The continued growth of inbound marketing and the success of HubSpot as the leading inbound marketing platform has been coupled with an increase in the need for inbound marketing services. You can buy a good race horse, but it also helps to have a good jockey! If you’re thinking about partnering with an inbound marketing agency, here are some key tips to consider in your selection process.
Criteria for selecting an inbound marketing agency
- Strategy – if your agency isn’t asking about your ultimate business goals, the business problems you solve or how your product or service is different from your competitors, you’re likely not working with the right agency. Your agency should have an understanding of your business model and be able to regularly articulate your ultimate goals and align them with the deliverables they are producing for you.
- Integration – is your agency a full-service inbound marketing agency? Will they guide you through strategy, design, development, and implementation of your inbound marketing plan? Do they have the resources to support each of those phases? Moreover, does your agency understand how to combine SEO, social, content, and traditional outbound marketing to meet the business goals defined in the strategy phase of your project?
- Dogfood (huh?) – yes, eating your own dogfood, to be exact. If you’re using HubSpot to capture and convert leads, is your agency doing the same? Further, how long and how successfully have they been using HubSpot? Is HubSpot their primary mechanism for lead generation?
- Data – to paraphrase Jerry Maguire – “Show me the data!” Don’t hesitate to ask for typical client ROI on their inbound marketing investment, social proof (i.e. growth in Twitter or Facebook followers), testimonials, or direct feedback from HubSpot.
- The Funnel – if your inbound marketing agency isn’t discussing your sales funnel with you, you’ve probably selected the wrong agency (sorry). Not only should your inbound marketing partner have knowledge of lead attraction methods, lead nurturing techniques, and an understanding of how to achive successful call-to-action conversion rates – they should also be working with you to target and segment your various audiences.
- Implementation – get a sense of the volume of work your agency has done. The more things your agency has seen go wrong, the better off your marketing activities will be, primarily because your agency will know what to pay attention to when managing and executing your marketing plan.
- Experience – how long has your agency been around? How has it evolved and grown? How many employees does it have? What is your agency’s longest term client? What does your agency’s design portfolio look like? Work with an agency that has stood the test of time (and the ups and downs of the economy). Visit your agency’s website to see the quality of their work and the types of clients they serve.
What other selection criteria do you find useful? Should the various criteria be weighted differently? Is there a single data point that could sway a selection decision?