Not all inbound marketing agencies are the same. If you’ve done even a little bit of work to comparison shop around, you’ll quickly learn that statement’s true. In fact, HubSpot says it has about 3,400 partners. So if your business has decided to upgrade its marketing to inbound and really speak to today’s buyers, your next step is to find the right agency fit for your needs.
Here’s what to look for when searching for an inbound marketing agency.
The marriage of strategy and results
A good agency will be able to start your campaign off on the right foot by quickly generating leads and traffic. However, this quick start must be backed by strategy. Otherwise, you could get four months into your campaign and realize it’s going in the wrong direction. Strategy should form the foundation of every marketing and sales decision.
Knowing the numbers
Your inbound marketing agency should be all about the results. It should be continuously tracking your numbers to ensure the campaign is on target for projected traffic, leads, conversions and products sold.
This is why strategy and SMART goal setting are crucial for your success. Tracking results can get very difficult if goals are vague or hard to comprehend. Your and your agency should agree upon the goals prior to unleashing your marketing campaign.
If setting SMART goals isn’t one of the first things your new agency does – Houston, we have a problem.
An agile approach
While your inbound marketing agency will start with an educated prediction about the best strategy, nothing drives strategy like cold, hard data. As your campaign gets underway, your agency will be collecting data and learning from it. Knowing what website users and customers want should help inform your future strategy, and a savvy agency will be agile about the approach, making adjustments as you go along.
You should search for an agency that sets quarterly goals and strategies. In digital world, a yearly goal is really an eternity away. Sure, you can have one-year business goals, but your marketing goals should stick to a one-quarter timeframe. Maybe your Q1 and Q2 goals should be all about the traffic, while in Q3 and Q4, you focus on conversions. A good agency will review goals and results and adjust accordingly, helping you maximize the ROI.
A lot of work goes into any inbound marketing campaign. Your agency will be performing daily tasks, and to do the work well, needs to rely on systems, processes and methodologies that help your inbound marketer, writer, strategist and web designer get results.
You should be a part of these processes. Choose an agency that’s transparent, open, and loves to communicate. Make sure you find a partner that will include you and help you follow and understand the concepts, too.
You don’t want an inbound marketing partner that’s just a Yes-Man. You can probably find one that will follow orders, but that won’t get results. Remember, you’re hiring an agency because you need their help and expertise – otherwise, you wouldn’t need them. You want a strategy partner, someone who will give you advice and guidance and tell you like it is. Ultimately, this kind of partner will help you get the best results – and that’s really what it’s all about.
Is balanced in their approach
Steer clear of an inbound agency that believes inbound marketing is the savior for every revenue problem you’re having. You may still need to engage in targeted advertising, account-based marketing, partner marketing, or other approach to help generate revenue. Your agency may need to help with the sales process, supporting you and your prospects from click-to-close. In the end, your agency should spend sufficient time with you in order to truly understand your business first, and then offer the proper diagnoses to ensure that sales and marketing are moving in the right direction.
Take your time finding an inbound marketing agency that’s the right fit for your business. You’ll want to learn about their culture and ensure it aligns with your values, but be sure to evaluate their systems, strategy, agility, data and numbers approach, and ability to tell you like it is. Your company’s revenue will soar with inbound marketing and sales strategies behind the wheel.
What are you looking for in an inbound marketing agency/partner?