Your CEO has finally given the thumbs up to find a digital growth marketing agency. Now you must start the rigorous process of finding one best suited to help your company hit its goals. As a marketing executive, you probably already have a meeting on the books with your team to go over the criteria that the best digital growth marketing agencies must meet to make your short list.
It is important to know the makeup of a truly skilled growth marketing team that’s fully invested in each project. That said, it is equally important to know the hallmarks of a bad one. In general, growth marketing agencies get a bad rap due to the lack of transparency in the industry and their rinse-and-repeat operations. In addition, most digital marketing agencies staff entry-level team members with minimal industry experience and no academic background in marketing.
In order to avoid partnering with those agencies that offer a one-size-fits-all strategy that really does nothing more than generate a few leads while amassing a colossal waste of your marketing dollars, you need to know how to identify those stellar digital marketing agencies that will help you hit your revenue targets.
Your growth isn’t going to wait around for you and your team to make slow decisions. Your competition is already likely pumping out content to your target buyers while you are still talking about what matters the most for your bottom line. There are a set of questions you and your team can focus on when vetting the various digital growth marketing agencies out there who all claim to be the masters of their universe. Here are the top questions and focal points executive teams should keep top of mind when searching for a marketing agency they can have a prosperous partnership with.
Understand the Risks in Hiring an Agency
Marketing is risky. Agencies that don’t put the right people in the right seats create big opportunities for poor quality, and without a research backed strategy that conjoins the right data with the right tools and the experienced mindset to drive a strategy, your investment won’t yield a return.
To reduce the risk of wasting precious time, resources, and money to run a marketing strategy that’s as useful as a comic book, make sure the agency’s approach is designed to help you achieve your unique goals as opposed to modeling some cookie-cutter strategy that hundreds of other agencies regurgitate for vanilla results.
The Approach to Growth Marketing
When vetting agencies, the first thing to determine is the approach they take to marketing. First and foremost, the approach must be grounded in an understanding of how customers consume information relevant to your industry, products and services when seeking content to help them make a purchasing decision. If marketers don’t use advanced tactics to learn who their client’s target buyers are, their common pain points, what typical solutions are to fulfil those needs, and a number of other intimate details about consumer buying habits.
Ask the agency how they target your customers. If they say they base the foundation of the strategy in industry keywords with high search volume, hang up the phone. Ranking content for these keywords will take a long time and the keywords are too broad lacking any buyer focus.
Instead, work with a growth marketing agency that begins the engagement by creating detailed buyer personas to use as a roadmap for crafting multiple digital strategies. Once the marketing team knows where your customers consume information related to your products, the type and format of content they engage, and have a comprehensive understanding of your buyer’s needs and how your products provide the ultimate solution, can content and buyer-focused keywords be created. Make sure that content for inbound marketing campaigns is always focused on your buyer’s needs, and if the agency is especially savvy they will be able to utilize a strategy grounded in marketing psychology.
The approach must ALWAYS revolve around your customers and tap into their psyche to determine what truly motivates them to make a purchasing decision.
Avoid Investing in Unnecessary Strategies
Have you ever called your cable TV company to add one channel only to discover you need to upgrade your package to get it that includes 100 other channels you will never watch? Would a single man aged 31 who wants NFL Red Zone also care about children’s programming? Of course not. This si why people have the cable TV industry. So why work with a marketing company that operates the same way?
Many digital marketing agencies stack tools and strategies into a three-tier package to meet different budgetary needs. This is a terrible approach that will waste your money and create massive holes in your overall strategy. Instead, look for a growth marketing agency that only puts together a solution best suited to help you hit your company’s goals.
Look for an agency partner that will customize a set of technology tools and strategies designed to work together to achieve your short-term and long-term goals. Also, look for an agency that will go even further by helping you determine what realistic goals are and how to measure the marketing strategies effectiveness towards achieving them.
Growth Must Be Measurable and Services Justified
We just touched on this point, so let’s go deeper. Every agency uses Google Analytics to show their client’s use engagement data on the website. But what they aren’t able to do is completely show which channels bring in the most revenue, and which pieces of content played roles into the conversion process. Google Analytics also fails to give you personal information on your web visitors that can be used to customize messaging, web page content and blogs.
If you partner with a HubSpot growth marketing partner, your marketing team will have these capabilities and will know where to invest your marketing dollars to maximize your investment. HubSpot’s CRM not only feeds organic search, paid media and inbound strategies together into one easy-to-manage platform, it also collects valuable data that can be analyzed by marketing strategists and used to optimize the overall operation. Everything from which blogs lead to the most sales, to the names of your web visitors and their place of employment and job title, a custom growth marketing solution will help you reach customers that would otherwise be swallowed by the competition. It also leads to allowing companies to channel their investment to areas of the strategy proven to result in higher sales.