Agencies Need to Do More Than Regurgitate Buzzwords
The marketing industry is constantly inundated with buzzwords and trends that flutter around the marketplace for a moment of two but ultimately fade into oblivion. While most display the lasting impact of the Pet Rock, a handful prove to be transformative to the way strategies are created and implemented.
Of course, companies are left with the unenviable responsibility of choosing between trends and innovations that drive conversions into the future and others that will fall the way of the dinosaurs. Unfortunately, such decisions are usually murky at best and require a soothsaying ability that rarely falls within a company’s core competencies.
For those reasons, it is critical that companies partner with agencies that know the difference between empty trends and lasting innovations. Merely regurgitating the latest buzzwords is not good enough to find lasting success. Instead, a thorough understanding of the marketplace along with the necessary skill set is needed to navigate the crowded, complicated waters of the splintered digital landscape.
Trends Aren’t Always Good
Agency partners need to have the ability to choose between strategies that enhance brand identity and others that will ultimately serve no tangible benefit. Given the overwhelming number of agencies in the marketplace, however, most of whom say the right things and at least appear to know their craft, that choice is anything but clear.
It’s important to remember that the popularity of a marketing trend doesn’t necessarily correlate with its ability to improve your brand or increase your ROI in any discernible manner. Just a handful of years ago, QR codes were tattooed on every imaginable product.
In other words, those strange black-and-white smudges that look more like a Rorschach test than informative tool were pressed into the collective face of the consuming public at every conceivable opportunity. However, as theoretically useful as QR codes might be, they’ve ultimately proven to be a popular trend that provided little benefit to a marketing campaign.
Your agency must be able to tell the difference between substantive additions to strategy and those that are included simply because everyone is doing it. For example, unlike QR codes and Pet Rocks, streaming video is a perfect example of a marketing trend that can truly enhance your campaign.
With its unique ability to deeply engage an audience, video advertising allows a company to immerse a viewer in a story, curate tone and invoke the ever-important emotional bond between ad and customer that drives ROI. Agencies should always be able to tell the difference between the QR codes and Pet Rocks of the marketing landscape and actual difference makers like video advertising.
Comprehensive Strategies Shouldn’t Dilute Your Message
Similarly, the sheer scope of the marketplace requires a significant knowledge base and skill set to leverage the power of digital marketing rather than dilute a message among a seemingly infinite number of channels.
Your inbound marketing strategy should be comprehensive and cohesive, never employing a wide-ranging voice simply to match the size of the marketplace. Instead, it should deliberately utilize that scope and complexity to craft a customized and targeted message.
Agencies should have the requisite skills to use the components of inbound marketing that best fit your specific needs. The ideal marriage of content, channel and timing is crucial to reaching your target audience at the most opportunistic places and moments within the sales funnel.
From SEO content to email campaigns, social media to tailored assets, your inbound marketing should cultivate engagement in the most efficient and effective manner possible. A marketing strategy that is wide and sweeping in scope does little good if it doesn’t successfully speak to your audience, enhance your brand and strengthen ROI.
Best Practices to Improve Your Chances for Success
Of course, telling companies to be careful with their choice in agencies does no good without some accompanying guidelines. In that light, there are a few keys to look for that collectively will improve your chances of finding an agency that suits your particular needs and goals well.
First and foremost, no agency is the very best at every possible component of digital marketing. In fact, any agency the claims otherwise should probably be avoided. Instead, take a look at your current and target customer base. Given the specific demographics of the individual consumers or businesses that encompass those bases, choose an agency that excels in your particular industry or reaching those demographics.
For some guidance in your search, take a thorough look through an agency’s website. Their online presence is bound to concentrate on their core competencies and minimize their weaknesses. If those strengths mesh well with your particular demands and goals, that agency can probably be added to your list of possible partners. You will also be able to find examples of past and current work as well as client testimonials to better gauge their ability to create specific strategies for your company.
Given the importance of social influence in today’s marketplace, researching an agency’s ratings and reviews throughout the digital landscape should be at least a secondary component of your decision-making process. Also, since a significant amount of your time, effort and capital will be spent on your partnership, checking references and speaking to former and current clients is another way to best ensure your choice will ultimately be a good fit.
At Vitamin D, our primary focus will always be on creating meaningful, productive and lasting relationships with our partners. We’re sure you’ll appreciate the difference in working with our team, our commitment to helping you reach your goals, and, most importantly, the personalized approach we take with every strategy we design and implement alongside our partners.