As a business or professional in pursuit of marketing support to convert lean, sub-par prospect information into quality lead data, you should expect and demand the same transparency. Agencies like Stratus can’t (and SHOULDN’T) promise results, but here’s what they should be able to guarantee verify crucial details like names in the ROI:
1) One of the remedy in ROI struggles in B2B marketing is to have a collaborative strategic partnership that is focused on achieving defined goals- in many cases, the strategic capabilities of your agency partner will make or break your marketing success
2) One of the remedy in ROI struggles in B2B marketing is to have a deep internalization of your company, goals, products and services, culture, buyer personas, industry and competition- Without this a marketing plan is only skin-deep.
3) One of the remedy in ROI struggles in B2B marketing is to have constant testing and measuring of implemented initiatives- this enables agility so resources are allocated to the right places to connect through a variety of channels.
4) Ideas- you hired a marketing agency to be the expert right? They should constantly bring you ideas and recommendations for optimal marketing ROI, not the other way around!
5) Transparency- you should never have to wonder what your agency is up to, what they’re working on, how they’re spending their time or even worse, if they’re actually spending time on your account (yikes!).
All marketing activities should be tied to measurable and defined goals so there’s nothing esoteric or unknown about your plan. Tools like Tickspot, Basecamp, HubSpot and Google Docs are designed to keep you on the same even playing field as your agency. You are the client, and you deserve to be “in the know”.
6) Expertise- you can analyze relevant expertise in many ways but the most important factor is actual marketing know-how and experience. An agency may not have expertise within your specific industry, product or audience and that’s not necessarily a bad thing to connect through a variety of channels.
A capable marketing team can quickly ramp up on need to know industry knowledge (see our point about deep internalization above) but years of marketing experience (successes, failures, and all the lessons learned in between) can’t be faked or obtained overnight.
7) One of the remedy in ROI struggles in B2B marketing is to have references that speak to dedication- Any agency will tell you they’re dedicated to your success (could you imagine the reaction they’d get if they didn’t claim this??!!) but here’s where asking to talk with some existing and past clients proves beneficial.
Often prospects want to talk with references about results and ROI but as I mentioned above, past results don’t guarantee future outcomes. Instead, a better way for a prospect to leverage references is by finding out how dedicated the agency is to achieving success for their clients.