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Digital marketing agencies are a dime a dozen. Some big, some small. Some digital marketing agencies are generalists and some are niche-focused on specific tactics like social media marketing, paid ads, video marketing, content and the list goes on. Some agencies target specific verticals like finance, manufacturing and technology. Some will take on any client in any industry while others only stay in their lane of experience. In a market fully saturated with self-proclaiming top digital agencies, it is nearly impossible for businesses to know where to start looking for the right partner for help with their marketing initiatives. And more importantly, businesses who are dissatisfied with their current agency don’t always know how to determine where exactly their agency is falling short in producing digital growth. If you can’t pinpoint these shortfalls with your current digital marketing agency, how will you know what to ask a new agency to determine if they are a good fit for your company?

Let’s start by asking questions.

Is Your Digital Marketing Agency Producing Growth for Your Business?

Have specific revenue targets been set for your overall marketing initiatives? What are the revenue and lead generation goals associated with your campaigns? What are the target numbers of marketing qualified leads (MQL’s), sales qualified leads (SQL’s) and opportunities for sales to work?

Did you set any expectations in the initial phases of your engagement with the agency, such as communication cadence, reporting, adjusting initiatives based on changing priorities, service level agreements (SLA) around lead quality and sales handoff?

Is your digital marketing agency delivering on its promise to help you achieve good results? If the answer is no, then it should be easy to let that agency go.

What if they are but it is not tied to specific growth goals, then the conversation needs to reflect that they do good work but you’ve outgrown the partnership and are seeking a new direction with a different skilled agency partner, such as one that looks at the full funnel and sales cycle to make an impact.

 

Making the Switch to a Digital Growth Agency

Once you have made it clear it is time to move on, you’ll need to start looking for a growth agency. A digital growth agency is a partner whose primary focus is to help your business achieve revenue growth in the digital space. Finding the right fit will strongly depend on your goals.

What are you wanting to accomplish this year with marketing and sales goals and how do you think a growth partner can help you? A digital growth agency is going to ask that the first 5 minutes of an initial conversation. An ads agency is going to ask you about ads and a social media agency wants to know all about your accounts, influencers, and audience. A digital growth agency wants to know about revenue. In addition to knowing what the revenue goal is for this year, growth agencies will look to work backward to determine how many sales ops, sales qualified leads, marketing qualified leads and website/visitor traffic or prospect interactions need to be generated to hit future sales goals and projections. A growth agency looks at what tactics will affect positive growth, and they aren’t skilled in just one singular tactic only! They have an arsenal of tactics, online and offline to choose from, and a specialist that can manage it for results to best help you hit your growth targets.

 

What Else to Look for in a Solid Digital Growth Agency Partner:

What case studies do they have where they helped a company grow and hit their goals in the digital space? Are the goals similar to yours? Some would say look for an agency that has experience in your industry but that doesn’t always mean they can get you the same results or that they are getting positive results for the clients they do have. Sometimes being able to pull from campaign successes that were deployed in different industries can be used in yours and net even bigger results. It can pay to have an agency partner with a diverse set of clients since they aren’t always stuck doing the same thing day in, day out.

What does the growth agency do for ongoing education, certifications and staying up to date with sweeping changes in the marketing and sales enablement landscapes? How many certifications does the agency’s average team member have that will be working on your account? For example at LAIRE, our team gets a new certification every quarter from HubSpot, Google, SEO tools like SEMrush or MOZ, email tools, and is up to date on best practices.

Does your digital agency growth partner practice what they preach? Do they take their OWN marketing as seriously as they do their clients? This is a big one! Are they too, getting results? How do they project their own revenue goals and align strategy with tactics? Your digital growth agency partner should be testing out new ideas, campaigns and platforms on themselves and proving value before ever introducing it as a solution for your business. Don’t pay to be a test subject!

What truly makes your digital growth agency partner different or remarkable? As I opened this article, I stated digital agencies, in general, are a dime a dozen and they all offer and even say the same things. We do this, we do that, we have an agency dog, we are all hopped up on coffee, blah, blah blah. A growth agency is focused on what they offer or do for clients that are better than anyone else. What do they offer that no other agency does? A branded process that gets proven results, a guarantee or special sauce that you align with, a solution or answer to one of your major pain points? What makes this growth agency stand above the noise that can really help you win?

When selecting a digital growth agency partner, it truly can come down to the gut feel and vibe you get. Are they truly listening to you and your needs? Or are they waiting for you to finish so they can start talking about themselves? Hopefully, they don’t talk over you! If they truly position themselves as a growth agency, I doubt they will.

Those who are focused on growth have one thing in common: the desire to help others grow. They will sympathize with your lack of growth or growth challenges, they will listen intently to how you think you may be able to grow, they will compliment your recognition of the need to change and finally, they will agree to go on a journey with you to help you reach your growth goals, regardless if it is just a 5-minute call or a 5-year long engagement.

Looking to make a move to a more growth-focused agency partner this year? Engage us in a 20-minute marketing audit, we will take a holistic view of your brand, online presence, and competition and give you some quick wins and advice to get a jump start in a new growth-focused direction. Request your marketing audit today:

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Todd Laire

Todd Laire

Founder & Managing Partner, LAIRE