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How to find a Good Digital Marketing Vendor

Once you have decided to adopt the digital marketing strategy, the next big step that you have to take is to identify a good vendor. This article guide you on how to find a good digital marketing vendor.

The Preparation Stage

You must prepare yourself before starting the hunt. You should have a clarity on the following things

Define The Goal: You should have a clear definition on what should be the output of digital marketing.
Here are some of the examples
1. X% increase in sales figures/revenue
2. X% increase in website footfalls
3. X number of product/service leads
4. X% increase in social media engagement
5. Improve Brand Awareness in targeted geography

Set The Target: Who you are targeting. You must have a clear definition on who your targets are.
1. Is it consumers, prospects or a partner?
2. What is their persona(age, profile, interest, behavior etc)
If you don’t have a persona definition, it can be the first action item for the selected vendor.

Identify The Commodity: What to sell?
1. Is it a service, product or even a brand?
2. The definition of commodity. What is it and who are likely to use it.

Set The Budget: How much annual budget that you can afford. This should include
– Agency Fee
– Promotion Amount
– 3rd Party Services/Product Fee
– Collateral Development/Sourcing Fee

Marketing Stage

Lets market this news, ie you are looking for a Digital Marketing Vendor. You can reach directly to agencies as well as you can share this info via direct channels. You can wither float a tender or deal it the other way, sourcing directly via discussions. In either way, you can ask vendors to come up for a pitch presentation. You should share your goals in advance.

The Selection Stage

It’s time to identify the vendor with which you will be working for the year. Keep these things in mind.
1. Vendors work for profit and they do have incredible sales skills. So don’t fall in their sweet words.
2. Give importance to vendors who have a clear understanding of you, your organization and the goal
3. Ask for case studies and success stories
4. Check the scale. If your requirements are high, you should choose a vendor who has a great headcount.
5. Try to identify their financial stability. Will they be continuously able to support you for next year.
6. Never go with a low cost proposal. Since this is a service, low cost generally results in low output quality.
Try to find the exact breakup of fees. It should include both fixed, variable and 3rd party payments.
Examine their milestones and the confidence in achieving it. The more clear milestones indicate expertise in implementing the same.

Vendor Onboarding

Draft a great contact that respects your interest as well as the vendor. Here are some tips for it
1. Even though digital marketing is a ling term process, contract should indicate clear milestones and deliverables.
2. There should be a definition of the kind of resources who will be working for you.
3. There should be clear reporting practices in place.
4. Payments can be post pay or prepay, but it should be clearly tied with milestones that has a visible outcome.

Selection vendor will not help you to win campaigns. You should provide a clear induction for them into your organization, product, process and expectations. Stay tuned for next article on Taming The Digital Marketing Vendor.

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