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Pre_Scribed Series Chapter 2: Find Partners & Devise a Game Plan

Pre_Scribed Series Chapter 2: Find Partners & Devise a Game Plan



This webinar is focused on selection criteria for choosing partners and vendors, enacting a detailed task analysis, and developing measurable objectives.

This webinar is focused on selection criteria for choosing partners and vendors, enacting a detailed task analysis, and developing measurable objectives.



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  • Heading: About VodoriSubheading: Strategy, Creative, and Technology for Full Lifecylce
  • Strategy:Branding, business objectives analysis and alignmentCompetitive analysisUser needs and persona developmentSearch Engine Marketing (SEM) and Search Engine Optimization (SEO)Email marketing campaign managementSocial media marketingOnline content planning, development and publishingAnalytics, targeting and trackingTechnologySystem integrationContent managementCustom application developmentCreative

Pre_Scribed Series Chapter 2: Find Partners & Devise a Game Plan Pre_Scribed Series Chapter 2: Find Partners & Devise a Game Plan Presentation Transcript

  • 6 doses for a healthy global online marketing launch
    Webinar 2: Find Partners & Devise a Game Plan
    Presented by: Rob DeMento & Matt Helf — March 30, 2011
    Questions? Reach out:
    via Twitter @Pre_Scribed
    via email at Pre_Scribed@vodori.com
    Pre_Scribed is a webinar series sponsored by:
  • Webinar Series Overview
    6 Modules about Developing a Successful Online Marketing Program for Biotech, Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Companies
    Please stay in touch with us through Twitter by following us @Pre_Scribed and also by checking our Pre_Scribed page (http://www.vodori.com/pre-scribed.html) for updates.
    Define Goals for Your Global Online Marketing Program
    Find Partners & Devise a Game Plan
    Design Content to Fit Your Goals
    Coordinate your Channels
    Implement Your Program
    Evaluate Your Success, Maintain Momentum, and Grow Your Program
    Step 2: Find Partners and Devise a Game Plan
    March 30, 2011 | 2
  • About Vodori
    • current interactive portfolio
    • business objectives
    • user needs
    • competitive landscape
    To create a plan for relationship building online
    • wireframes
    • visual design
    • content for all written and visual media
    To cohesively express brand personality online
    • Vodori methodology coupled with best-in-class technologies
    To build the online presence
    • training
    • ongoing support
    • online marketing program management (SEM, Social Media, etc.)
    To ensure continued success
    Step 2: Find Partners & Devise a Game Plan
    March 30, 2011 | 3
  • 10 Steps for Finding Agency Partners & Developing a Game Plan
    Today’s presentation:
    • Content density is high
    This compilation knowingly breaks every PowerPoint presentation rule. It is intended to provide a written playbook to assist in the Agency selection process.
    • Based on collective experience
    Assembled based on many years of experience in dealing with diverse clients and their selection processes as well as best practices we’ve observed in our clients’ arsenals.
    • What this document is not: all-encompassing
    There are certainly criteria and considerations we may have overlooked that are specific to your process. But we hope to have included many of the considerations you’ll want to take into account as you search for your Agency.
    • Also included:
    How you can help your Agency respond
    Step 2: Find Partners & Devise a Game Plan
    March 30, 2011 | 4
  • The 10 Steps
    Assemble your Agency Selection Team
    Identify your Objectives, Potential Initiatives, & Goals
    Make an Inventory of Existing Capabilities
    Select your Candidates
    Evaluate Capabilities and Roadblocks
    Evaluate Portfolios and Reputations
    Evaluate the Team and Working Relationship
    Make your Agency Selection
    Establish a Game Plan and Set Milestones
    Revisit your Plan Early and Often
    Step 2: Find Partners & Devise a Game Plan
    March 30, 2011 | 5
  • About Today’s Presenters: Rob DeMento & Matt Helf
    Rob DeMento: As the head of Vodori's Strategy practice, Rob helps clients develop immediately-actionable plans in interactive media. Rob's work includes online strategic planning, online promotion (Search Engine Optimization and Marketing), user needs and persona development, business needs analysis, web analytics, and offline business integration. Rob has a breadth of experience across diverse industries, with depth in the medical device and biotechnology verticals. Rob holds an MBA and in his "former life" he was an IP attorney at an international law firm where he assisted clients with patent litigation, prosecution, and transactional matters.
    Matt Helf: Matt is the Strategic Web Marketing Manager for the AMA Insurance Agency. He has over nine years of experience in the health and wellness industries and has played integral roles in company re-branding efforts and coordinating the online and offline channels. He has experience with online strategic plan development and identifying the necessary tactics to increase brand awareness and online presence, such as SEO/SEM, website analytics and social media.   
    Our Work Together: Rob and Matt have worked together for 18 months, developing and executing the AMA Insurance Agency’s online strategy. Through their combined efforts the AMA Insurance Agency/Vodori Team has successfully implemented a number of high value changes to existing web properties, including impactful updates to content and site infrastructure, effective SEO updates, and a far-reaching SEM campaign. Their teams are currently working together to spearhead the AMA Insurance Agency’s foray into Social Media.
    Step 2: Find Partners & Devise a Game Plan
    March 30, 2011 | 6
  • (1) Assemble Your Agency Selection Team
    Assemble your Agency selection team with the following guidelines:
    • Avoid making an Agency selection in isolation - enlist colleagues that will eventually be working with your Agency to assist in the process.
    • Depending on the scope of your initiative and decision-making authority, consider including appropriate team members from the following functional areas:
    • Marketing
    • Sales
    • Information Technology
    • Finance (?)
    • Other functional areas as needed
    • Best practice for creating a manageable selection team:
    • Assemble a smaller core team comprised of 2-3 individuals for initial vetting process
    • Final round evaluation should be based on smaller core team recommendations
    • Final round should include entire team with all key decision makers participating
    • Your organization may have an established Request for Proposal (“RFP”) procedure; if that is the case then follow company guidelines for the RFP Process as it pertains to your selection team. (*Note that a “formal” RFP Process is not necessarily required in the Agency selection process.)
    Step 2: Find Partners & Devise a Game Plan
    March 30, 2011 | 7
  • (2) Identify your Objectives, Potential Initiatives, & Goals
    Depending on the current business state, objectives may fall within a wide spectrum. For the purposes of Pre_Scribed, assume we are launching a Therapy.com presence that is either brand new or a significant upgrade from the existing presence:
    • Business objectives. These include such things as:
    • Support for offline marketing initiatives
    • Grow product awareness among patients and physicians
    • Market education and/or growth of market-willingness
    • Provide informational resources for patients and doctors
    • Digital initiatives. These include such things as:
    • A .com presence through branded product site or unbranded disease-state site
    • Social media presence
    • Content re-crafting for an existing site
    • Goals - key website metrics:
    • CONVERSION: Request for Information, sign-up for market-willing database, etc.
    • Visitors: Unique visitors; returning visitors, etc.
    • Site metrics: Time on site, time on specific pages, pageviews, etc.
    • Goals - Social Media metrics:
    • Twitter “Followers”; number of tweets; number of retweets
    • Facebook “Friends” or “Fans”; number of “Likes”; number of “Shares”
    Step 2: Find Partners & Devise a Game Plan
    March 30, 2011 | 8
  • (3) Make an Inventory of Existing Capabilities
    Early in the process it is important to identify your company/brand’s existing capabilities. As a team you’ll need to complete a self-inventory to determine which tactics you’ll be handling internally, which tactics you’ll be handing off to existing Agency relationships, and which items will be assigned to your new Agency. This exercise helps to pair your needs with Agency capabilities. Some areas to consider include:
    • Content development: copywriting, image production/selection, Search Engine Optimization (“SEO”) etc.
    • Ongoing site updates and content changes
    • Hosting and day-to-day website operations
    • Technical application development capabilities
    • Technical support
    • Ongoing site-related promotion: Search Engine Marketing (SEM), eNewsletters, etc.
    • Analytics: measuring site traffic and SEM/SEO effectiveness
    • Social Media content creation and monitoring
    Step 2: Find Partners & Devise a Game Plan
    March 30, 2011 | 9
  • (4) Select your Candidates
    Selecting your list of Agency candidates is challenging but it does not need to be an impossible process. Here are just a few recommendations on how to create your list:
    • Recommendations from colleagues, past and present
    • Recommendations from former classmates
    • Recommendations from other divisions within your company
    • Seek recommendations through your online networks (e.g., Linked In and Facebook)
    • Industry meetings and trade shows: talk to the competition!
    • National business journals
    • National Agency publications with significant digital coverage (e.g., Advertising Age)
    • Local business journals (in Chicago, Crain’s for example)
    • Sites you like: if possible, find out who assisted with the development
    • Generalized online search: through the web and social media channels
    Step 2: Find Partners & Devise a Game Plan
    March 30, 2011 | 10
  • (5a) Evaluate Functional Capabilities
    The criteria that you use to evaluate Agency capabilities will depend on the depth and breadth of your marketing initiative and what you’ll need to support your launch. Here are some of the functional capabilities you’ll want to evaluate (as categorized by Vodori):
    • Branding & Identity
    • Visual design
    • Illustration
    • Wireframes
    • Copywriting
    • Video
    • User Experience Design (UX)
    • Information Architecture
    • Heuristics Analysis
    • Persona development and application
    • Mood boards
    • Color theory
    • System integration
    • Content management
    • Custom app development
    • Mobile app development
    • Front end development
    • Hosting
    • Security
    • Monitoring
    • IT Governance
    • Performance Analysis
    • PCI/HIPAA Compliance
    • Branding & Identity
    • Business objectives analysis
    • Competitive analysis
    • User needs & persona development
    • Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
    • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
    • Email marketing
    • Social media marketing
    • Online content planning, development and publishing
    • Analytics
    • Targeting and tracking
    Step 2: Find Partners & Devise a Game Plan
    March 30, 2011 | 11
  • (5b) Evaluate Agency Capabilities and Potential Roadblocks
    In addition to the functional criteria identified in the previous slide, there are other less-tangible capabilities and potential roadblocks you’ll want to evaluate. Here are some additional capabilities and issues to consider:
    • Industry expertise: has the Agency ever worked in healthcare before?
    • Geography: If your project is multilingual and international in scope, does the Agency have a multicultural, multilingual track record?
    • Technological platforms in use:
    • Web and mobile
    • Content Management System(s)
    • Open Source vs. Proprietary vs. Mix – does it matter to you?
    • Potential business conflicts with existing client base
    • Multiple agencies: if your new Agency will be working closely with an existing bench of Agency talent, do they have a track record of doing so successfully?
    • Company certifications
    • Agency size: do you matter?
    • Geographic proximity
    • Budget: To the extent it is possible to determine in the early stage, will the Agency be capable of delivering the results you seek within your budgetary constraints?
    Step 2: Find Partners & Devise a Game Plan
    March 30, 2011 | 12
  • (6) Evaluate Portfolios and Reputations
    An Agency’s prior work and client relationships are indicative of its quality. Review previous work and examine existing client relationships.
    • The Agency’s work should be reflective of their overall strategy, technology, and creative capabilities. Examine:
    • The Agency’s own site
    • Their clients’ sites
    • Results in other relevant areas (e.g., SEM or eNewsletter campaigns)
    • Request case studies of completed work
    • Explore how the Agency measures its successes and compare to your objectives. Do they measure success in number of new ideas?...Or rather service? Process? Results?
    • Attempt to uncover details about the Agency’s existing client relationships.
    • Does the Agency have long-term clients?
    • Do you know of clients that have left the Agency? If so, why?
    • Ask for references to confirm:
    • Reliability
    • Timeliness with deliverables
    • The Agency is a trusted partner with envelope-pushing ideas and not just an executor
    Step 2: Find Partners & Devise a Game Plan
    March 30, 2011 | 13
  • (7) Evaluate the Team and Working Relationship
    Even more important than vetting the Agency’s capabilities and prior work is evaluating the actual team that you will be working with. These are criteria that you can tease out during the evaluation process but also explicitly question:
    • Examine communications during the Agency evaluation period. Does the responsiveness and attention give you confidence that you will be a valued client?
    • Are you meeting the people that are going to be on “your” team?
    • Leadership: who will be your main points of contact? Are you confident in them?
    • Communication plan:
    • Weekly team status checks and updates?
    • Bi-weekly or monthly analytics reporting? Or whatever frequency you desire?
    • Transparency:
    • Does the Agency utilize phase-gating to enable ongoing recalibration as necessary?
    • Will the Agency provide you with appropriate logins (e.g. Analytics, AdWords, etc.)?
    • Is the team capable of creating, articulating and defending a point of view?
    • Does the Agency clearly foster growth and development of its own employees?
    • Chemistry:
    • Are you excited to work and learn from these people?
    • Would you be excited to share a beverage of choice with these people?
    Step 2: Find Partners & Devise a Game Plan
    March 30, 2011 | 14
  • (8) Make your Agency Selection
    You’ve compiled your final list of agencies and are interviewing your finalists. Through a multi-faceted screening process and review, here are some final considerations in making your Agency choice:
    • The final selection process should include a variety of activities for each Agency:
    • Agency pitches, presentations, and Q & A sessions
    • Review of Agency portfolios
    • Interviews with key team members from each Agency
    • Agency case study reviews
    • Reference checks (if provided)
    • Treat the selection process as if it is the more complex version of a final interview for an employee
    • While Agency selection is not scientific, you should make your selection based on empirical evidence related to your assembled team’s findings regarding:
    • The Agency that has the best capabilities to fit your overarching goals and objectives
    • Chemistry: what “feels right” based on your meetings with the Agency team
    • The Agency’s ability to execute on budget and within a suitable timeframe
    • The Agency that will continue to meet your ongoing promotional and support needs
    Step 2: Find Partners & Devise a Game Plan
    March 30, 2011 | 15
  • (9) Establish a Game Plan and Set Milestones
    You’ve selected your agency. Now it’s time to get down to work. Here are some initial items you’ll want to consider as you move forward:
    • Establish roles and responsibilities between your team and the Agency team
    • Consider hosting an all-day strategic kickoff:
    • Team building opportunity between your team and newly-hired Agency
    • Create an immediately-actionable short-term plan covering first fiscal quarter
    • Develop a preliminary long-term plan that provides year-long guidance
    • Develop a finalized (and itemized) budget
    • Set goals for your online marketing initiatives
    • Create a Statement of Work that enables the initial phases
    • Establish a content update and publication schedule for initial and immediate updates
    Step 2: Find Partners & Devise a Game Plan
    March 30, 2011 | 16
  • (10) Revisit Your Plan Early and Often
    Take advantage of your new working relationship with your Agency to set a precedent regarding expectations. Take the opportunity to get to know their team even better before high-pressure situations have an opportunity to present themselves. Make sure to seek updates early and often from the Agency team. In addition, consider requesting the following:
    • Frequent analytics reports (if applicable)
    • Weekly team status meetings (at least initially)
    • Revisit both your short term and long term plans frequently during initial launch period
    • Request occasional in-person meetings to continue to develop the personal relationship
    • Ask for budget status and any revised expectations on a monthly basis
    • Review invoices closely during first three months and have any “frank” conversations early in the process in an effort to avoid any future misunderstandings
    Step 2: Find Partners & Devise a Game Plan
    March 30, 2011 | 17
  • A Client’s Perspective on What Really Matters
    These are some of the reasons why our clients choose Vodori. These same reasons should be be applicable to all agencies:
    • Having a full bench of personnel across disciplines to fill out the client team roster
    • Access to all levels in the organization: from junior-most designer to company president
    • Unique combination of agility and process
    • Meaningful and constant communication
    • Delivery of tangible results
    • The ability to think strategically and then go execute tactically
    • Responsiveness and a feeling that the work matters to Vodori
    • The ability to not only recognize market opportunities but also the ability to act
    • A relationship that feels more like a true partnership
    • An understanding of and facility in developing a brand strategy
    • An understanding of the need for cross-channel coordination between the offline world and its online counterpart
    • One-stop shopping
    • Pricing
    • Chemistry
    Step 2: Find Partners & Devise a Game Plan
    March 30, 2011 | 18
  • Help your Agency Candidates Better Respond to Your Needs
    Good agencies will put a lot of time and effort in responding to your requests. In some cases they prepare speculative creative work at their own expense (and at the request of the client). There are a number of ways that clients can help their agency candidates be more relevant in responding to their needs. Here are a few recommendations on helping your potential partners:
    • A well-defined RFP can go a long way in helping your Agency candidates to respond to your marketing needs. From the agency perspective, a well-crafted RFP has the following attributes:
    • Specificity: As much detail around requirements as possible
    • Brevity: 10 page maximum
    • Concise: The RFP should be direct and to the point
    • Candor: Open dialogue about what the client doesn’t know
    • Restrictions: brand guidelines or other limitations?
    • Technical Requirements: Any “must haves” or “can’t haves”?
    • Make sure that you’re accessible and overly-responsive during the RFP process
    • Provide details around what the process will entail
    • For pitches on large projects that will entail speculative creative work at your request, consider reimbursing RFP participants for at least some of their work
    Step 2: Find Partners & Devise a Game Plan
    March 30, 2011 | 19
  • Thank You!
    Ask questions:
    via Twitter to @Pre_Scribed
    • via email at Pre_Scribed@vodori.com
    To learn more about this series, visit:
    http://www.vodori.com/pre-scribed.htmlFor further information about this presentation, contact:Rob DeMento
    • 312.324.3626rob.demento@vodori.com
    Step 2: Find Partners & Devise a Game Plan
    March 30, 2011 | 20