This post was originally published on October 30, 2017, and was updated on March 12, 2020.
Do you need a digital marketing agency? Maybe you already have one. Or possibly, you’re sure you can manage marketing efforts internally. But even if you don’t think you’re shopping for a digital marketing agency, hear me out.
The marketing challenges your company faces are continually evolving. A few years back, a lot of the partners we worked with were focused on modernizing their marketing efforts. Everyone wanted to leverage new technology. Today? One of the top marketing issues B2B companies cite is being human. We’ve come full circle.
Adapting to the ever-changing trends in the B2B marketing world is no small feat. Even if you have an in-house marketing person or team!, it might be time to think about partnering with an expert. You may need the services of a digital marketing agency.
A lot of prospects I’ve spoken to over the years who initially resisted the idea of outsourcing their marketing efforts came around once they understood precisely what a digital marketing agency was and the benefits partnering with one could offer.
In this post, I’ll give you a brief rundown of what to expect when choosing a digital marketing partner, the benefits they can provide, and some pointers to help you choose the right agency for your organization. Let’s get started.
- Starting Your Search
- Finding the Right Partner
- Asking the Right Questions
- Understanding Pricing Models
Digital Marketing Agencies: What They Are and What They Do
Digital marketers use the internet to promote your brand, product, or services to your audience. But there are different types of digital marketing, and not every agency offers the same services.
Types of Digital Marketing Agencies
Here are a few examples of different kinds of digital marketing agencies. Each one offers services to fit a specific need:
Most really good digital marketing agencies — whether they’re boutique agencies or global operations — provide a comprehensive array of services. Each will follow their own specific process in creating your campaigns.
At Total Product Marketing, we’ve found great success in many campaigns with the following basic process that we have continually tweaked and fine-tuned:
We get to know you (the client), your business, and your marketing goals so that our strategy is based entirely on your unique needs. This stage often includes:
- Face-to-face meetings
- An introductory phone call
- Review of your current marketing materials (website, white papers, ads, etc.)
- Gathering and analysis of any marketing metrics, personas, or buyer journeys you have
This stage can involve some or all of the following, depending on the complexity of your marketing project:
- Development of buyer personas and journeys
- Development or fine-tuning of messaging and positioning
- Determination of content needed and task scheduling
- Outline of estimated time frames
- Determination of KPIs
- Client review, amendments, and approval
Content Creation and Publication
There’s more to this step than merely assigning a task to a writer or designer and pushing it live. A good digital marketing agency’s content creation process will include:
- Keyword research
- Outline creation and review
- Copywriting, fact-checking, and editing
- Client review
- Design and review
- Development of tracking mechanisms
- Monitoring KPIs
- Revision as needed
The Benefits of Outsourcing Your Digital Marketing
What’s so great about digital marketing agencies? What benefits does partnering with an agency offer that you might not see from an internal team?
Whether or not you have an internal marketing team, your organization stands to benefit from working with experts at a digital marketing agency.
If You Have a Marketing Team
Partnering with a digital marketing agency can help augment your internal team’s capabilities or fill gaps in your skillset. Maybe you’ve mastered social media marketing but struggle with email campaigns. Perhaps you’ve already got a handle on technology but are a little lost when it comes to keeping up with new marketing trends.
Acknowledging where your efforts are working and where you’re falling short is a crucial step toward developing an effective marketing strategy. There’s no shame in partnering with a digital marketing agency instead of doing it all yourself. In fact, some of the biggest tech companies out there are doing it.
If You Don’t Have a Marketing Team
Partnering with a digital marketing agency can offer some significant benefits that you just won’t see if you opt to hire internal marketing staff:
- An outside perspective into your business and its audience
- The chance to focus your time and resources on building your business, rather than chasing leads
- Expertise and understanding of the latest trends and technology
- The help you need, when you need it — scale services up or down as needed
- Comprehensive digital marketing strategy and campaigns
Choosing the Right Digital Marketing Agency
Not all marketing agencies are created equal. Your organization’s needs are not the same as those of your competition, and you don’t want a partner that will apply the same strategies to both. (After all, your goal is to stand out and get noticed.)
Starting Your Search
Here are a few factors to consider when you start looking for a partner to take on your digital marketing:
Finding the Right Partner
Once you’ve narrowed down your list of potential partners to a few candidates, it’s time to dig deep. This is not the time to take a chance or go with a gut feeling. Interview any digital marketing agency you’re considering as though you were hiring staff. Make sure you get to talk to at least some of the team you’ll work with.
Look for a digital marketing agency that:
- Has experience in your industry or niche
- Can provide samples of their work as well as reports on metrics and, impact
- Explains how they measure campaign success and why they use that method
- Provides contact information for previous clients you can contact for a reference
Asking the Right Questions
If you’ve never worked with a digital marketing agency before, it’s hard to know exactly what questions to ask to find the right one. Finding an agency with experience and demonstrated success is a good start, but it doesn’t guarantee they’re the right match for you.
This list can serve as a guide to help you determine whether or not an agency will be able to meet your needs.
Understanding Pricing Models
Digital marketing agencies engage in several pricing models, the most common of which are explained below:
Are You Looking for a Digital Marketing Agency?
Regardless of the size or scope of your business, chances are good you could benefit from working with a digital marketing agency.
At Total Product Marketing, we work with B2B technology companies of all shapes and sizes to develop long-term marketing strategies that reliably deliver results to keep your business growing. If you’d like to know more about partnering with us or have specific questions about digital marketing, we’re here to help. Get in touch with us today.