Finding the Best Marketing Agency
In my opinion one company that does all solution is a jack of all and a master of none. That describes 99% of marketing agencies. It takes 7 specialties to execute digital marketing well and I have never seen 1 company that has great results across the board for all services and everything managed in house. I only possess 3 out of the 7 talents myself, I have never meet anyone who is an expert at all 7.
What you will find is there are really good digital agencies that are not so good on traditional marketing. And really good traditional agencies that tend to suck at digital and then they will outsource to vendors.
I work with companies globally and the marketing vendors they work with and that puts me in a unique position. On a daily basis I am able to dig into the analytics for 100′s of companies and I also get to inspect the performance of the marketing agencies work. To date, there is not a company that I have found that has mastered both digital and traditional marketing.
The key to any marketing vendor or technology is 3 things: People, process and product.
1) What you are looking for is people who are certified with a track record of success. People means multiple persons, not just 1. I have a team of 11 others that support me. There is no way that I can do it all on my own and its not realistic that a company can do it either.
2) A clearly defined process with very specific benchmark KPI’s that is trained to the People. Companies that show you their process and ask you and your company to be an active participant are the best. I would say 80% or more of agencies do not have a process and when you ask about their process, they will not show you anything but a sales deck of slides. I can show you our process and have down so in the past. That is what you want to see to vet them as a potential vendor.
The most important thing that I see missing all the time is the Quality Control part of the process. In this space, if you have People and Process with QC, then the product is typically very good. No QC, your business could fail on their screw ups.
The only other factor that is extremely important to consider is there A/b testing methodology. If they do not a/b test, don’t work, with them period. Below is an analytics snap shot of a company that tested in 2013 and then stopped testing in 2014. Notice the upward trend of performance during testing and then the decline when the testing process stopped.
3) In marketing, the product is the creative, content and code along with the execution to deliverable and production. Many agencies have great people, but no defined process. I would estimate that more than 95% of the marketing agencies do not have a quality control process in place and less than 1% of all agencies do a/b testing.
When companies A/b test the marketing, this is what your Revenue report will look like inside of Google Analytics
That creates a marketplace of all whole lot of marketers that do not know their numbers. Therefore they basically think there ideas are good but never follow through to track and measure if they work. The best marketing agencies will have the best trained people, the best process, a process that is quality controlled against the strategy, A/b testing is performed contentiously, and the agency knows their numbers that result in your companies success!