What To Expect When You Sign Up With A Digital Marketing Agency
31st Mar, 2022
Marketing agencies, often referred to as advertising agencies have been around for many years. According to Wikipedia, the very first full-service marketing agency was created in 1841 by Volney Palmer, in Philadelphia.
A marketing agency is a dedicated business formed to assist you to create, plan and handle your marketing strategy and efforts.
There are many types of marketing agencies, starting with full-service advertising agencies. These agencies handle full market research, competitor analysis, strategy, media planning and buying, creative & reporting. However, there are also many agencies that choose to specialise in a particular field:
- Ad agencies
- Creative agencies
- Traditional advertising agencies
- Media Buying agencies
- Boutique agencies and
- Digital marketing agencies
A digital marketing agency generally offers a full-service digital marketing solution. This includes Search Engine Marketing, Search Engine Optimisation, Social Media Marketing, Digital Content Creation, Direct Marketing (email & SMS campaigns) and web development.
The purpose of signing up with a digital marketing agency
Marketing agencies have an effective business model, as they hire a range of skilled professionals, outsourced to a business within their contractual terms at a fraction of the cost to employ a full-fledged insourced team.
Likewise, Digital Marketing Agencies hire a range of digital marketing professionals with extensive expertise in the various digital marketing disciplines, to deliver a comprehensive integrated digital marketing solution.
The cost of an internal team, often far supersedes a business’s available marketing budget, especially in SMMEs and SMEs. Hiring a digital marketing agency ensures that a business receives skilled professional assistance at a fraction of the cost to employ their own team.
Digital marketing agencies can assist your business with effective digital health audits, digital competitor analysis, identifying typical customers or customer segments and how to translate this information into an effective digital marketing strategy to achieve your marketing objectives.
What to expect from your digital marketing agency
First and foremost, ensure the digital marketing agency you choose has the correct certification aligned to the digital marketing services you require.
Ensure that your digital marketing agency takes the time to understand your business objectives. Yes, all marketing should generate leads and more sales opportunities, but the process of effectively generating leads digitally requires strategic & creative thinking, sound technical compliance and great user experience. Make sure your digital marketing agency is investigating these touchpoints with you, ahead of blindly agreeing to achieve your digital marketing objectives.
Ensure that your digital marketing agency analyses your specific industry or market segment and the competitor activity within that. Paid digital channels like Google Ads and Facebook Advertising all operate in an auction. In order to build the most relevant campaigns, you need to understand digital competitor activity as well as the potential size of the market you want to reach. Also, understand that the more digital competitor activity there is in a particular segment, the more brands will pay for their digital ad spend.
Your chosen digital marketing agency should take the time to book investigative & strategy building sessions with you, ahead of flighting any campaigns for you. Insist on a scope of work and applicable KPIs before you enter into an agreement.
Lastly, understand the terms and conditions of the agreement you have signed. Understand that digital marketing campaigns can't run without the existence of digital assets. Check and agree on who the following belongs to:
- Social Media Pages like Facebook, LinkedIn etc.
- Facebook Business Manager accounts and applicable assets within the account like ad accounts, pixels and catalogues
- Content created whether written, video or image/s
- Analytics and other tracking accounts
- Any anything else it may take to run your digital marketing
What your agency expects from you
Most digital marketing agencies are passionate about generating a real and measured return on investment through your digital marketing efforts. Nothing makes a digital marketing team more satisfied than presenting tangible results and reports to their clients. However, in order for your agency to deliver the results you are looking for, it requires much collaboration from you.
Digital marketers are experts at digital marketing. You are the expert on your business. Encourage information sharing sessions and regular catch-ups with your agency.
Take the time to understand what your agency is doing for you and why, and ask questions about topics you don't understand.
Expect your digital marketers to give push-back when a request is not technically sound or doesn't adhere to standard best practices. Don't take it personally, but rather rationalise that your chosen team genuinely has your business’s best digital marketing interests at heart.
Top 10 Digital Marketing Questions, Answers & Myths
Myth 1: How long does it take to get a digital campaign live
In order to run a digital marketing campaign, first and foremost, you need digital assets like a website or landing page or even a social media page. Secondly, you need applicable digital accounts set-up, aligned to the type of campaign you would like to run. For example, you can't run a Google Ads campaign if you don't have a Google Ads account. Your agency will most likely assist you with this and ensure you have everything set up ahead of a campaign launch. Lastly, you need applicable creative. This could be images or videos or even written content, but without the 3 components of digital assets, digital accounts and creative, it will take some time to set up these elements ahead of building and taking a campaign live.
Additionally, if you do have digital assets set-up as well as creative, everything needs to be analysed to ensure that they adhere to the standard best practices of the digital channel you wish to launch a campaign on.
Myth 2: Digital Marketing can assist with all business needs
In today’s internet age, digital marketing is an integral part of any marketing strategy. Digitisation has the ability to self-sustain and as more processes become digitised, decreased operating costs and increased productivity become a reality. And as amazing as that is, there are still many business functions as well as many factors within a marketing strategy that still needs to be addressed and run by skilled professionals. Digital marketing, when done correctly, will increase your digital presence and reach, increase your leads and sales opportunities, but it is up to you to ensure that your internal operations can sustain and capitalise on these opportunities.
Myth 3: Digital Marketing offers faster and better results than traditional marketing
At Ideation Digital, we often experience our clients translating their traditional marketing strategy online, and then get frustrated with the results. Firstly, digital marketing is fundamentally different to traditional marketing. Traditional marketing “tells” and digital marketing “listens”. Traditional marketing mainly focuses on reach and frequency whereas digital marketing is about the right message to the right person, at the right time. You need the data from your digital marketing efforts to refine your campaigns and increase your digital marketing performance. You shouldn't expect a tangible result from your digital marketing efforts in less than a minimum of 6 months.
Myth 4: Digital marketing can run on its own once set-up
In order to see real success from digital marketing, you need to be consistent. One social media post or blog post will never go viral. The success of digital marketing is built on the accumulation of data and how that data is interpreted to optimise your digital marketing efforts. Digital marketing, like any other form of marketing requires planning, testing, execution, optimisation and assessment. Consumer digital behaviour changes almost daily which also drastically impacts the success of any digital marketing campaign. Thus, it takes continuous effort and optimisation to ensure your campaigns are achieving their intended results.
Myth 5: Digital marketing can be free
First and foremost, digital marketing is much more cost-effective than traditional marketing, but it most certainly isn't free. Even if your main strategy isn't ad spend, and rather SEO and content marketing, you still require skilled professionals to produce that content, load the content and SEO the content. Also, digital marketing is operationally intense. To plan effective digital marketing campaigns, the correct planning, digital account set-ups, regular management and report analysing needs to take place. This can take many hours to run just one digital marketing campaign.
Myth 6: Digital marketing will produce an ROI or ROAS immediately
Unfortunately not. Digital marketing is a marathon and not a sprint. The younger your digital marketing transformation journey, the longer it will take to realise a return on investment and return on ad spend. The good news is that once you have built your digital presence and start achieving an ROI, consistent results will be evident and tweaks and changes for better performance are much easier than with any other marketing medium.
Myth 7: The more money you spend, the better your results will be for your digital marketing efforts
Historically, this was true and the main focus for many companies. However, Search Engines and Global Publishers now mainly focus on quality content, quality user experiences and relevance. If your digital assets and campaigns aren't relevant to your target audience and don't deliver a positive user experience, your campaign will be pushed to the bottom of the ad auction, regardless of how much you pay.
It is however a delicate balancing act. It is important to align your spend to forecasted search volume, available competition within the regions you are targeting and the types of people you are targeting.
Myth 8: Digital marketing only works for businesses that have younger people as their typical customer
According to Data Reportal’s Digital 2021: South Africa report, only 33,4% of total internet usage in South Africa is between the ages of 25-34 years old. However, you can reach 64,2% of all internet users between the ages of 25-65.
It is important that you understand your typical customers and the customers you want to target when building your digital marketing strategy.
Myth 9: Digital marketing only works for certain businesses
Digital marketing won’t work for any business that isn't relevant and doesn't deliver a good user experience on their digital assets. It doesn't matter what industry you are in, if you can’t create interesting and informative content, communicate digitally with your target audience and provide them with a great digital user experience when they encounter your brand, your digital marketing efforts won't work. The only businesses digital marketing doesn't work for, are the businesses that don't understand their customers and the value proposition their product/service or solution can provide them.
Myth 10: You don’t need skilled professionals running your digital marketing - you can do it yourself
A digital marketing strategy involves many digital assets, digital accounts and effective digital content and creative. All areas of digital marketing require certified or qualified individuals to be executed correctly. There are many digital marketing certifications available online for free, like Skillshop from Google. However, just their Google Ads certifications have 7 certification modules with the shortest module’s time to complete at 4.5 hours.
Also, every business in every industry has a different target audience (or at least should), aligned to that business’s unique selling proposition. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to digital marketing. Every digital marketing strategy should be tailored to the specific business’s digital marketing needs and objectives.
For more information on digital marketing or digital marketing agencies, contact us at Ideation Digital.
Our promise to you: We will partner with you and guide you through your digital marketing journey. With structured planning and comprehensive reporting, we are geared to increase your digital footprint and deliver measurable results for a better future.