As strange as it may sound, not every web marketer is focused on their client’s needs. Quite often, they focus on web marketing “results” alone. In doing so, they forsake the core messaging that makes the digital marketing campaign more than a superficial success.
In order to align the digital marketing strategy with a company’s core principles and strengths, it’s important for them to get some deeper client knowledge before going full-steam into setting a strategy or executing a digital marketing campaign.
The questions below are just a few of the key questions we ask our clients to ensure that we move in the right direction with keywords, content and website messaging. It ensures that we develop the highest quality content that is a match for visitor intent and expectations.
Your digital marketing agency should ask you these 13 questions:
- Describe your target audience.
- What are your corporate core values, and how do you express them to your customers?
- What common objections do people have when they buy from you?
- How do you address those objections and convert prospects into satisfied buyers?
- What “hot points” help your customers take action?
- What information do your customers need in order to make an informed buying decision?
- What problems does your product or service solve?
- What sales approaches have worked in the past?
- What hasn’t worked?
- What are your other online and offline marketing efforts?
- What tone and feel best resonates with your customers?
- Who are your major competitors, and what do you feel are their stronger points over yours?
- Of the following metrics, which three are you most interested in improving?
- Conversions (i.e. sales or leads)
- Return on ad spend
- Cost per conversion
- Conversion rate
- Engagement rate
Not every digital marketing agency is going to ask the same exact questions, but they should be asking questions that will allow them to tailor the web marketing strategy to your company’s unique needs and goals. It should raise a major red flag for you if your digital agency is not asking these types of questions.
Some key insights on why these questions matter as it relates to your digital marketing strategy:
1. Defining your target audience:
The more we know about the user we are trying to reach, the more we are able to align both the marketing tactics as well as the communication style to their expectations. We will want to know who makes your best customer and why.
2. Understanding your core values:
Your core values should determine how you go to market and how you deliver and support the products or services you provide. Digital marketing is about more than just "revenue generation". Yes leads and sales matter, but lifetime value comes out of us understanding and helping you communicate your core values. That's critical to helping you generate the right kind of business.
3 & 4. Common objections in the buying process:
Overcoming objections is certainly part of your sales team's job. However, building content that answers the most common questions and concerns of your clients is a great way to support your sales team while also building great thought leadership with your content. Don't fall for the notion that holding back your "secret sauce" will cause people to call or email your business. Answer their questions in an honest way and they are more likely to rely on your brand.
5 & 6. "Hot Points" and key decision information:
The more we can understand buying motivators for your current customers, the more we are able to craft content, messaging and tools that enable them to work their way through the sales funnel. If our team understands those key buying signals for your customers, we can be significantly more effective.
7. What problems does your product solve:
We need to understand why someone would purchase your product or service. Whether that "problem" is providing entertainment like our friends over at Slick Woody's Cornhole, or expanding loan underwriting capacity like our friends over at Young & Associates, our understanding of the challenges you meet will generate countless content ideas.
8 & 9. Understanding your sales approach:
Of course, we want to hear both what has and has not worked. That doesn't mean a good agency won't recommend a refreshed approach to a tactic you have tried in the past. In general, though we want to understand where the low-hanging fruit is as well as how our digital marketing efforts will complement your sales team.
10. Online & offline marketing efforts:
A good agency will want to understand the full picture. A digital strategy should enhance and support a traditional marketing strategy so your company gleans as much value out of every dollar you invest as possible. A great example is leveraging programmatic advertising in the area of a trade show, then marketing automation and social content before during and after the show to nurture relationships initiated there.
11. Voice and tone:
You've likely got an established voice and tone if you've ever been through a branding process. As a digital agency is executing content creation it's a must that your digital efforts reflect your brand accurately.
12. Understanding your competitors:
It's not at all uncommon for your digital competition to differ from your physical competition. That can be a result of many factors. The reality is that your digital agency needs to understand both. From a product or service performance standpoint, your physical competitors will educate your agency on what the market is demanding. Your digital competitors, whether they actually compete with you are not, are those that are currently occupying the digital real estate that your brand should. We need to understand the full picture and how you fit into it to be able to best position your brand, with integrity, in the right places.
13. Metrics & ROI:
What matters to you, your leadership and your bottom line. There are some key indicators of success that any good digital strategy should measure. Organic traffic, cost per lead, return on ad spend, etc. Any digital agency is going to help you measure those core numbers. Designing an ROI report that takes those as well as lead quality, lifetime value and brand advocacy into account will help you gain a true understanding of the value of your efforts.
These may seem like ad agency questions, not digital marketing questions:
We realize that you're probably used to being asked these kinds of questions when building a brand or executing a traditional marketing campaign with an ad agency. That's certainly true. However, the web and digital marketing in 2023 is likely where your customers experience your brand the most. That's why we feel it's critical that we really understand who you are and how you are perceived in the marketplace before we recommend a digital marketing strategy. Our job is to leverage the strengths of your brand and make them known on the web to draw more customers and clients.
If your digital agency isn't asking these questions and letting them guide their strategy, maybe it's time to consider a different agency.