3 Steps Every Brand and Agency Should Take to Launch a Digital Marketing Campaign
By Mike Krass
This post was created out of a conversation we had with a client recently when they blatantly told us:
Go run a paid search campaign for us, please.
That was it. No background on why paid search was chosen, how it had been used in the past or who made the ultimate decision to invest in paid search marketing at this point in time.
We backed this client out of the weeds and asked them a question in response:
Could we have a quick conference call with your stakeholders to understand your needs instead of being 'yes men' & listening to your demands without having any background information?
This is a critical position for agencies to take to ensure that they launch a digital marketing campaign that will meet the brands needs & goals.
So, when brands plan digital marketing campaigns with their marketing agency, it’s imperative that they follow the three steps outlined below instead of simply throwing work their direction:
1. Client to Hold a Discovery Meeting
Brands should host a meeting with all internal stakeholders and agency partners to clearly outline roles and responsibilities.
This is also a good time for the agency to ask questions around your brand, goals and past campaign performance.
The common questions we ask include:
- What are your overarching business goals?
- Who are your primary and secondary target audiences?
- What channels have you used in the past that worked?
- What channels have you used in the past that haven't worked?
- How are you measuring performance? Google Analytics? Omniture?
- Would you mind providing us access to your analytics?
- What is your overall budget inclusive of agency time, channel spend and tools?
2. Agency to Conduct Extensive Research
Once your agency has received your information download in the discovery meeting, we like to conduct our own extensive research to get a clear understanding of the task at hand.
This includes the following work on the agency front:
Conduct a Website Audit:
- Are you ranking for the right keywords?
- What's your content strategy?
- Do you have strong, prominent calls to action?
- What's the user flow? Can users easily sign up for your service or are there major road blocks?
- Check web analytics to understand visitor traffic & insights
Conduct a Marketing Channel Audit:
- What search engines are you showing up on for both paid and organic search listings?
- What social channels are you registered on and how active are those channels?
- Are you producing blog content? If so how often and how are you pushing out that content?
- Using the Ghostery App, we'll look at what 3rd party tags are firing on your website
- Understand audiences you're targeting and look to see if we can segment them into different groups to serve a more personalized, relevant user experience
An Example of Agency Research for ‘Noise Canceling Headphones’
Let’s say your brand sells noise cancelling headphones and you tell us, your agency, to focus targeting exclusively to Apple users.
Two thoughts we have out of the gate:
- Anything that has an audio jack can accept those headphones, so limiting it to Apple users might cause you to lose out on additional customer sets
- Apple is a broad audience! Anyone from a toddler with their parent's iPad to a business professional who uses her tablet for Facetime is a target customer for the cool, slick headphones you are marketing
With that being said, the target Apple user isn’t wrong, we’d just recommend including Android and Windows users as well!
Additionally, this is where Segmentation comes into play. Take a look at a few examples of audiences below:
- Developers who need full concentration and zero outside noise when working
- Tech users who appreciate good sound quality and want to block out the annoying commuter conversationalists
- Musicians who need the right tools to do their job well and keep an edge over other musicians
Had we only listened to the instructions to target Apple users, we could have missed out on a large segment of potential customers!
3. Agency Strategy & Presentation
Once we’ve held the discovery meeting and then performed our own research, it’s up to the agency to pull their findings together and deliver a strategy that accomplishes the following:
- Set us and you, the client, up for success
- Use your budget effectively
We can’t put enough emphasis on this fact: This strategy is NOT TACTICAL. Instead, it’s a high level presentation of what we want to accomplish and how we plan to do so, not including exact tactical parameters and budget.
Finally: This should be a conversation. A recommendation is never final, as you know your brand better then an agency ever could.
Listen, provide feedback and help us help you achieve your goals.