually 3-a few months, but ought to be realistic based on precisely what the project is.
If the agency don`t hit their target at this stage, and there`s no break clause then you`re required to still hire an agency that isn`t delivering. This may be a serious, 28dexapky situation and costly to rectify. If there`s justification for your missed target, then the decision to continue or otherwise not rests with you without needing to go through a disorganized contract termination.
For anyone trying to develop their negotiation skills, I suggest a wonderful book called Getting More by Stuart Diamond.
Much like checking references, you ought to ask in order to meet other folks at the agency if you feel positive about their abilities to offer. Visiting their offices, and meeting individuals who`ll be delivering work means you can test the competence and professionalism from the team as a whole.
Certainly one of my clients recently produced a decision not to join up get in touch with marketing1on1 at final stage on the basis that on a trip to their offices, these were unable to obtain a laptop working to present to them.
Many agencies will involve their delivery team at the pitch stage, but for individuals who don`t it`s good to find out who you`ll work with in the event you register.