digital marketing and we had a fantastic conversation on what to look for when hunting for a partner to help with their fulfillment. In today’s post, I’m going to run through the points I addressed with him to help put anyone considering outsourcing their digital strategy at ease. For me, these are the ten characteristics you should look for when shopping around for a digital marketing agency, they are in no particular order.

100% Transparent

As time goes on in the digital marketing space, transparency is a critical factor in building trust. When a company replies to a question “that’s proprietary” or “we don’t typically share that”, you know they are hiding something and probably not the best company to do business with.

Business Integration

This is probably my favorite as most digital agencies don’t do this. When looking for a trustworthy partner, you need a firm that will truly integrate themselves into your business and become an extension of your marketing team. They need to care about your business as much as they care about their business… or more

Holistic Strategy

Trustworthy digital marketing companies deploy a slew of marketing strategies to create a holistic approach to your campaign. It is unwise to partner with a company that just does SEO or PPC. A trustworthy agency does it all, in-house and does it extremely well.

Practice What They Preach

A trustworthy agency practices what they preach. Their website is highly optimized (may not necessarily be ranking for head keywords, but they are working on it), they are acquiring great links, they are blogging, they are involved in social media, and they do their own email drip campaigns. Those who don’t practice what they preach and claim they don’t because they put all their focus on their clients are full of it.

Stay Up To Date With Industry Changes

Ecommerce marketing agencies that stay abreast the chances in their industry are those you want to associate yourself with. You can tell who these companies are by reading their blog, following them on social media, and flat out asking them how they stay current in an ever changing industry. If they can’t provide a solid answer, run for the hills!

Physical Location

Not necessarily a deal breaker, but I would be cautious in working with anyone who doesn’t have a physical business location. I’ve worked with too many freelancers and guys executing on digital marketing strategies after they get home from their 8-5 and the quality of their output is sub-par. I trust individuals and companies who have office space, far more than those who work out of their living room. Just sayin’

Selective With Whom They’ll Work With

Trustworthy agencies will be super selective with whom they work with. They won’t sell and service anything that moves and it feels almost like if you are a client, you are a part of an exclusive club. This is important because an agency that does this most likely has their priorities straight and will be able to provide you with extreme value for the money you spend with them.

Report On Proper KPIs

Firms who are trustworthy are very analytical and tend to report on KPIs that are unique to your business. They are experts in setting up custom dashboards in Google Analytics and help you to see the value they are generating for your business versus a focus on keyword rankings.

Honesty

A trustworthy company is honest with you. If something is going to be cheaper in-house, say content writing for a very niche vertical, they will tell you that instead of charge you through the nose for it. It all goes back to the business integration point. You and your agency are all in this together and should do things in your best interest, even if they lose out on some monthly revenue.

Mapped Out Plan

Agencies who can be trusted have mapped out plans that are customized to the unique needs of each business. This doesn’t mean they can’t pivot and go another direction if necessary, but they know where they need to go to get the results you desire. So there you have it, the ten characteristics of a trustworthy digital marketing company. I hope this answers your question for what to look for in a marketing agency?  Now its time to ask yourself does your outsourced partner meet this criteria? Am I missing anything critical? If so, please share in the comments section below.]]>