As B2B buyers evolve, so does their buying process. Learn how B2B marketers can evaluate and refresh their strategies to meet changing needs.
Performance marketing is a strand of marketing that focuses on driving specific actions, such as clicks, form fills, or sales. Rather than simply spreading a brand message everywhere and hoping it resonates, performance marketers develop specific strategies to drive key goals based on insights. Anyone serious about marketing online today is investing in performance marketing strategies.
Most businesses, though, never consider working with a performance marketing agency to improve results. It’s a common misconception that you should only enlist third-party help if you don’t know how to market yourself. In reality, a performance marketing agency can help you deliver better business outcomes in a great many ways, regardless of whether you have your own internal marketing team.
Let’s start by discussing some of the many benefits of building a relationship with a performance marketing agency today:
Most performance marketing agencies have their own MarTech stack they use to provide services to their clients. These can include advanced PPC bid management software, social media management tools, analytics solutions, and more. When you work with a performance marketing agency, you can benefit from all these technologies without actually purchasing them yourself. Lots of top agencies use software that individual businesses may not be able to afford and use on their own.
Most internal marketing teams have experience in many different marketing areas. Few businesses have enough budget to recruit and hire experts in every area, though, and so team members often multitask and work on various initiatives at once. Working with an agency is one solution to this problem as they can fill in the gaps in expertise where your internal team falls short. As an example, if you’re lacking a specialist in PPC bid optimization, you can work with an agency that has the tools and personnel to run this for you.
Just because you have your own marketing team doesn’t mean you can’t work with a performance marketing agency. In reality, an agency is designed to support your in-house team, empowering them with savvy suggestions and recommendations. An agency can offer a fresh perspective based on their knowledge in your market and others. Their expertise outside your business allows for the creation of novel ideas and strategies that can help you win your battles for revenue.
Different areas of marketing can absorb significant amounts of time, especially if your team doesn’t have expert knowledge and tools for certain channels. It can require a lot of manpower and investment to optimize correctly. Allowing a performance marketing agency to take care of these tasks frees up your internal teams immensely. They’re able to reallocate their efforts to other marketing tasks, increasing productivity in the process.
As a business grows, so too does its marketing strategy. Most leaders are faced with a decision - either expand their current marketing team or invest in a third-party contractor. Adding new employees requires lots of investment. There are office space and tools and also recruiting costs and turnover to worry about. With all that in mind, investing in a performance marketing agency is likely much more affordable than expanding your own organization.
Today there are many marketing agencies out there saying they can help you drive better business outcomes. However, few are equipped with the skills, expertise, and technology to maximize the effectiveness of your output. Here are a few things to look for when evaluating potential performance marketing agencies to work with:
It’s possible your business is looking to fill a gap by working with a marketing agency. If that’s the case, then it’s important to choose an agency that has specific skills and expertise in the areas you need. Any agency can offer services in social media marketing, display advertising, SEM, content marketing, etc, yet some will have key specializations that set them apart from the rest.
To get an idea of what areas an agency excels in, take a look at their service page and case studies. If most of their success stories are in a specific area of marketing, that’s likely where their specialties lie.
Even if you are working with an agency to optimize a specific marketing channel, it’s important to choose a partner that also has multichannel capabilities. In the future you may want to outsource more of your marketing activities. You don’t want to have to change agencies in order to get the services you need.
It’s also important to remember that your marketing strategy isn’t siloed by channel. Your strategy should include a number of channels that work together to drive key performance goals like traffic, leads, and sales. Agencies should be prepared to take on multichannel marketing responsibilities. At the very least, they should understand how the current channel they’re working on fits into the broader strategy.
Getting access to powerful technologies is one of the biggest benefits of working with a performance marketing agency so, in any evaluation process, it’s essential to consider their MarTech stack as well. Do they work with all the tools you need to optimize your marketing message, deliver it, and track results? Are they capable and willing to work with your favorite tools?
Invest in a performance marketing agency that’s prepared to help you get the most value out of the marketing automation tools they work with.
You don’t want to work with an agency that has a one-size-fits-all approach to marketing for their clients. They should be able to develop a personalized strategy based on your industry and specific business goals you illustrate to them.
A worthwhile agency will audit all aspects of your marketing strategy and make personalized recommendations for improvement. They may also suggest new channels and marketing strategies to invest in that can help your brand get more visibility, nurture leads, drive sales, and grow your ROI. Once you provide feedback on their strategy, they should also be prepared to adapt.
A performance marketing agency should feel like an extension of your internal team. It’s important to have complete confidence that they’re acting in the best interests of your business. For example, if your agency wants you to partner with another business for marketing, or use a certain advertising network, they should do so with your goals only in mind.
Before choosing an agency, ask them to disclose any relationships they have with other advertising platforms, businesses, or software providers. This transparency can help you ensure they’re truly aligned with your brand at all times.
When evaluating a potential partnership, it’s important to ask about their capacity. Are they prepared to handle all the tasks your business needs? It’s very likely they’re working with lots of other businesses on marketing strategies. You need to be sure they have enough personnel and resources that can focus on your specific needs.
If an agency plans to assign an individual person to work with you, ask how many other clients they’re working with at the same time. That way you can ensure they’re not overloaded with other client projects.
A performance marketing agency that’s worth the investment should be able to explain some of their novel ideas to you before you decide to work with them. They should take the time to evaluate your marketing needs then make specific suggestions for how they can help you move forward. For instance, they could suggest investing more heavily in a certain advertising strategy or targeting certain keywords with your content. They should also have supporting data that illustrates why this is a good direction for your business.
In the modern era, any business that’s serious about broadening their reach and driving sales online is investing in performance marketing tactics. Yet few have the capacity, skills, expertise, and tools to maximize the effectiveness of their campaigns. Working with a performance marketing agency is the perfect solution to supplement your internal strategy and really start working towards key goals. Just make sure you build a partnership with the right agency for your unique needs.