Like all things, the marketing world changed with the influx of the digital age.
Traditional agencies are no longer the only force in the marketing world. Digital Agencies are equally important or even more important.
They must be technical in order to master all of the changes that technology brings.
There are many things Digital Agencies must be able to do in order to be proficient at the craft.
It is not enough to have the catchiest tune or the most creative ad campaign to generate leads and create conversions.
There is a technical expertise that MUST exist to promote the clients interest with the most effectiveness.
1. Digital Agencies MUST Now Be Accountable to the Bottom Line (ROI)
As technology evolves, digital marketers leverages on technology to manage all the data that is now accessible to monitor and analyze behavior, build intelligent strategies, and create connected customer experiences.
Simply put, measuring ROI is an effective way to show clients that strategies are working.
One of the great challenges of measurement is the temptation to always pass irrelevant ROI data. Companies must move away from arbitrary metrics such as impressions, clicks, reach, and PR value. They should focus instead on tracking and measuring the number and source of all leads, sales, and customer loyalty.
Media-Mix Modeling is a great tool for deciding how moving the levers of marketing spend by channel drive total business results. Attribution Modeling is a tool for looking at how channels work in harmony, or at cross-purposes, when it comes to acquisition, engagement and conversion.
The key is to measure your goals on a frequent basis and know what to measure.
Data gathering requires interactions from your sales managers, inbound leads identified, outgoing leads identified and recorded. Not all agencies are fit to know this or even know where to start but it is highly important.
2. Agencies MUST Master Google Analytics and Data Interpretation with their Eyes Closed
Through use of Google Analytics, (which is a free tool by the way) you can uncover a tremendous amount of data about your website that can be used to enhance your marketing and business development strategies.
When used correctly, Google Analytics and other types of data resources allow professionals to target what works while correcting or removing what doesn’t. In order to get the most out of analytics, digital agencies should:
- Customize dashboards for their unique business needs
- Have a regular program of using it to get better results, not just for actions
- Know where to look for the data needed
- Ask the right questions to get the best results
- Utilize Google Analytics integration across all marketing channels
- Maximize Closed-loop data
A top digital marketing agency uses advanced technology tools and analytics to understand and utilize data to generate better decisions and deviations as needed.
Digital marketers can use heat mapping and other session recording tools to test the effectiveness and readability of specific pages on their websites and within their email content.
Using marketing analytics allows marketers to identify how each of their marketing initiatives (e.g., social media vs. blogging vs. email marketing, etc.) stack up against one another, determine the true ROI of their activities, and understand how well they’re achieving their business goals.
3. Agencies MUST Have A Strong Comprehension of Marketing Automation
Marketing automation campaigns can run the gamut in terms of functionality and effectiveness. Inbound marketing automation is automation centered around the prospect.
Inbound marketing automation uses information we know to understand the wants and needs of a person, and delivers them the information they need to make a purchase, exactly when they need that information, in the place they’re looking for it.
Top digital marketing agencies use marketing automation to take into account the evolving needs of leads, and the behaviors and interactions they have across all marketing channels. not just email.
Digital agencies use behavioral inputs from multiple channels such as social clicks, viewing a pricing page, or consuming a piece of content. This gives marketers the context they need to fully understand a lead’s challenges and how to guide them down the funnel.
The most effective marketing automation not only collects data from multiple channels, but uses those various channels to send their marketing messages as well.
That means the success of your campaign relies less on the email, and fully utilizes the various channels that influence a buyer’s decision.
4. Agencies MUST Have Strong Skills With Programmatic Media Advertising
Programmatic ad buying uses tools and software to purchase digital advertising. This technology helps automate the decision-making process of media buying by targeting specific audiences and demographics. This is beyond just using Google Adwords, this is beyond that.
Programmatic buying made up $14.88 billion of the approximately $58.6 billion digital advertising pie in 2016, according to eMarketer.
True fact, most so called “digital” agencies do not even touch this. They just outsource it to their platform providers who knows nothing about your brand and charges a large management fee or they just don’t touch it. Let’s admit it, it’s complex and if an amateur is running it, A LOT of money can be lost. So 90% of these agencies are afraid to deal with it.
Programmatic ads are placed using artificial intelligence and real-time bidding for online display, social media advertising, mobile and video campaigns, and is expanding to traditional TV advertising marketplaces.
Digital agencies use programmatic buying to fan ads across the web and then, mid-campaign, evaluate what’s working best. Agencies study which geographies, times of day, audience segments, publishers — to narrow their target accordingly.
This way they only pay for highly effective ads.
In the past, digital ads were bought and sold by human ad buyers and salespeople, who can be expensive and unreliable.
Programmatic advertising technology makes the ad buying system more efficient and cheaper.
Sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are acquiring programmatic ad-tech companies in a play to sell ads across the web. However, if digital agencies have control over their own media they won’t be overtaken.
At the moment, online ads are the primary the focus for programmatic advertising. Increasingly media companies and agencies are exploring ways to sell “traditional” media this way, including TV spots and out-of-home ads.
5. Top Digital Agencies MUST Be Capable of Change
By its nature, digital marketing is connected to technology. It must also change as the technology changes.
Digital agencies that are successful are fluid and capable of change as new technology emerges and old technology is phased out.
These agencies keep up with the evolving algorithm changes of Google, FB, You Tube, etc. They also keeping up with the latest tools that make work easier and allows your employees to be more efficient.
Forbes states, 2017 will be the year when we will look more to artificial intelligence to lend a helping hand. “This current trend with start-up brands, as well as data analytics, identifies applicable A.I. solutions as a way for consumers to navigate in an increasingly complex world,” DeBroff notes.
Understanding how A.I. works before it dominates the market will keep the team ahead of the game.
Google’s Matt Cutts warned us in 2007 against using this practice to rank higher in the search results. Some webmasters did not take this to heart. Google hurts their business by continuously coming out with new algorithm updates, like Panda, that targets bad content.
Keyword stuffing is 100% against Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. Google’s algorithm gets more advanced each year.
As a result, more and more websites are penalized when they keep up this old practice.
The best practice is to keep up with the trends. Always know what is in and out of favor with consumers and the market. This will maximize efficiency and keep clients happy.
6. In Order To Be A Top Digital Agency, Companies MUST Be Modern
Technical expertise is equally as important as creativity in the technological world.
Marketing is a much faster moving world than only five years ago. The trends are that this will continue, not slow down.
Digital agencies that have a creative and technical team who work closely together are the ones that will be successful in this digital frontier.
Not all digital agencies are made equal.
Having a deeper understanding around digital agency selection prompts smarter decisions which leads to better partnership decisions, increased efficiencies in spending, and better utilization of internal and external resources.Find the best agency or partner that can solve your needs and screen the talent that will provide the best interest and ROI to your business so choose wisely!
If you don’t know if you have the “right” digital agency partner or knows deep inside that there are other opportunities or improvements that you have not tap into, then feel out our Free Digital Marketing Audit Form, our team of experts would be more than happy to audit your implementation, strategy and performance – at no cost to you. This is a $2,000 value that we offer for free, no obligations required – we promise!