According to a recent survey from the DMEXCO, 70 percent of executives worldwide expect the pandemic to accelerate the pace of digital strategy. In the past, businesses had more time to plan and prepare.
That’s no longer the case.
Today, businesses are expected to outline, plan, implement the digital strategy in a matter of days or weeks. The market is moving at an accelerated pace; many businesses find they’re unable to keep up. If you can’t keep up, does that mean you’ll be left behind?
Not if you have the right digital strategy agency.
With the right agency, you’ll be able to adapt to rapidly changing circumstances and events. Here are some steps you can take to find and vet the right agency.
Identifying your digital strategy is the key to long-term growth.
Your digital strategy is about setting goals and objectives. It’s a high-level overview that defines where you are now, outlines where you’d like to go (as an organization), and how you’ll get there. It’s a long(er) term plan that sets a course or destination for you to follow before starting your journey.
You’re going to need a list of:
If you have clear answers to these questions, it’s easier for your agency to supply you with the strategy you need to be effective.
Great agencies have a few characteristics in common. They’re able to focus their attention on the details that matter to your company and your customers.
Your agency can’t create the right digital strategy for your company if they don’t have the answers they need. A great agency asks probing questions that may seem simple, dumb, or unimportant at first. You want your agency to ask these questions because these questions help them to develop an in-depth understanding of your business.
Here are a few examples.
Questions form the basis of your digital strategy; your digital strategy shows you where you are now, tells you where you’re going, and how to get there. Good digital marketing agencies should be asking these questions at the beginning of the engagement process.
Your agency should be willing to share bits and pieces, showing you what a cohesive strategy could look like for you. This is important because it gives you several data points you can use to evaluate their work. This doesn’t mean that you should expect your agency to work for free; it just means they’re willing to demonstrate their skills.
Your agency can share this with you in several ways, over the phone, in your proposal or quote, or a case study. You’re looking for them to share pieces of their proposed digital strategy or examples from previous campaigns they’ve implemented for other clients.
Another option would be to pick one part of your business (e.g., content or advertising) and ask your agency how they’d build a strategy to accommodate one specific goal (i.e., how would you increase sales for my worst performing products using content marketing?).
Digital strategy is important, but it’s not as important as the ability to execute that strategy. A great strategy isn’t enough. Your agency should have the experience, skill sets, and team you need to implement your digital strategy and produce the results you need to grow.
You’re looking for three things.
Your agency should provide you all three of these, and they should be able to provide you with evidence showing that they offered other clients these as well.
As you’d expect with any other agency, you’ll want to see a list of samples, references, case studies, and reviews showing that they’re legitimate and competent.
Ask your clients to provide you with a list of milestones and campaign deliverables. You’re looking for a clear timeline that projects how long everything will take to implement, and when they anticipate, you’ll begin seeing results. Your plan should include details on:
Your agency should be able to show you how they plan on approaching your campaign or project. Ask them to break down the approach that goes into their strategy documents; this document should clarify how they’ll approach your campaign, what you should expect, what their goals are, and more.
You’ll want to provide your agency with the following:
The digital strategy company you choose will provide you with a list of items they need and the options you need to implement their plan successfully.
You can use directories like Clutch.co, HubSpot Agency Directory, or Sortlist to find the right digital strategy agency that’s best for you. Here’s a list of some of the best in the industry. You can go through the traditional RFP process or you can simply request a quote.
Here’s a list of six of the top digital strategy agencies online.
I’ve created more than 4,294 blog posts in 10 years. I’ve written millions of words, and I’ve used content marketing to build three companies of my own generating 195,013 visitors a month. I did the same things for large fortune 500 clients; now I can do that for your business too.
REQ is an award-winning agency with enterprise-level expertise. They’re industry veterans with some of the best talents in the business. They’re part of the Inc.500 and Deloitte Fast 500 lists – they’re one of the fastest-growing companies in America.
With 80% of its clients in the mid-market range, earning between 10M – 1B, the Usman Group, specializes in digital strategy and market research. Their agency is oriented around design thinking; they produce projects that are evidence-driven, practical, and focused on research.
DeSantis Breindel is a digital strategy company that specializes in end-to-end branding strategy. They’re focused on all things branding — they serve businesses via brand differentiation, brand valuation, brand launches, and employee engagement and more.
If your company relies on image and brand reputation, DeSantis may be a good fit.
As a digital strategy firm, Mabbly emphasizes market research and data analytics. They specialize in converting large and complex problems into growth opportunities for established and up and coming brands. Their starting price is slightly higher but worth the investment if you’re looking for a data-driven approach.
Ironpaper bills itself as a B2B growth agency. As a digital strategy firm, their conversion growth strategy focuses on gaining traction with growth up to 1 percent. The growth phase starts at 1 to 3 percent, with anything above 3 percent listed as scaling.
Businesses have less time to adjust; now, more than ever before, customers are expecting companies to meet their expectations and needs immediately. Digital strategies that played out over the course of one to three-year cycle now finish in a matter of days or weeks. Business is accelerating as customers move more of their business online.
Most companies will need help to keep up.
If you have the right digital strategy agency, you’ll have the support you need to adapt to a rapidly changing market and events. Use this guide to find and vet the right agency for your business.