No matter the industry, be it accounts or marketing, sometimes you need outside support; at Black Lab we do, we receive support from brand specialists, accountants, bookkeepers and a dedicated cleaning team. When you do, you need to work with partners that not only deliver results, but ones that build a viable business relationship that bases success on the details that matter.
So why would you work with a digital marketing specialist?
Simply put, you invest in digital marketing to achieve growth with increased visibility and awareness with the end goal to convert more customers, ultimately generating an increase in revenue. With any form of marketing activity, there should be a net gain, or a positive ROI. In essence, it shouldn’t be viewed as a cost.
Spend X to get Y, and Y should outweigh X.
Nobody likes waste, especially company boards, directors and especially people from Yorkshire like myself. However, in our experience, it’s not always clear for clients whether they are able to spend more money. If there’s any doubt that activity is not generating results, it suggests that there’s some of the budget being wasted.
If this rings bells with you, then stop spending. I promise you’ll feel better about it. Take the time to step back and evaluate what has been going on and measure this against where you want to be. Is the activity delivering the results you need? Or is it looking like a cost to cover every month? Remember, that digital marketing is all measurable with tangible results, so it should be clear if it could be working harder. When working with a specialist partner, they should be providing you with the detail reports and importantly analysis on performance – these reports should always paint a clear picture of the results.
Without going into too much detail, when we review prospects or a new client’s previous activity, we often find that previous incumbents were simply acting as a supplier. In our opinion, it should be more than that, it’s a two-way street with a flow of information going back and forth between parties, thus creating a symbiotic relationship. I started Black Lab with the belief that we wanted to be different, filling the role as a strategic advisor to our clients – a changemaker, if you will.
So, how do you know if your activity isn’t quite hitting the mark, let’s take a look at where you can try to understand if there are any misspending or mistakes.
- Does your agency or partner understand your business goals and target audience? Look for an overly simplistic approach; have they used a one size fits all approach and missed the potential opportunities that lie in crafting a unique approach?
- Is your account a series of disjointed, one-off campaigns? This will have resulted in lack of traction and no cumulative benefit, missing the momentum of critical mass. Tip: you need cohesive campaigns that feed into your wider marketing strategy and business plans. (if you’re not sure – we can take a look if you don’t know where to)
- Take a rain check on those vanity metrics – how heavily is your agency leaning on followers, likes, spikes in web traffic, clicks? These metrics might look impressive but what do they really mean? Nothing. How does this focus compare with their genuine interest and reporting on leads, sales, revenue, and customer acquisition? (Those are the four key elements you are paying them for). Tip –make sure you can marry up the ROI with your financial statements. Anything else is just surface-level engagement.
- Do you feel in the dark? Are they vague about their processes and decision-making and are you bamboozled with jargon? As your advisor and go-to-expert you should clearly understand the strategy they are following. Tip: How much open regular communication have you had over the past three months? You should be receiving in-depth analysis on awareness and conversion metrics.
- Are you left confused by quantity but cannot see the quality. We recently came across a PPC campaign which on the face of it was delivering a lot of queries. With a little bit of digging into the account, the conversions were mainly brand terms. So, whilst these customers were ‘converting’, they were already aware of the brand and would have converted either way. The campaign needed to be reaching out to those in-market for the clients’ products and services, not spending money on reaching those already engaged.
It’s important to develop the two way relationship, together you’re able to interrogate the results and look to create improvements over time. Ensuring you’re clear on the metrics is the first step to understanding the effectiveness of the marketing spend.
At Black Lab we are known for taking the time to understand a client and their needs, this allows us to fulfil the role as strategic advisor and partner with our clients on a long term basis. Our positive approach means that we don’t tie our clients into contracts; our belief in delivering better digital marketing means that we work to unlock results that make a difference. All of this is built around honesty and transparency that facilitates a better working relationship with our clients.