1. Do you understand the skill gaps on your own team? You might need a full-service agency or freelancers could be enough.
2. Do you know what will define success? Before you start speaking with any agency or freelancers, have a clear understanding of what you want to achieve and create key performance indicators (KPI’s) for each intended outcome. Monitoring and reporting is as important as implementing your plans.
3. Do you understand your customer personas? Funds spent delivering the right messages to the wrong people will go wasted and also create confusion about the effectiveness of the marketing strategies and tactics you choose.
4. Do you have separate strategies for lead generation v. nurturing and sales? Messages that effectively nurture a lead are dissimilar to those that nurture a client. In addition, the development of marketing content, which must establish trust and communicate expertise, requires a completely different approach than the development of sales content that is focused on conversion, adoption and long-term client goals.
5. Who will do the work? Agencies will have several account managers and and teams that will implement. Make sure the people on your team are continuous learners that understand your type of industry and your operations. Marketing tactics and platforms are constantly changing and everyone must keep up on the latest research and technology changes to be successful.
6. Do they have references and reviews? Look for references from businesses in your type of industry.
7. Do you have an exit plan? Make sure you have a clean and clear way out if things don’t go as expected. Don’t be afraid to pivot if you can’t see results in 6 months and refrain from signing long-term contracts until you are comfortable with the services provided.
8. Are you looking outside your area? Especially if you are in CT or NY, service providers in other areas can be more reasonably priced and offer a fresh, unique perspective. This can help you stand out among the competition.
9. Have you seen various aspects of their marketing? Check if best practices are reflected in their marketing activities.
10. Are they thought leaders? Thought leaders ensure their teams embrace continuous learning and professional growth. They are also more likely to refer you to new customers because of an extensive sphere of influence.
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