How to Hire the Right B2B Marketing Agency
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Leverage Growth Marketing to Reach B2B Success

These days, B2B companies are looking to take their business to the next level. Those who will succeed will do so by leveraging a growth marketing agency. Traditional marketing techniques have been replaced by a digital mix that offers a complete omni-channel experience for prospective buyers – meeting them at every stage in their buyer journey. Creating that experience requires a variety of activities (SEO, paid search, content marketing and CRM automation to name a few).  Each pursuit requires a specific set of skills.

So, how do you select the right agency partner?

Deciding between B2B marketing agencies, and more importantly, where to invest your marketing dollars, is a big decision. It’s important to understand how they differ and whether or not their processes will meet your needs. If you are one of the many B2B companies focused on growth, an agency that specializes in strategy and pays particular attention to data, is a good starting point.

While traditional marketing tactics lead customers to the top of the funnel, growth marketers have adapted a newer methodology, known as the flywheel. This approach attracts prospects, keeps them engaged with strong content, and nurtures them until the point of purchase. These marketers are also constantly optimizing across channels, strengthening the relationship with their prospects.

The HubSpot Flywheel Model

use the HubSpot flywheel methodThere are a few ways to go about finding the right agency partner. Some companies prefer to hire directly while others put out Requests for Proposals (RFP) . There are pros and cons to both methods. The RFP process can be time consuming for the hiring company with many factors to consider. If you are evaluating which method could be right for your business, consider checking out our Guide to Crafting an Effective RFP. 

marketing agency RFP guide from Creative MMS

B2B companies with more experience working with  marketing partners tend to prefer to hire directly. This allows your company to decide if there is a personality match and should offer more opportunity for strategic planning and creative solutions that may not have been considered.

Questions to Ask Your Prospective Digital Marketing Agency

If you are one of these companies craving a more personal experience and plan to conduct interviews with prospective partners, it’s helpful to know what questions to ask so that you can evaluate responses. Below are the top 5 most valuable questions to ask during the discovery call.

#1 How would you describe your marketing services? 

First things first. It’s important to get a comprehensive understanding of their business model. If a B2B digital marketing agency places an emphasis on strategy first, you’re on the right track. This phase focuses on research and fact finding. Your partner should be committed to understanding your business and brand, target audience and competition. A documented strategy is the roadmap to reaching your goals. It should communicate an understanding of your business, audience, and the way forward through various marketing channels and campaigns.

From there, your B2B marketing partner should employ experts in each field of digital marketing to execute a full array of services across all channels – meeting your needs end to end and providing that omni-channel experience for your target audience. Professionals focused on one specific area will be privy to the ever changing landscape of Google algorithms and growth trends.

Finally, you should hear about how significant data and metrics are to their overall approach. One of the main facets of growth marketing is continuous optimization. Paying attention to the data and making changes accordingly should be their recipe for success.

#2 How many of your services are in-house vs outsourced?

Working with an agency is a relationship – a true partnership. Wanting to know more about the team you’ll  be involved with is completely natural. Depending on the level of investment, you may even want to meet the team before signing a contract. If you find a marketing agency that is equally as interested in your team, the main players and what’s important to each of them, you’ve found a great prospect.

It’s not uncommon for marketing agencies to outsource some services to freelancers to manage bandwidth. Ideally, an agency should have about 80% internal resources made up of those experts mentioned above.

#3  How will you be able to achieve our goals and measure success? 

This comes off the heels of #2. When pursuing a relationship, both parties should be ready to  begin a strong alliance with the same goals and measures of success. Having well-defined goals going into the conversation will be important. From there, a good marketing agency should be able to document some high level measures of success at the start of the engagement.

As research is conducted and a strategy is developed, success metrics should be fine tuned into real metrics. Those metrics should be tracked early and often to measure what’s working and what can be optimized.

#4 What makes your agency a good fit for our industry? 

Agencies can be as unique as the companies they serve. For B2B companies, an agency niched in your specific industry will have experience with similar personas, longer sales cycles, and reaching your audience at various stages of their buyer’s journey. They should be able to provide relevant case studies, sample marketing plans, and references.

On the flip side, agencies only focused in one industry may lack creativity towards accomplishing your key goals. Think “Best fit for me vs. Best fit for my industry”.

#5 What can we expect from a process perspective?

Managing expectations is always a good thing. Understanding how the agency works towards efficiency will provide clarity and ensure all parties are on the same page about deadlines, approvals, and communication. Being able to clearly communicate their workflow is a good sign that they have tried and true systems in place to drive results.

Why Hire a Digital Marketing Agency?

Hiring a marketing agency should be the beginning of a meaningful partnership. By the time you make your decision, you should feel confident in your chosen agency’s industry experience, business model, expertise (and personalities) and process. Once engaged with the right partner, the results and relationship should flourish.

If you are in need of a solid team, focused on providing an omni-channel experience, the experts at Creative MMS are here to help. Don’t hesitate to contact us today.

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