Choosing a digital marketing agency is a big step for a B2B company. During your initial consultation, the goal is to establish rapport and determine if it's a good fit and you will work well together. You’ll also want to be armed with some baseline information to establish the foundation of your digital marketing strategy. Here are five things you should have in line before meeting your digital marketing agency team.
1. Set Your Budget
If you underfund your marketing, you will not get the results you are hoping for. It's important to gather all your internal stakeholders and set a realistic budget.
Setting the budget ahead of time helps get everyone on the same page. Every company has a very different budget and breaks it up in different ways to establish the marketing strategy. It helps to also know what you are currently spending on marketing, even if it is nearly nonexistent and largely unplanned.
In 2022, 66% of B2B marketers said their budgets were going to increase, and 24% said budgets would stay the same. On average, B2B companies spend around 9-10% of company revenue on marketing efforts.
2. Define Your Digital Marketing Goals
Part of setting your budget will include defining key goals you expect to accomplish with your marketing. Setting S.M.A.R.T. goals is one way to increase the chances of success.
A SMART goal is:
- Specific: Don’t be vague; use numbers, percentages or statistics to define what you want to improve.
- Measurable: Choose goals that are something you can objectively measure and establish your key performance indicators (KPIs) for each one.
- Attainable: Set goals that are within your power to achieve and something you can accomplish with digital marketing strategies.
- Realistic: Don’t expect viral visibility or shocking change—set realistic goals that are within reach and based on current analytics.
- Timely: Always give your goals a deadline and establish checkpoints for larger goals. An ending point allows you to measure your success (or failure) and reassess as needed.
Marketing goals can support company-wide goals, but they will have their own objectives and KPIs. Your goals should also work hand in hand with other departments, like sales and customer service.
3. Establish Priorities
Which goals should take primary focus in your strategy? Prioritizing goals helps you put your manpower towards the most important tasks and allocate your budget to the proper resources.
While you might have several great goals laid out, always know which ones are the most important. Priority could be determined because of timeliness, date, deadlines, company needs, milestones, cost, buyer behavior, industry trends, and more.
4. Identify Challenges
Being realistic about the goals you establish will help you create more effective strategies. Outline challenges that will stall progress or interrupt your strategies so you can plan ways to navigate them.
Challenges could include issues like:
- Resource constraints
- Ineffective strategies
- Budget limitations
- Changing consumer behavior
- Team knowledge or skill
- Struggle to stand out
- Organizing and analyzing data
- Adjusting strategies to improve
- Leadership buy-in
- Time limits
One challenge you might not even notice: B2B companies tend to push specific products in the best interest of their company, forgetting about the buyer. As a B2B company, you still need to target the buyer and provide them with value in order to earn their trust.
5. Clarify Expectations
Finally, before you sit down with a marketing agency, you need to know what you expect moving forward. For example, how do you envision division of labor? Will your team be doing some of the legwork, or are you looking for a team that can completely take over the marketing strategy and run with it?
Never make assumptions about how things will be done or what will be covered. Clarify and define everything! Most companies work with multiple clients who all have different goals, perspectives, preferences and expectations. You save time and hassle by outlining what you are after before even meeting with the agency.
The more you believe you know what is “normal” or “common sense,” the more likely you will be on a different page from the team you hire. Instead, lay out all your hopes, dreams, fears and expectations before you even meet with the team. Then, let them walk you through their typical process and available solutions.
Schedule the Meeting
If you are organized and upfront from the start, it will be much easier to tell if the marketing firm is well-suited to meet your needs.
At Synchronicity, we are passionate about helping B2B brands achieve their goals by establishing a stronger marketing plan. If you think we would be right for your company, we’d love to schedule a quick chat!