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5 Planning Tips for Hiring the Best Digital Marketing Agency

5 Planning Tips for Hiring the Best Digital Marketing Agency

Posted by Nili M. Zaharony on Feb 14, 2019

Understanding your own business and its goals is as important as understanding where a digital marketing agency can help you grow.

Every business has different needs and not all online marketing agencies are created equal. It’s often that business owners look in the wrong places, ask the wrong questions, and are underprepared when looking for a qualified digital marketing company that can satisfy their needs.

Do you know your business well enough to know what works for your audience and what doesn’t?

While a large digital marketing agency can probably do an okay job with your business needs, sometimes the best help is found when looking at boutique marketing agencies. Believe it or not, there are concentrated online marketing companies that specialize in your niche. Their sole purpose is to provide your industry with the best possible solutions. Sounds pretty good, right?

Still, not even boutique agencies can provide a full-fledged successful marketing campaign for you without a few key insights. So no matter if you’re going boutique or in search of a larger firm to consider the best digital marketing agency for your business needs, you’ll need to know a few things first.

Find The Best Digital Marketing Agency Using These 5 Guidelines

1. What Do You Need Done?

It’s hard to tell an eager B2B digital marketing agency what they need to do unless you’ve taken the time well before your search for an agency to understand what your business is lacking and what it needs.

Do you need an amazing SEO expert? What about action-driven content? Maybe your social media presence needs some beefing up? Or maybe you just want to know more about your audience and understand the demographics and research studies more?

This is not something that will just generate itself. Go ahead and gather your team and start spit-balling a list of everything you think you’d like for your potential new digital marketing agency to employ.

Certain topics on the list could feature:

  • Content Production (copywriting, video/multimedia, etc.)

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

  • Social Channel Management/Marketing

  • Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

  • Email Campaigns

  • Analytics & Data

  • Marketing Automation

  • Inbound Marketing

  • Website Development/Designing/Coding

  • Blogs

This is an extremely simplified version, just to get the creative juices flowing. Point is, you need to know what you’re looking to accomplish that way when the agency suggests something you haven’t thought of, you’ll be more apt to dig a little more to find out other ways a B2B technology digital marketing agency can help your online brand and digital marketing needs expand.

While a good agency will be able to ask you about your current strategy and advise from there, it is still a great practice to have some idea of direction before you begin.

2. Make Sure the Agency is Capable

Since not all B2B digital marketing agencies are created the same, each one will not display the same strengths and weaknesses in their process. This is kind of where you would decide if a boutique agency is more suitable for you. Let’s say your company sells protective eyewear; would you want a large firm who mainly concentrates on cakes businesses to help you out with your business? Probably not.

When it comes to knowing your needs from the above tip, you’d be surprised where you may find the best B2B digital marketing agency that hits all your ticks on your checklist. When it comes to marketing, sure it’s always best to stick with people who understand your industry, which is why a boutique digital marketing agency may be the best choice.

They have extensive knowledge in your field and know the industry inside-and-out, for the most part. This doesn’t mean boutiques are your company’s smoking gun. On the contrary, you run the risk of being placed on a production line of cookie-cutter strategies that have worked for their previous clients.

The goal here is to get a better understanding of the agency you are looking at. Are they able to adapt to different fields? Do their past projects look similar to one another or do they express real creative genius with each project? Be diligent and do your homework on the digital marketing agency you are considering.

3. Look for Skeletons and Compare

It’s funny how each tip seems to run into the next, huh? Just like above, you need to know how the marketing firm will treat your brand. In their projects is there a noticeable tone that you admire? Are you looking for playful and approachable or professional and tight-knit? Can the digital marketing company you selected change their tone up? Do they have past experience that you can gauge their answers from? Look at what they have done and where they are going.

This does not just apply to brand tone. Look at their services. Did you find them because they were the top result on your Google search? This could mean they are able to give you the same results when it comes to SEM and SEO. Be sure to look over their site content. Blogs, About Us, Case Studies, etc. to make sure you are comfortable with aligning your business with said marketing firm.

Now that we’ve cleared that up, be sure to touchdown on how they measure success. What KPIs or metrics do they use to make sure their efforts are driving toward your intended output? You will want to select a digital marketing agency that has a transparent approach and is an open book about these sort of things. It’s your business, do not be afraid to inquire.

4. How Much Are You Willing To Spend

One of the most unavoidable and uncomfortable parts about doing business and hiring is talking money. The final price will more than likely be agreed on through a negotiated contract. While it is an unsettling practice, there are ways to ease the stress of talking price.

You will have to keep in mind that it is unwise to go into the negotiation with a fixed price that you want to stick to by all means. It’s actually a little easier if your budget was one a scale instead of a fixed rate. Try thinking of a budget range to keep things flexible. You want to be just as easy to work with as your digital marketing partner.

If your budget has no room to move and your price is non-negotiable, then consider elected certain services and plans in your contract like project scheduling or specific areas or clauses.

One thing to keep in the forefront of thought is your budget. Digital marketing agencies are not going to put their top dogs on your project if you are one of the lowest paying customers they have. Instead, you will end up with talent to match your budget. Businesses who are willing to fork over higher rates are able to experience benefits of top talent.

5. Your Business. Your Choice

When it boils down to it, this is your company’s money and your choice on how you will spend it. It doesn’t matter if you’ve gone all the way through the negotiation process, do not be afraid to gather your belongings and hit the road.

While it is important for you to set realistic goals and standards, being clear, honest and open with the intended direction of your company will help give insight on whether or not the chosen digital marketing agency is the best fit for your company.

What matters is standing firm on your convictions in the end and finding the right B2B digital marketing agency that is willing to work with you and your businesses needs under whatever restrictions you have provided and that all parties will be happy with the end negotiations.

If you haven’t noticed yet, you probably do now, but this is going to be a process and not a simple click and hire. The right marketing firm is out there. Do your homework, look into their credibility and always keep your business objectives in mind.

Get the best practices for Inbound Marketing

Nili M. Zaharony

Written by Nili M. Zaharony

CMO at Penguin Strategies. With extensive experience in B2B startups ranging from enterprise offerings, crowd-sourcing, and cloud analytics, her goal is to transform dry, complex, or technical material into valuable and marketable content.

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