Finding The Perfect B2B Marketing Agency
Making customers out of utter outsiders is a tough task. It demands a thorough understanding of the B2B sales cycle and its difficulties. When searching for a B2B marketing agency, make sure to partner with professionals who understand your company needs. This post will help you learn what to look out for.
A solid B2B marketing agency needs proper assessment and a clear vision of achievable goals. True professionals will decline any work before agreeing on a set of quantifiable, realistic goals. These goals are cannot be randomly placed – you need to know exactly what both you and your company consider digital marketing success. And forget about generating leads – this should never be your end goal.
If you don’t transform leads to customers, you will have achieved nothing. Also, your goals should be in line with your performance and pre-planned projections.
Think about these fundamentals:
- What is your company’s general goal?
- How long does it take, at the moment, to obtain a new customer?
- How much does that process cost?
- How do you handle leads?
- How much does a single lead cost your company?
- Which steps do you take during the sales cycle?
- What is your customer’s LTV (lifetime value)?
- What is your company’s conversion rate – visitors to leads?
- How about leads to customers?
- Is your current marketing strategy seeing a Return on Investment (ROI)? How much?
- How much are you investing?
- Has your B2B marketing agency set up goals?
Go through the goals with the agency, and make sure they feel the goals are within their reach.
Before becoming customers, businesses first form a relationship. This relationship, based on trust, is the foundation of every business undertaking.
Here are two elements to keep in mind:
Your target audience is more narrow than you think
Your customers are a distinct, separate group, with its own wants and problems. A professional agency will keep this in mind, and try to determine exactly who your target audience is, before doing any work. This is usually done by creating buyer personas – partly fictitious characters that represent your ideal customers. Through buyer personas, you will get a thorough understanding of your target audience, helping you create relevant, meaningful messages and focus on people that matter, only.
Your target audience isn’t keen to spend its money – yet.
We can split the usual buyer’s journey into three stages:
You wouldn’t want to try and sell a solution to a person who only recently realized they had a problem, as that would be way too soon. Current marketing strategies are outdated. They focus on the marketer, employ cold calling and ads, tactics which are interruptive and annoying to the customer. As such, their success rates are very low. Instead, if the agency builds a strategy around the buyer persona and its buyer’s journey, it will create a productive relationship.
Being honest and informative
Make sure you know exactly where your money is going. Create monthly, goals-oriented reports. Also, don’t forget that the digital realm is constantly evolving and changing at an enormous pace. Keep re-evaluating your strategy as the landscape evolves. A professional agency will keep you up to date with the latest in marketing innovation, tactics, tips and tricks.
A professional agency will understand the importance of transparency and will make sure you, as a client, understand the process in its entirety. It’s not a rare occasion that we see confused clients, not knowing what questions to ask, or even how measuring success works. Keep in mind that this has to be the cornerstone of any alliance between you and an agency. You need to define KPIs (key performance indicators) for success, and make sure to know how to measure progression.
It’s great to feel as if the agency is working 24/7 on your project, but if you’re having a hard time explaining exactly WHAT is it that they’re doing – then that’s a problem. Work is not its own means to an end – you need goals, and you need measurable, quantifiable goals.
Looking at other clients
Your agency needs to understand the depth of your work and needs to have experience in creating clients for other B2B organizations. We have created a list that you can run by the agency’s other clients. If the agency kept them in the loop and educated them, they should have no problem answering the questions.
The clients should have gone through a couple of processes with the agency. Ask them about it:
- What is your client’s business about
- Which problems is the agency tasked with overcoming
- How deeply involved is the agency?
- How do you measure the agency’s efficiency, quality, effect and influence?
- In terms of project management, would you consider the agency productive?
- What is the agency’s strongest point?
- Is there room for improvement? If yes, where?
Are they marketing themselves and how
A marketing agency is essentially a business-to-business agency, which means they should be marketing themselves as experts in the field. Do you feel as if they really understand your pain points and problems? Are they aware of your buyer’s journey? Is their work customer-oriented? Are they trying to form a relationship with you, that is based on trust? If you answered these questions positively, than that’s a good sign. If not, ring the alarm.
Look for qualifications
You should keep an eye out for:
- Inbound Marketing
- Email Marketing
- Content Marketing
- Google Adwords
- Google Analytics
- Hubspot marketing software
A solid B2B marketing agency will be:
- Customer-oriented (remember the buyer personas and the buyer’s journey)
- Honest, informative
- Properly equipped
Hopefully, this article will be helpful for you when looking for the right agency for your business.