How To Create An Internet Marketing Partnership That Works
Ideally, you’re a big company that can afford to have its own Internet Marketing Department with lots of creative gurus plotting out your graphics and copy. They have all the latest internet tools for tracking your browsers, and follow up plans so they don’t get away! Ah, nice! But whoops, you’re not a big company, you don’t have an IM department, and there are no gurus on your staff. Not to worry, you have a lot of company. Well over 90% of internet marketers fall into your category. So, how do you create an internet site that sparkles, shines, and sells, sells, sells? Glad you asked.
There is no Rule #2, so pay attention! Don’t try to do it yourself. Ever! Stash your ego in your desk drawer. You’re not a copywriter, a designer, and quite frankly what you know about selling on the internet could fit on the head of a pin. You’re not a brain surgeon or an astronaut either, but you’ve learned to live with it. And you’re great at what you do – managing, accomplishing goals, leading your team. You also know a great deal about sales, but that doesn’t make you an internet rainmaker. Want to take issue with that? Fine, then explain the following terms in ten words or less: content marketing, big data, click through, the difference between HTTP/HTTPS and HTML/XML, cloud computing, Trojan, content marketing, MOFU & BOFU content, and a host of others. Getting the point?
Where do you turn to generate and create an internet marketing plan that sells your products/services?
No one has ever done a complete count, but there are thousands-upon-thousands of internet marketing agencies in the USA. They range all the way from guy on the next block with a Mac and a full load of digital software, to gigantic companies with hundreds of employees and offices throughout the country. How do you determine what’s the best one for you? If you’re a small or midsized firm, you’re going to want an agency that’s close by. If you’re selling brooms in Boston, dealing with an agency in Los Angeles probably won’t work. And, it would certainly be nice if the agency knew something about your type of business. For example, if you’re selling pantyhose it would be good to get an agency that specializes in apparel, and not in heavy duty construction equipment.
Getting an internet marketing agency is only half the fun
After you’ve done your due diligence you should select no more than three agencies to pitch your account. Anything more is a waste of time. The agencies selected should be given an information packet on your company, its products/services, its goals, and anything else that might be pertinent. Also, most important, give them realistic budget figures to work with. You can’t conquer the marketing world with a budget of $212.00. You should allow two hours per interview. If they need follow up, give it to them. The more they know, the better the job they’ll do for you. Allow them a week to come back with proposals.
The final selection
When you bring back the finalists for their proposals, you should also allow another two hours. Chances are it won’t take that long, but you don’t want them to feel rushed. Key things to consider are how well they’re able to utilize your marketing budget $$ to get the biggest bang for the buck. How the budget is spread around (social media, email campaigns, AdWords, native advertising, web site, et al) is very, very important. If they want to go heavy on the website with not much left over for social media, find out why. In fact, have them explain the rationale behind every one of their proposals. This is your money, and the way they spend it has to make sense to you.
Your final choice may be easy or difficult – easy if one of the proposals blows you away, difficult if they were close. In the latter case, you just have to trust your gut. In this case it’s that indefinite and elusive thing called “chemistry”. Which simply means you think they’d be more fun to work with. Seriously, what’s the matter mixing a little fun with business? Works great!
The follow up
You’re all set. The agency has implemented the plan, and the marketing strategy has been rolled out. In very rare cases does anything happen overnight. Your internet customers will have to get used to the “new” you. After a reasonable amount of time you should see your browsers increase in numbers, stay longer, and buy more. Your internet agency should be tracking all that. In most cases, you should meet with them at least once a month to go over the figures and see what’s going right, or what needs to be improved. In the meantime you should be getting weekly reports on trends, and how the numbers add up. That’s a lot of work for your agency, but that, along with keeping on top of the latest marketing technology, is what you hired them to do. Now, aren’t you glad you didn’t tackle your internet marketing by yourself?