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 addressing consumer demand and investing heavily in their online presence. The rapid expansion of online investment and increased option of advertising platforms signifies that digital marketing roles have rapidly evolved to get multi-disciplined and complex. Agencies are therefore an appealing option for brands looking to deliver quickly on digital campaigns and projects.
The process of selecting marketing services should be the same as for employing a permanent an affiliate staff. Even though relationship will be different, the selection criteria are similar.
In both cases you want to hire specific skills that deliver value for your organisation. Ensuring an agency is allowed to deliver over a brief and can remain accountable within a campaign or project is something you will equally expect of an employee.
Agencies are usually adept at pitching for business because they will regularly face exactly the same questions from prospects. Normally a potted history of the company with a client set of recognisable brands will likely be enough to create confidence with their abilities.
Once you`ve told the company what you would like them to do, and how much you need to spend your digital cards are laid out in the table.
If you`re gonna decide if the agency suits your business, then you will want to inquire about probing questions about their team, experience and competence. The goal would be to know how your relationship work and precisely what the likelihood is of these delivering on your own goals.
Budget might be notoriously difficult for SMBs to define as frequently they would like to invest based upon expected ROI. Its an error to hold back on revealing the available budget to a agency, being a campaign or project could be delivered with varying degrees of quality based on spend. Its important to pay attention to value, not simply cost.
If you`re clear about what you wish the agency to complete, as well as the impact that will have in your business, you then will be able to put at least a guide price on which that services are worth.
Outsourcing is not in itself a bad thing in any way. If job is being outsourced to specialists then its more cost effective and scalable than hiring permanent staff without compromising quality. The challenge for that agency (you should explore) is just how well they may maintain these freelance relationships to ensure a continuous degree of service to their customers.
There aren`t many brands that are looking more information about marketing1on1 to disappear right into a black hole every time they sign the agreement. Requesting specifics on the project management and progress tracking including tools, frequency and metrics will offer clarity about the working relationship.
Many times, the day to day management is glossed over on the pitching stage in lieu of assessing the agencys capacity to give you the end goal. Asking them questions about tracking and reporting shows that youre dedicated to delivery and value along with an agency should respond positively to the.
Even though youre 99% sure youre going to sign up with a particular agency, its still worth looking around for comparable quotes. Saving your financial budget means it might be spent elsewhere, and talking with other digital specialists ensures that youll have a different perspective about the right approach for your project on anything from platform option to advertising channel.
If you`re employing a tiny budget, then try some long tail Google searches varying by UK region to discover agencies that dont possess a large advertising spend on AdWords. You will find instances 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 on the small budget.
The only time you`ll ever wish you checked an employment reference takes place when a relationship fails. Be sure you talk with the agencys references before signing a contract. The right time for you to check references is in final stage of selection, if you have 2 or more shortlisted agencies. Seeking references at an earlier stage can be unfair towards the agency if youre not yet interested in signing them up.
Be mindful that delaying reference checks until youre willing to sign an agreement might be far too late, for your decision is actually made. This bias within them being your best option around the table means theres a robust chance you wont review their references thoroughly.
Contract negotiation is one thing you can either love or hate. Often people who adore it try and fight the cost up or down without considering value, and people who hate it simply pay for the list price to prevent conflict. Either scenario can get a poor deal.
The ideal negotiation tactic is usually to be flexible to get what you wish. You are doing this when you are clear about your deal breakers, but have a long list of concessions you`d be willing to create to acquire these terms. As an example, if the quote is above your finances then that`s a deal breaker. You could potentially bring it down by agreeing into a longer contract term or no break clause.
It`s a very good idea to insert a rest clause in the first campaign being a project progress checkpoint. This can are typically 3-half a year, but needs to be realistic according to precisely what the project is.
When the agency don`t hit their target at this stage, and there`s no break clause then you`re required to continue to hire an agency that isn`t delivering. This may be a serious, 28dexapky situation and costly to rectify. If there`s justification for that missed target, then the decision to continue or perhaps not rests with you without having to experience a messy contract termination.
For anyone seeking to develop their negotiation skills, I would recommend an incredible book called Acquiring More by Stuart Diamond.
Very much like checking references, you ought to ask to fulfill other folks with the agency when you feel positive about their abilities to deliver. Visiting their offices, and meeting the individuals who`ll be delivering your projects means you can test the competence and professionalism from the team overall.
Certainly one of my clients recently created a decision not to sign up contact us at final stage about the basis that on visiting their offices, these folks were unable to acquire a laptop working to show for them.
Many agencies will involve their delivery team with the pitch stage, but for people who don`t it`s good to understand who you`ll be working with in the event you sign-up.