Part 3 of Our 5-Part Series
Welcome to Part 3 of our 5-part series on Finding the Right Digital Marketing Agency for Your Business. If you missed Parts I and 2, you can read them here:
Onboarding With a Digital Marketing Agency
Now that you’ve chosen a digital marketing agency, you want them to get right to work. And they do, too. But before they begin to work directly on your marketing strategy and tactics, they need to complete something called ‘onboarding.’ Like human resources onboarding for new employees, a digital marketing agency needs time to access your current information, evaluate the situation, and prepare the way to roll out your custom-crafted marketing strategy.
Google Analytics, Search Console, and G4 Setup
One of the first things a digital agency should ask for is permission to access your Google platforms: Google Analytics and Google Analytics 4 (GA4) accounts, Search Console, and Google My Business.
Don’t have these set up? Your agency should recommend that this be done at once. It is a simple step that will go a long way towards capturing the metrics needed to evaluate the ROI of your digital marketing campaign. Google data also provides insight into multiple facets of your website traffic, and enables the digital team to create and enact effective campaigns.
A few things to note:
- If you already have these tools setup, you will need to add someone from the agency’s team to the dashboard. They should be able to walk you through this over the phone or a video conference. This does not mean that they take control over the platform. Rather, they are added to your company’s administrative panel so that they can act freely behind the scenes, as needed, to complete what they need to do to help you achieve your digital marketing goals.
- An agency should never ‘hold your platform hostage’ or withhold login data from you. If you are moving your business from one digital agency to another, the primary agency should be prepared to hand over the keys to you, as the business owner. If they refuse to do so, check your contract with them. Unless there is something you signed that says they own your website, you are well within your rights to request full access and move it to another agency.
A Content and Website Inventory
Another step in the onboarding process that an agency may recommend is a content and website inventory.
Just like a retail store conducts annual or quarterly inventory to count the number of items in each category, a web and content inventory lists and tallies the quantity and quality of the types of content available for marketing programs.
Every item counts: web pages, landing pages, blog posts, ebooks, white papers, brochures, slicks, case studies, videos, and graphics.
By evaluating the materials available to work with, an agency can recommend collateral to fill any gaps in the customer journey or messaging strategy and reuse and repurpose existing content.
Access to Company, Product, and Industry Knowledge
We saved the most important for last. Your new digital agency will need full access to key individuals within your company, competitors, products (or services), and industry knowledge. In other words, they need access to you and to your time.
Plan to spend at least one or two meetings with the agency, updating them on important facts that address the background information needed to create a solid marketing strategy and plan for your business. Some things you may wish to discuss and share (or they may ask you) include:
- An explanation or demonstration of your products or services
- Discussion of the sales process, how a product is sold and delivered
- What marketing methods have you tried to date,date–what worked, what didn’t?
- Who are the competitors for your company, products, and services?
- Who buys your products and services?
- The sales cycle – how long does it take, from a customer learning about the product to actually buying it? What information do they need along the way?
- What social media channels do you use, if any, and how often are you posting?
- Do you have a list of email subscribers? If so, how was that list created?
- Do you have any special times of the year when your products are more in demand than others? Is it seasonal or based on the holidays?
- How do you prefer to receive information and review documents?
This is for starters and there may be more questions, of course, and questions vary according to your products, services, company, and marketing needs.
Good Marketing Is Collaborative
Good marketing is highly collaborative, and the relationship between agency and client should be one of mutual trust and support. Although you may wish to simply hand off marketing services to your agency and walk away from it to focus on other things, at the start of the engagement it is important to remain in close contact with your agency to ensure things begin on a sound footing. At some point, you may be able to have the agency run marketing without daily input, but at the beginning, the tighter the collaboration, the better your marketing will be.
If you’ve enjoyed these posts, do drop us a note to let us know. Feel free to share this post and others in this series with colleagues and friends, too.
Dashboard Interactive Marketing welcomes inquiries. If you are looking for a digital marketing partner to help you achieve your marketing goals, call us at (763) 242-2454.