How CMOs can cultivate a good relationship with an online marketing company

Posted by Daryn Smith on 2 September 2014 | Comments


Sometimes even professional relationships can benefit from a little marriage counselling. The relationship between a brand’s chief marketing officer (CMO) and a contracted online marketing company is no exception. Luckily, we have a few tips on hand to help you cultivate – and maintain – a successful, productive relationship with your online marketing company. 

Treat your online marketing company as an extension of your marketing team.

Try not to think of your online marketing company as an outsourced agency. Instead, treat them as though they’re actually a part of your marketing team. This means treating them like employees and giving them definitive insights into your business and into the performance of the campaigns they’re implementing. Remember, the more intimately your online marketing company understands your business, products, industry and sales performance, the more effectively they’re able to execute your marketing strategies

Failing to clearly communicate marketing aims and outcomes will frustrate your online marketing company’s efforts. Not only does this spell disaster for your relationship, it doesn’t bode well for your bottom line either. 

Report back on how many leads, conversions and customers have been generated by your online marketing company’s efforts.

It’s important that you report back on how many actual sales have been made as a result of your online marketing company’s marketing efforts. The only way to really know if any marketing strategy is working is by looking at the number of sales made. Without insight into this kind of data, your online marketing company will be unable to tell whether or not they’re implementing the right strategies. 

Your online marketing company has access to Google Analytics for your website. In order to track the number of conversions made on your website, they track how many times each conversion asset has been downloaded. However, this information only indicates the number of anonymous visitors that have converted into leads – not how many leads have gone on to convert into actual customers. 

Generating leads via your website is important and doing this well is going to be one of your online marketing company’s main goals. Therefore, whenever an anonymous visitor is converted into a lead, your online marketing company will count this as a success. 

Enable your online marketing company to measure their success against actual sales made.

While generating leads is important, a digital marketing strategy that generates loads of leads is useless if none of those leads convert into customers. This is why it’s so important to ensure that your online marketing company has access to data showing which leads they’ve generated have converted into customers. If few leads ever end up making purchases, they’re probably attracting the wrong leads. If this is the case, the agency needs to know this, so that they can address the problem and focus on attracting more relevant leads. Remember, if they’re unaware of a problem, they can’t fix it. As with so many relationships in life, communication is key. 

Implement marketing automation software that tracks leads from first contact right through to the point of purchase.

One way of ensuring that you and your online marketing company are on the same page is to implement a marketing automation system that tracks leads right from the source of their visit all that way to the point of purchase – and even beyond. Traditional analytics solutions aren’t sufficient for this kind of tracking and reporting – you’ll need to invest in a piece of software like HubSpot. A really switched-on online marketing company will be able to guide you on what marketing automation software package best suits your needs. 

Finally, structure your retainer with your online marketing company based on the value they provide, not on how many hours they log. 

Don’t structure your agreement with your online marketing company based on the hours they need to spend working on your account each month. Rather, agree on set deliverables and make sure that this agreement is honoured.‘Clock watching’ is an outdated approach that can result in a shallow relationship that sours easily.

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Author: Daryn Smith

Image credit: Lansdowne Resort




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