What to Look for in a B2B Marketing Agency
By Austin LaRoche, ATAK Interactive CEO
The capacity of a business to market itself is a building block to its success. In today's market landscape, companies need help with their marketing in order to reach out to their target markets in the best way possible. As a company that wants to stay ahead of the rest, you need a marketing agency that you can trust. Well, choosing a B2B digital marketing agency in 2021 that you can rely on is not easy. In fact, it takes time to find the right B2B marketing agency, especially one that can take your business to the next level.
Here are 4 areas to consider when choosing the right agency for you:
Do they have the resources to handle everything you need?
Many companies look to agencies to handle all of their marketing needs. This is useful for companies looking to save time and money to get quality services quickly. Companies working with agencies increase productivity levels because all of their marketing needs and campaigns have a central operation point. Moreover, it's fiscally responsible to work with a B2B marketing agency that offers full service under one roof. Whether building an internal marketing department or working with different agencies, it can become financially strenuous.
Here are some of the services that a full-service agency should provide: Lead generation, SEO, Performance Marketing, Marketing Automation, Brand Development, UX/UI design, APIs and Integrations, Web Development, Sales Enablement, and CRM Architecture, Migrations, and Integrations. With these services, your company will be in a better position to attract, convert, close, and delight customers in a competitive market environment. The services employ a digital formula that's aligned with today's marketing needs.
Do they develop custom solutions for your unique problems?
As we mentioned, finding a B2B digital agency in 2021 isn't easy, especially one that's able to meet your specific needs. Smart agencies know that marketing needs and demands are different for every client. There is no magic “one-size-fits-all” marketing button, or we would all adopt it and everyone’s problems would go away. B2B marketing agencies have to be able to solve a variety of problems. Some customers need their MarTech to optimize to integrate with their CRM. Many have problems generating quality leads to help their sales operations. Others have outdated websites and sales collateral. And a few even find themselves with all of those problems at the same time. Regardless of the challenge, there’s little benefit to taking these challenges to an agency that believes your problem can be solved in one of their “packages,” as if your business is simply pulling up to a car wash to choose the Bronze, Silver, or Gold option. The great agencies specialize in problem-solving – seeing where their clients are struggling and making their life easier by delivering the results through smart + effective marketing.
Are they Data-Driven?
Every B2B marketing agency in 2021 will say that they are focused on data. But to understand the significance of data in today's marketing world, agencies need to invest greatly in making sure they collect and present relevant data to their clients. Data can be easily manipulated, so it’s important to develop KPIs that actually matter and avoid vanity metrics at all costs. You've got 8 million impressions? Cool story, bro, how many actual conversions did you get? There are different strategies that can be used to collect data. One of the most effective and simple ways we have done this at ATAK Interactive is by developing a KPI Scorecard for our clients. We outline 7-13 metrics that matter most to their growth and we set a weekly goal for them. Every week, we identify how our numbers line up compared to our goal and the previous week. This simple technique provides clients with a snapshot of how our campaigns are performing.
Beyond the KPI tracker and reporting data, there are metrics that agencies must be able to identify and analyze to best help their clients. For instance, if a client is running a paid search campaign on Google AdWords, the agency should be able to provide their customer with a clear understanding of their cost-per-acquisition, conversion rates, click-through rate, quality score, cost-per-click, impression share, and more. They should A/B test creative across at least 3 ad sets and compare all of these metrics to determine which messaging provides them the best return. What clients often find is they waste a lot of time trying to build the “perfect message,” when if they were more data-driven in their approach, they could test multiple messages and let the data choose what the most effective creative can be.
Are They Your Sales Team's Best Friend?
B2B digital marketing agencies should work towards becoming a sales team's best friend. There’s a push-and-pull between sales and marketing that traces back to the beginning of time, but despite what some marketers and agencies want to believe, marketing serves sales, not the other way around. Ideally, a good agency will bridge the gap between marketing and sales teams by increasing leads, automating the pipeline, creating personalized messages to target audiences, and developing valuable content that actually helps the prospect.
To achieve this, agencies must be able to perform the necessary technical marketing tactics within automation tools and CRMs needed to align sales and marketing. (We recommend just going with HubSpot to make everyone’s life easier, but hey, different technology attracts different people). Agencies should excel in automation, making the job of a salesperson to go from initial touchpoint to “closed won” as quickly as possible. Need to sign a document to move to the next deal stage? You can automate that process. Need to follow up with a lead that’s gone quiet after a week? You can automate that process. Need to get on the sales team’s good side by only sending them qualified leads? You can automate that process.
Sales teams want marketing to do their job and get out of the way. The B2B marketing agency of the future is the sales enablement agency. If marketing is serving sales, everyone is happy. Do you want to be happy? Then find an agency that knows what it takes to become your best friend.
If you can find a B2B marketing agency that can handle your entire scope, solve problems that are unique to you, use data to make critical decisions, and understand that their job is to boost sales, you’re going to find a growth partner you can scale with. Having the experience and industry knowledge to get results and work quickly, agencies can save you from running a stressful marketing operation. They understand the stakes – “the client grows or the agency goes.” It’s a performance-based business, and great agencies know how to perform.
If you’re looking to learn more about digital agencies and how they structure their partnerships, contact us here and we will set up a time to answer all of your questions so you can find the best growth partner for you.
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