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How to Choose the Right SEM
              Agency or Technology Partner




http://www.onfrozenblog.com/wp-content/uploads/...
Agenda

     • Do’s




http://davefleet.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/shutterstock-7209457-thumbs-up.jpg
http://www.joss...
Agenda

     • Do’s



     • Don’ts




http://davefleet.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/shutterstock-7209457-thumbs-up.jp...
Agenda

     • Do’s



     • Don’ts



     • Q&A

http://davefleet.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/shutterstock-7209457-t...
Don’t: Delegate Responsibility to
    a Junior Team Member




http://www.cartoonstock.com/cartoonview.asp?catref=jsin64
Do: Honestly Assess Your Needs




http://www.cartoonstock.com/cartoonview.asp?catref=mban978
Don’t: Think a Technology can Do
              it All




http://www.cartoonstock.com/cartoonview.asp?catref=sea0508
Do: Get Proper Buy-in Prior to
            Issuing RFP




http://www.cartoonstock.com/cartoonview.asp?catref=mban1181
Do: Determine Selection Criteria
  and Evaluation Committee




http://www.cartoonstock.com/cartoonview.asp?catref=mba0433
Do: Outline a Budget Before
               Proceeding




http://www.cartoonstock.com/cartoonview.asp?catref=bstn299
Don’t: Send RFP to More than 5
              Companies




http://www.cartoonstock.com/cartoonview.asp?catref=efin991
Don’t: Include More than 20
                   Questions




http://www.cartoonstock.com/cartoonview.asp?catref=cza1475
Do: Give 3-4 Weeks Lead-time
           for Responses




http://www.cartoonstock.com/cartoonview.asp?catref=idi0065
Don’t: Cut and Paste From
                      Another RFP




http://fromnowon.org/sept08/copycats.jpg
Do: Include a Thorough Brief




http://www.cartoonstock.com/cartoonview.asp?catref=jmo1462
Do: Ask What is Required to
               Implement




http://www.cartoonstock.com/cartoonview.asp?catref=rman4547
Do: Find Out if the Agency Has a
    Proprietary Technology




http://www.cartoonstock.com/cartoonview.asp?catref=shr1176
Do: Ask if any Services are
                  Outsourced




http://www.cartoonstock.com/cartoonview.asp?catref=forn490
Do: Ask How Well the Partner
             Integrates




http://www.cartoonstock.com/cartoonview.asp?catref=jdun35
Do: Ask what the Partner
           Looked Like One Year Ago




http://www.cartoonstock.com/cartoonview.asp?catref=sat0060
Do: Inquire About Research
                   Tools




http://www.cartoonstock.com/cartoonview.asp?catref=cgon591
Do: Ask About Incremental
                   Costs




http://www.cartoonstock.com/cartoonview.asp?catref=ear0665
Do: Ask What Other Clients Pay




http://www.cartoonstock.com/cartoonview.asp?catref=phe0110
Do: Get Case Studies




http://www.cartoonstock.com/cartoonview.asp?catref=mbcn1244
Do: Ask for References




http://www.cartoonstock.com/cartoonview.asp?catref=babn16
Do: Call All References




http://www.cartoonstock.com/cartoonview.asp?catref=pton46
Questions to Ask References
•Why did you choose the partner?
•How responsive is the partner?
•How innovative is the partne...
Don’t: Pick a Partner that has
    More Salespeople than Support




http://www.cartoonstock.com/cartoonview.asp?catref=bs...
Do: Ask Partners to Present
            Actionable Items




http://www.cartoonstock.com/cartoonview.asp?catref=aken236
Do: Narrow Down to 2-3
           Finalists for Presentations




http://www.cartoonstock.com/cartoonview.asp?catref=dcr07...
Do: Give Access to Historical
                 Data




http://www.cartoonstock.com/cartoonview.asp?catref=bbon97
Do: Meet the Team that will be
     Servicing Your Account




http://www.cartoonstock.com/cartoonview.asp?catref=msin122
Don’t: Get Fooled by Bells and
                Whistles




http://www.andertoons.com/img/cartoons/4305.jpg
Do: Try Before You Buy




http://www.cartoonstock.com/cartoonview.asp?catref=ksmn1597
Don’t: Choose Based on Cost
                     Alone




http://www.cartoonstock.com/cartoonview.asp?catref=awhn90
Don’t: Pick a Partner that Isn’t
              Fully Compatible




http://www.cartoonstock.com/cartoonview.asp?catref=mbc...
Do: Go with Your Gut




http://www.cartoonstock.com/cartoonview.asp?catref=dcr0314
Do: Inform the Losers Why They
        Weren’t Selected




http://www.cartoonstock.com/cartoonview.asp?catref=for0054
Don’t: Rinse and Repeat




http://eliaragoldman.blogspot.com/2008/06/rinse-lather-and-repeat.html
Additional Resources
• TinyURL.com/RFP-DSC
  – My blog posts on Digital Sea Change about RFPs


• TinyURL.com/RFP-SEL
  – ...
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How to Choose an SEM Partner

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Published on

How to Choose the Right SEM Agency or Technology Partner
Date: Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Time: 1:00pm EDT / 10:00am PDT

How does one avoid the pitfall of selecting the wrong SEM agency or PPC solution for their business? In this session we'll take a deep dive into the questions, strategies and processes that search marketers today must execute in order to stay competitive and avoid the dreaded mismatch. Just a few of these best practices include:
• Knowing exactly what you need and getting proper buy-in internally
• Allowing plenty of lead time and asking the right questions up front
• Understanding that the basics are what matter most
• Looking beyond cost alone
• Meeting the right people and checking the right references

Presenters: Aaron Goldman, Managing Partner, Connectual

Sponsored by Marin Software

Published in: Business, Technology
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How to Choose an SEM Partner

  1. 1. How to Choose the Right SEM Agency or Technology Partner http://www.onfrozenblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/04/blindfold_dart.jpg
  2. 2. Agenda • Do’s http://davefleet.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/shutterstock-7209457-thumbs-up.jpg http://www.jossip.com/wp/docs/2007/06/simon-cowell-thumbs-down.JPG http://blog.spafinder.com/uploaded_images/question.button-776184.jpg
  3. 3. Agenda • Do’s • Don’ts http://davefleet.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/shutterstock-7209457-thumbs-up.jpg http://www.jossip.com/wp/docs/2007/06/simon-cowell-thumbs-down.JPG http://blog.spafinder.com/uploaded_images/question.button-776184.jpg
  4. 4. Agenda • Do’s • Don’ts • Q&A http://davefleet.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/shutterstock-7209457-thumbs-up.jpg http://www.jossip.com/wp/docs/2007/06/simon-cowell-thumbs-down.JPG http://blog.spafinder.com/uploaded_images/question.button-776184.jpg
  5. 5. Don’t: Delegate Responsibility to a Junior Team Member http://www.cartoonstock.com/cartoonview.asp?catref=jsin64
  6. 6. Do: Honestly Assess Your Needs http://www.cartoonstock.com/cartoonview.asp?catref=mban978
  7. 7. Don’t: Think a Technology can Do it All http://www.cartoonstock.com/cartoonview.asp?catref=sea0508
  8. 8. Do: Get Proper Buy-in Prior to Issuing RFP http://www.cartoonstock.com/cartoonview.asp?catref=mban1181
  9. 9. Do: Determine Selection Criteria and Evaluation Committee http://www.cartoonstock.com/cartoonview.asp?catref=mba0433
  10. 10. Do: Outline a Budget Before Proceeding http://www.cartoonstock.com/cartoonview.asp?catref=bstn299
  11. 11. Don’t: Send RFP to More than 5 Companies http://www.cartoonstock.com/cartoonview.asp?catref=efin991
  12. 12. Don’t: Include More than 20 Questions http://www.cartoonstock.com/cartoonview.asp?catref=cza1475
  13. 13. Do: Give 3-4 Weeks Lead-time for Responses http://www.cartoonstock.com/cartoonview.asp?catref=idi0065
  14. 14. Don’t: Cut and Paste From Another RFP http://fromnowon.org/sept08/copycats.jpg
  15. 15. Do: Include a Thorough Brief http://www.cartoonstock.com/cartoonview.asp?catref=jmo1462
  16. 16. Do: Ask What is Required to Implement http://www.cartoonstock.com/cartoonview.asp?catref=rman4547
  17. 17. Do: Find Out if the Agency Has a Proprietary Technology http://www.cartoonstock.com/cartoonview.asp?catref=shr1176
  18. 18. Do: Ask if any Services are Outsourced http://www.cartoonstock.com/cartoonview.asp?catref=forn490
  19. 19. Do: Ask How Well the Partner Integrates http://www.cartoonstock.com/cartoonview.asp?catref=jdun35
  20. 20. Do: Ask what the Partner Looked Like One Year Ago http://www.cartoonstock.com/cartoonview.asp?catref=sat0060
  21. 21. Do: Inquire About Research Tools http://www.cartoonstock.com/cartoonview.asp?catref=cgon591
  22. 22. Do: Ask About Incremental Costs http://www.cartoonstock.com/cartoonview.asp?catref=ear0665
  23. 23. Do: Ask What Other Clients Pay http://www.cartoonstock.com/cartoonview.asp?catref=phe0110
  24. 24. Do: Get Case Studies http://www.cartoonstock.com/cartoonview.asp?catref=mbcn1244
  25. 25. Do: Ask for References http://www.cartoonstock.com/cartoonview.asp?catref=babn16
  26. 26. Do: Call All References http://www.cartoonstock.com/cartoonview.asp?catref=pton46
  27. 27. Questions to Ask References •Why did you choose the partner? •How responsive is the partner? •How innovative is the partner? •Has the partner been able to scale your program quarter-over-quarter? YOY? •Is the partner proactive in giving you new ideas and recommendations? •What was required of you (the client) to implement the partner’s recommendations/technology? •What (if any) aspect of your (the client’s) organizational structure prevented the partnership from succeeding further? •How many changes have you had in personnel servicing your account? •How many times in the past quarter did the partner miss a deadline? •How often has the partner tried to increase their SOW and fees? • How often were those requests justified? •Why did you fire the partner? (if applicable)
  28. 28. Don’t: Pick a Partner that has More Salespeople than Support http://www.cartoonstock.com/cartoonview.asp?catref=bstn193
  29. 29. Do: Ask Partners to Present Actionable Items http://www.cartoonstock.com/cartoonview.asp?catref=aken236
  30. 30. Do: Narrow Down to 2-3 Finalists for Presentations http://www.cartoonstock.com/cartoonview.asp?catref=dcr0776
  31. 31. Do: Give Access to Historical Data http://www.cartoonstock.com/cartoonview.asp?catref=bbon97
  32. 32. Do: Meet the Team that will be Servicing Your Account http://www.cartoonstock.com/cartoonview.asp?catref=msin122
  33. 33. Don’t: Get Fooled by Bells and Whistles http://www.andertoons.com/img/cartoons/4305.jpg
  34. 34. Do: Try Before You Buy http://www.cartoonstock.com/cartoonview.asp?catref=ksmn1597
  35. 35. Don’t: Choose Based on Cost Alone http://www.cartoonstock.com/cartoonview.asp?catref=awhn90
  36. 36. Don’t: Pick a Partner that Isn’t Fully Compatible http://www.cartoonstock.com/cartoonview.asp?catref=mbcn1015
  37. 37. Do: Go with Your Gut http://www.cartoonstock.com/cartoonview.asp?catref=dcr0314
  38. 38. Do: Inform the Losers Why They Weren’t Selected http://www.cartoonstock.com/cartoonview.asp?catref=for0054
  39. 39. Don’t: Rinse and Repeat http://eliaragoldman.blogspot.com/2008/06/rinse-lather-and-repeat.html
  40. 40. Additional Resources • TinyURL.com/RFP-DSC – My blog posts on Digital Sea Change about RFPs • TinyURL.com/RFP-SEL – George Michie’s post on Search Engine Land re: SEM Agency RFPs • AG@Connectual.com

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