Digital marketing is being pitched and sold by thousands of agencies across the country. And rightfully so, as consumer behavior now revolves around the mobile device. For the first time ever, digital advertising in 2018 accounted for over $106 billion or 51.5% of all advertising sales in the U.S. according to Magna Global. This statistic is long overdue as Americans are spending more time accessing the internet than ever before!
With thousands of companies offering some sort of digital marketing, know that all options aren’t equal.
Determine the level of service you’ll be getting.
The agencies’ actual capabilities and level of knowledge will vary. What your agency can do in-house vs. subcontract will vary. I’ve come across capability claims and selling practices that were certainly misleading; so it never hurts to request a proposal from multiple agencies, ask lots of questions and expect clear concise answers. I recommend working with the agency that you feel is the most proficient, thorough and transparent.
Allow enough time before a long term decision can be made.
It’s often communicated by digital marketers that optimization time is a necessity for a company’s first digital marketing campaign. The reasoning is due to a lack of vital, historic website data. Website analytics either hasn’t been set up, the login credentials are lost, or detailed goal tracking wasn’t enabled. If the juicy, historical data that maps out your website visitors’ behavior and trends doesn’t exist, there will be a slight learning curve. This type of data is typically rich with insights and trends (if collected over the years).
And if analytics wasn’t set up previously or properly, it’s okay because you have to start somewhere! Simply understand that there is much to learn during the first 3-6 months (or 12 months if seasonal trends impact your business).
Be realistic. A trial campaign may not impact sales.
A trial campaign usually entails a small budget, tight targeting parameters, and limited time for marketers to test and optimize campaigns. Don’t forget that the purpose of a trial campaign is to get a small SAMPLE of what’s potential. If initial results seem subpar, embrace the transparency, identify the lessons learned, and refine your marketing.
Set fair expectations and benchmarks for yourself as well as the agency. Compare sales data month over month and year over year (before, during and after the trial campaign). Identify areas of interest with your website traffic, like what do you hope to learn about your customers. Share your interests and concerns with the agency so they can include the right data in your reports. Analyze your customers’ behavior, tailor your marketing efforts accordingly and grow your business!
Need a starting point? Here’s what it’s like to work with KeyMedia Solutions.