Do They Use Data to Create Their Strategy? Data is a critical part of any marketing strategy; without it, your marketing agency can’t create an impactful plan of action. Data helps create a holistic understanding of your company by analyzing your online analytics and overall online presence. Data shows user behavior, which helps you understand where you are succeeding and where you need to improve in your current marketing strategy. Data is research—and research shows you and your agency a variety of information. Not only can you learn about your target market demographics that will drive your brand, but you can also discover a lot about where your place is in the current market. Research would never be skipped when putting together plans in finance or development. So don’t skip it with your digital marketing efforts!
Data Allows for AnalysisBefore choosing your eCommerce marketing agency they should plan to analyze this data before they present you with a full marketing plan. Analyzing data lets them discover the root of successes and failures in your current marketing strategy. Analysis happens in three steps: First, analyze past data. Find out which strategies provided good returns on investment for your company. Did Facebook succeed as you wanted? Which blog posts yielded legitimate leads? Which blog topics were uninteresting to customers? Are consumers finding yours through keyword that reflects your company? Understanding these issues is vital in developing a digital marketing strategy that avoids repeating errors or tactics that didn’t work for you in the past. Second, analyze the current market to give you a better understanding of where it stands. Ask how your customers are responding to your current marketing plan. Look for ways in which you can improve your practices for the future. Have your agency of choice find out what your competitors are doing that you aren’t and see if you should adopt a similar practice. Analyzing the current market gives you a look into what strategies you should continue and which ones you should dump. Third, analyze the future market. Use your current data to predict your next steps. Are there market trends you can already see? How can you utilize these? Analyzing the future market helps you, along with your agency, decide which direction you should take your content marketing strategy. Looking forward ensures you develop a plan that will have longevity in your market.
Data Helps Develop Your BrandSince we know data helps us understand our current markets, we can concede that data is necessary to help your brand develop. Any marketing agency worth their salt will ask you to give them all this data near the beginning of your working relationship so they can analyze it all and effectively create a strategy that works for you and helps you achieve your marketing goals. Also, early on, ask agencies on your radar what kind of research they do up front to provide a more accurate proposal and quote for you. Data not only helps develop a strategy, it ultimately helps you develop your brand and sets you up for a successful future. It is a crucial part of any marketing agency’s initial preparation. With data, you can understand your customers’ behavior and better tailor your online efforts to fit their needs. Look for a digital marketing agency that values data in their marketing plan, so you know they’ve done their homework.
Clearly Defined RoadmapsA roadmap is a great way to plan out a detailed strategy for success with your marketing agency. A roadmap should provide direction for all your content, social media, SEO and marketing strategies that help you attain your goals. A useful (and successful) roadmap has a schedule, frequent communication and end goals to aspire toward.
ScheduleGet your strategy scheduled out! Whether it is a week at a time or on a monthly basis, a good roadmap provides a scheduled strategy that extends past daily tasks. Scheduling helps get your team on the same page and provides a valuable way to visualize and solidify the projects your team has coming up.
Frequent CommunicationA good marketing agency will also keep in frequent communication with you regarding scheduling, metrics, and steps taken toward your ultimate goals. Reports on metrics and scheduling should happen twice a month with face-to-face meetings or phone calls in the weeks between. Frequent communication is the best way to ensure everyone is kept up-to-date on progress and important data.
GoalsA roadmap should also have clear and actionable goals. These should be developed based on your business’s growth and engagement goals. Your goals should be kept in mind while creating your roadmap; every strategy should lead to the attainment of one of your goals. Communication and scheduling will lead to meeting these goals (and hopefully exceeding them) in a timely manner.
Identify Success MetricsMetrics are a great way to show how digital is actually impacting your bottom line. There are four types of metrics that you should keep in mind when setting goals and reporting results.
ConsumptionPerhaps the easiest metric to measure is the overall consumption of your content. This regards how many people are viewing, sharing, liking or following your digital changes.
SharingThis metric shows how popular your content is by measuring how often it is shared through consumers. Shared content lets you know that what you’re creating is so valuable because people feel the need to share it with their online following.
Lead GenerationWith this metric, you learn whether the content you’re producing is making financial sense. If leads aren’t being generated the content isn’t producing a profit. This metric shows you how often your consumers and sharers actually turn into potential customers.
SalesThe last important metric measures sales, or actual profit for your business. Sales metrics gauge how often content consumers turn into customers and the right tools provide the metrics that show how much and which types of content they consume before buying.
Thorough ReportingReporting success metrics is the most important communication point between yourself and a marketing agency. These metrics display how your content, SEO, paid advertising, and influencers are working toward your growth. A digital marketing agency should be able to correlate all four of these metrics to the content pieces they’re creating for you and should utilize the results when making your roadmap. To better understand how an agency operates, ask them some of the following questions:
- How do you plan and schedule your work?
- What are some of the normal success metrics you regularly check?
- What do you report on? How often?
- Can you send me examples of roadmaps and reports you’ve created?