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Evaluate a Marketing agency: a Marketer’s guide


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A Report Card For Grading the Effectiveness of Existing or Future Agency Partners

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Evaluate a Marketing agency: a Marketer’s guide

  1. 1. Evaluate aMarketingAgency:A Marketer’sGuide.A Report CardFor Grading theEffectiveness ofExisting or FutureAgency PartnersA publication ofintroductory
  2. 2. Evaluate a Marketing Agency: A Marketer’s brings your whole marketing worldtogether in one, powerful, integrated sys-tem.HubSpot’s All-in-OneMarketing Software.Request A DemoVideo OverviewMarketing analyticsY Analyze your web trafficand see which sourcesare generating the mostleads.NBloggingCreate blog contentquickly while getting SEOtips and best practicepointers as you type.MemailSend personalized,segmented emails basedon any information in yourcontact optimizations Improve your rank insearch engines by findingand tracking your mosteffective keywords.ULead managementTrack leads with acomplete timeline-view oftheir interactions with yourcompanyqsocial mediaPublish content to yoursocial accounts, thennurture leads based ontheir social engagement.
  3. 3. Evaluate a Marketing Agency: A Marketer’s Guide3www.Hubspot.comEvaluate a MarketingAgency: A Marketer’sGuide.Written By Shannon JohnsonShannon is an Inbound Marketing Managerat HubSpot. She works closely with theagency sales team to ensure the educationalresources HubSpot publishes meet theneeds of agency marketers. She’s anArizonan-turned-Bostonian, a dog lover, andan ASU alum who likes to dabble in digitalphotography.Follow me on twitter.@shannopop
  4. 4. Evaluate a Marketing Agency: A Marketer’s Guide4www.Hubspot.comCONTENTS.Introduction.05the printable marketingagency Report Card.15The 8 Criteria Marketers Useto Evaluate an Agency.06
  5. 5. Evaluate a Marketing Agency: A Marketer’s Guide5www.Hubspot.comAccording to a 2012 study conducted by the Chief MarketingOfficer Council, only 9% of surveyed senior marketers “believetraditional ad agencies are doing a good job of evolving and extendingtheir service capabilities in the digital age,” whereas 22% believe theiragencies are struggling to transition their business models and serviceofferings. 51% of the 250+ senior marketers surveyed think theiragencies are “playing catch-up” -- bolting on different aspects of digitalmarketing without taking an integrated approach.Here’s the thing: marketers like you aren’t looking for agencies playingcatch up. In fact, we talked to several of our customers who work withagencies to verify what attributes they look for when evaluating anagency’s performance or partnership potential.The following 8 criteria is what they came up with.Introduction.
  6. 6. Evaluate a Marketing Agency: A Marketer’s Guide6www.Hubspot.comThe 8 CriteriaMarketersUse toEvaluatean Agency.
  7. 7. Evaluate a Marketing Agency: A Marketer’s Guide7www.Hubspot.comTrust and Credibility.You should want to work with agencies that practice what they preach.Agencies lacking a social media presence, a blog, and some irresistiblecontent to fuel a solid story about how they attract new businessthrough inbound channels is one surefire way to turn prospective clientsaway. Not having authentic references is another: “As we all know,reading a review online from a trusted source or speaking directly to anexisting, happy customer can really seal the deal,” says Karen Jimenez,Director of Marketing at Capsule Tech.Furthermore, marketers like you are smart. You Google. You check outagency websites. You look to see if agencies walk the talk:When evaluating any company the first thing I do is look attheir website and social media presence. I Google to see if Ican find them online and evaluate how well their website isoptimized for search engines. Occasionally I even ask whatcontent they use to drive traffic to their site to see how wellthey do inbound marketing for their own business.- Erin Wasson, VP of Marketing, UrbanBound1“”
  8. 8. Evaluate a Marketing Agency: A Marketer’s Guide8www.Hubspot.comCompatibility.Compatibility in the client-agency relationship is two-fold: agenciesshould have a cultural vibe that works well with your team, but theyshould also have the right experience -- proven success working in yourindustry. Chad Reinholz of HindSite Software explains it this way:I’d want proven success in my industry. An agency that workswith primarily B2C customers probably won’t be a good fitfor my B2B business. Likewise, a company with a strongtradition of helping food brands probably won’t be a goodfit with my software company. We’ve worked intensivelywith a marketing consultant with roots in our industry whoalso consult with many members of our target audience. Wecouldn’t get the same level of insight from an agency thatdidn’t have those roots. To understand our market, you haveto have experienced it before.In addition to industry experience, Julie Montgomery of Plexentlooks for agency partners who are like-minded culturally: “Working inmarketing is like playing a sport. For any external partner, we look forteammates who have passion, spark and ongoing curiosity.”2“”
  9. 9. Evaluate a Marketing Agency: A Marketer’s Guide9www.Hubspot.comPricing and Value.There is no one-size-fits-all pricing model for agencies, but there isone right way to feel about what you paid for marketing services: thatyou got what you paid for. You should always feel like the completeddeliverables and services rendered were well worth the money.A Holistic Approach to Marketing.When we say “holistic,” we mean that your agency understands there’smore to marketing than top-funnel awareness building through displayads, blogging and social media publishing.A modern day agency practices inbound marketing: a methodology thatinvolves delivering content to prospective customers when and wherethey want to be reached. This means content has to contain context;it must be targeted based on behavioral data as well as the prospect’scurrent stage in the buying cycle.On the next page is the process your prospects go through beforebecoming happy customers. Your agency should be prepared to helpyou deliver contextual content through a myriad of channels so you canattract strangers, turn them into website visitors, convert those visitorsinto leads, close those leads as customers, and continue to delightthem beyond the purchase.34
  10. 10. Evaluate a Marketing Agency: A Marketer’s Guide10www.Hubspot.comEfficiency and Efficacy.You want to know the money you fork over to your agency every monthis going more toward actual work than project management or learningnew software systems.The technology an agency uses to not only manageprojects but execute on them is important to me. I’m turnedoff by agencies that use Excel sheets and dated projectmanagement or communication tools.- Erin Wasson, VP of Marketing, UrbanBoundToday, agencies should have a software toolset that makes it easier todo marketing, not harder.5The Inbound Marketing Methodology.“”
  11. 11. Evaluate a Marketing Agency: A Marketer’s Guide11www.Hubspot.comCommunication.“Communication is sometimes more important than actually doing thejob itself,” says Chad Reinholz of HindSite Software:We’re releasing a new software module to businesses thatplow snow. One guy I talked to said that customers won’t gettoo angry if you haven’t plowed their parking lot, but they willget upset if they call you up and ask when it will be plowedand you don’t have an answer.In some respects, an agency’s work is similar. If you don’tknow the status of a project, that kills a relationship more thanpoor work. I gauge an agency’s communication skills in theproposal stage by whether they present both a project planand meeting rhythm.6“”
  12. 12. Evaluate a Marketing Agency: A Marketer’s Guide12www.Hubspot.comEducation and Training.In order for a client to truly make use of the 40-page inbound marketinggameplan your agency put together, you have to be ready to (help them)implement it all. This means you have to have blogging know-how ifyour agency isn’t doing it for you; you have to know how to manage aFacebook community if it’s not part of the scope.Education and training goes beyond knowing why your agency choseone strategy over another. The more adept every one of your employeesis with the latest trends and tools in the marketing industry, the moresuccessful you’ll be in the long term. Your success leads to agencysuccess.Look for agencies that view education and training as an opportunity todemonstrate their expertise while simultaneously earning your trust andfostering a more collaborative relationship with you.If I know more about available technology out there than aprospective agency, I likely wouldn’t hire them. I would wantthem to teach me new things and keep me on top of trends --not the other way around.- Erin Wasson, VP of Marketing, UrbanBound7“”
  13. 13. Evaluate a Marketing Agency: A Marketer’s Guide13www.Hubspot.comAccountability and Measurement.In 2011, Fournaise Marketing Group in London surveyed 600 CEOs anddecision makers to find that:• 72% of CEOs think marketers “are always asking for moremoney, but can rarely explain how much incrementalbusiness this money will generate.”• 70% think marketers “bombard their stakeholders withmarketing data that hardly relate to or mean anything for thecompany’s P&L.”• 67% think that, “unlike CFOs and Sales Forces, [marketers]don’t think enough like business people: they focus toomuch on the creative, ‘arty’ and ‘fluffy’ side of marketing andnot enough on its business science, and rely too much ontheir ad agencies to come up with the next big idea.”Is this how your boss feels? If so, your next agency has to be laser-focused on driving business results if they not only want to get hired,but want to stick around for awhile. Take it from Chad Reinholz:One of the first questions out of an agency’s mouth in theproposal stage should be: ‘What are your goals?’ If they don’task that question, I have a hard time believing they’re going tobe good at measuring results. How do you measure successif you don’t know what the goal is?8“”
  14. 14. Evaluate a Marketing Agency: A Marketer’s Guide14www.Hubspot.comSign up for a free one-on-one assessment of your marketing with one ofour experts to determine how you can improve on tactics ranging fromlead generation, social media, reporting, and much more. Or, check outour Service Marketplace to find a myriad of agencies that can providethe inbound marketing services you with partnerswho can help youachieve results.TALK TO US TODAY.
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