Deciding that you wish to wish to bring on a digital marketing agency is a big decision. There are a lot of them out there. It’s tough to know what to expect from your digital marketing agency. Some agencies are highly specialized in content marketing, SEO, Pay-Per-Click (PPC), and some are more generalized. Some digital marketing agencies specialize in a vertical, while others work with a variety of different companies.

So what should you expect from your digital marketing agency when you first meet them? What questions do you need to ask when you first meet with one? Here are 3 questions you should ask and what we feel are the expectations you should have as an answer when hiring your digital marketing agency.

Question 1: Do you have any certifications?

Marketing certifications aren’t the end all for an agency. If one has a lot and another only a few that doesn’t mean that one is doing better work than the other; it just means that one of them spent more time going through the certification process. But a reputable agency should have some certifications through Google or Facebook to show that they’ve spent some time learning the best practices.

If the agency isn’t certified if at least a few core members are that should show that they’re serious about what they do. You wouldn’t trust a mechanic who wasn’t certified in anything, but they don’t have to have 20 of them to be a good mechanic. Find that balance between trying to show off and not being a full time digital marketer. You can check out our paid search certifications here and our inbound marketing certifications here.

Question 2: What are your goals for my company?

They should turn that question around on you. If they spring out of the box with the canned answers of increase visitors, decrease page load time, or get you social media engagement they’re not asking the right questions either. If you’re a digital marketing agency you work for your client. They should be asking what your goals are. My guess would be that your answer isn’t for increased visitors, or “Likes” on Facebook. If they never ask any questions and only spew answers, walk out. They’re not interested in you, just creating a cookie cutter solution for everyone.

Question 3: How do you plan to meet my goals?

If they asked you what your goals are, they should have a good indication of how to meet your goals. For example: if you said I want to get more leads for my salespeople. They should be focused on turning visitors into leads by using gated content, forms, and driving relevant visitors through content. That’s the high level answer, there’s a lot of ways you do that, but those answers should be also tailored to your business, your customers, and your goals as well.

At build/create we spend several hours in an investigating you, your competitors and going over your needs in what we call the NAM. (Needs Analysis Meeting) Every company we work with is different. We don’t specialize in one form of marketing over another. We take a holistic approach to your SEO, PPC, and Inbound Marketing. The only way we can be successful for you online is through knowing your needs and goals, assessing them, and executing on the best way to do it. Other companies may have a different approach but we feel this is the best way to grow your company in the long-term.

We’ll continue this discussion as we work through the process. Next we’ll look at what to expect from your digital marketing agency during the onboarding process.

Published 10/10/16 by Eric Lynch