What Brand Custodians Ought to Know about Digital Marketing Agencies
Are you planning to hire a digital marketing agency for your business? Read on to find out what you should first know about how digital marketing agencies work.
Digital marketing agencies fall under 3 broad categories.
1. The Niche digital marketing agencies
2. The Semi or pseudo digital marketing agencies
3. The Ad Hoc digital marketing agencies
This is a classic Type A-B-C classification in which A stands for the best, B for the intermediate and C for the not-so-good ones. But the parameters here are not just about the quality the agencies offer or the kinds of budget they work with. This classification is based on how the digital agencies work.
Which agency you should choose depends not on the brand name of the agency but on the type of services they offer. You’ve got to learn if their services are the right thing to hire for your specific needs.
Because your needs vary, your answers will vary too.
1. The Niche Digital Marketing Agencies
Digital marketing is a vast area. The top-notch agencies have a niche, apart from the broader categories like business forecasting, advisory services, brand positioning, and brand gap analysis. Some of these specializations include:
b. Data analysis
c. Mobile Marketing
d. Affiliate Marketing
e. Email Marketing
f. SMS Marketing
h. Website Development
i. Lead Generation
Apart from hiring highly trained people, these agencies use appropriately licensed tools, especially the ones like CRM. They work with clients that are market leaders in their domains.
Their work involves proper and regular
· Monitoring of specific metrics
The top-notch agencies work on the basis of contracts for 2–3 years. Sometimes, their contracts are global. The compensation for them may also include performance bonus (in cases of appreciation) and penalty. Since they follow best practices, they attract compensation in terms of lakhs (8–10 lakhs and upwards).
The niche digital marketing agencies invariably keep the campaign budget separate from their fees.
Because these agencies are absolutely data-driven, their performance can be tracked more easily.
2. The Semi Digital Marketing Agencies
The semi digital agencies are the second type of digital marketing agencies. These agencies provide a mixed bouquet of services. Their teams are generally trained in traditional advertising, so they tend to understand print, TV and radio ads better.
Their work revolves around a mix of traditional and digital advertising:
c. Social media campaigns
h. Branding for trade events
They do not use heavily priced software and rely on cheaper tools like Spreadsheets to track their performance.
The contracts with these agencies go on for up to 7 months to 1 year. Their monthly fees are around Rs 1.5 lakhs and upwards.
The semi digital marketing agencies may or may not mix the campaign costs with the fees they charge.
3. The Ad Hoc Digital Marketing Agencies
The third type of agencies are the ad hoc ones. These are the ones emerging from event management companies that claim to have a digital wing. They do not have regular official places to operate from because most of them tend to be freelancers.
These agencies go by the predetermined templates. Or they depend on the clients’ judgment regarding good design and copy.
They do not use even the free tools like Google Analytics.
Because they do not have a premium invested in their teams and tools, they may charge Rs 25,000 and upwards a month.
Most of these ad hoc digital marketing agencies tend to include campaign running costs in the fees they charge. And you must pay good attention to this clause in your contract with the ad hoc digital marketing agencies because eventually you may not be able to determine how much has really been spent on the campaign.
Now that you’re familiar with these broad types of digital marketing agencies out there, you need to think about the specific problems you want the digital agencies to solve.
Brand managers face typical problems that are not restricted to:
a. Creative Solutions
b. Brand awareness
c. Lead generation
d. New customer acquisition
e. Retargeting old customers
f. Brand repositioning
g. Reputation management needs
h. Shoestring marketing budgets
Before you choose to work with a digital agency, you must map your specific problems to what the agency is promising you.
An online search may give you several names of digital agencies around you in two of the many scenarios:
· if you are just beginning to trust someone else with your resources, or
· if you are looking for a new agency because you haven’t been satisfied with the results your current agency has given you.
Because you want to focus on doing your own business better, it may not be feasible for you to do a deep dive research into the profile of each digital agency.
Consultants can help you identify your needs and find you a suitable digital agency that will help you solve your business problems. They can help you understand what you need from your marketing, advertising and digital partners so that all your communication needs are in sync with each other.
Additionally, many businesses feel disappointed by the results of the digital agencies they choose because they do not find themselves and the agencies on the same page when it comes to defining a brief. Consultants can help you avoid heavy expenses if you know what problem to take to a digital agency.
Think about the agencies, digital or otherwise, you’ve come across so far. Which type do they fall into?
Let us know if you need handholding while trying to define the problem you want your agency to address.