Did you decide to hand off your digital marketing work to an agency? Great decision! The benefits are obvious, any professional agency will deliver results safely, on time, on budget and will not stop even if your production is flooded with calls and orders… or are they.
It really depends on the agency you select. I know the screening process is super hard. Each agency is different, each has different processes and different questions about your biz. We already published a study that talks about how to select the best agency but even having the best may not guarantee that they will get the work done right. To ease that initial discussions, we put together a list of base questions we ask our clients. Answering these questions before you reach out to any agency will simplify and speed up your selection process and project in general.
When do you want to start? Who are your competitors? What are your main goals? What did you do that didn’t work? What is your budget?
When do you want to start?
This is a simple item but we have a funny story behind it. We had a client who seemed like the perfect fit. We met with them on a number of occasions in person (those that know LA understand the difficulty of doing that) presented a solution, got positive feedback and a go ahead. Docs prepared, signed, kick off to set the start day. Things go well till the question, when do you want to start? The answer; We plan to start with the digital next year… mouth drop!
I get it, some companies move slow and plan ahead but do agencies a flavor, disclose when you actually plan to start your digital efforts. Unless you are a giant that has a ton of red tape to cut through or are planning to spend millions of dollars, start the selection process at the most three months before your expected to start your digital marketing efforts.
Who are your competitors?
Most agencies are generalists, they will understand how to get somebody to view, sign-up or purchase a product but will not understand your brand… at least not from the get-go and not the finer points of your business. Giving us info on who you are and 3-5 direct competitors will save agency time and allow them to dig deeper into the given companies. The outcomes and following questions will be more relevant and deeper, saving you both time.
What are your main goals?
Be clear about your primary goals as well as how much of each goal you want to reach (ex: 1000 new sales per month) for the project to be deemed success. If you have an e-commerce, those goals will most likely be tied to driving sales. If you’re working with digital content, objectives might include unique visitors, page views, or a bounce rate.
Aside from the minimum, we also like to understand what the max is. Sometimes selling too much or bringing too many leads will cause problems with production/support and make your brand look bad. Nobody wants that to happen.
What did you do that didn’t work?
We can deduct what is working for you because, most likely, you are still doing it. What we will not find out are the tried and failed efforts. Sharing your failed attempts and sharing access to your Google Analytics data may be frightening but will again result in better info and results.
Agencies may not ask for this but it’s definitely worth having this information that helps us to learn and fine tune our proposal.
What is your budget?
Yes, disclosing your budget may put you in a disadvantage but it’s the most direct way for an agency to know if their efforts will have a chance. In case the client doesn’t want to disclose that info I ask them about their current results. How much does it cost them currently to get a sale, lead or visit. In a nutshell, I want to ensure that what I am proposing will not make you weak in your knees.