6 Questions to Consider in Your Selection Process
As this year comes to an end, individuals and businesses alike have started to look toward 2021. Business and budget planning for the new year is already well underway.
As companies across all sectors begin the planning process, several types of conversations will occur regarding what teams hope to achieve in the next fiscal year.
- Some will focus on initiatives to drive the acquisition of new logos (customers)
- Others will see demand generation, content development and digital marketing investments as the new “normal” of marketing in today’s world
- Is Thought Leadership the way to break through the noise?
- Or is it Analyst Relations or Social Media that will be the silver bullets in the unchartered landscape of 2021?
Well, these are all good questions, and fortunately, there are no wrong answers. Depending on a company’s business objectives it could be any one, or any combination, of the programs listed above that will be the catalyst for growth in 2021.
The important thing to understand is that these programs, if implemented in alignment with business objectives, can contribute to positive business outcomes. The trick is in finding the right partner who understands how to design and execute strategic Digital Marketing, Communications and Social Media programs capable of moving the needle for the business.
In our experience, finding the right partner to help drive success, really comes down to a few key questions:
- Do They Have Industry Expertise?
Find a partner with a solid track record of success and testimonials achieving differentiation and leadership in your sector and across your key verticals.
- Do They Have Functional and Technical Marketing Expertise? Similarly, look for a partner who has the deep technical and functional expertise in the various demand generation and communications disciplines that a modern marketing team needs to drive sales pipeline and revenues.
- Are They Flexible? Too many firms impose excessive retainers and lock-ins when they should be thinking about aiding the client’s objectives. Look for a partner who is just that–a partner. A good partner understands that your needs may ebb and flow with the business and is prepared to be there with you and for you.
- Are they a Hammer and the World is a Nail? Some firms believe all business challenges are solved through one specific program, such as PR, when in fact it’s not that simple. Look for partners who can deliver best-in-class programs individually, or several programs deployed strategically as part of an integrated effort capable of using all your channels to reach all your audiences.
- Do Metrics Matter? Disciplines like PR have typically been hard to measure. Unfortunately not trying is not an option. Today’s data-driven world demands a deeper analysis and has a plethora of tools to conduct it. Look to firms who are open to working collaboratively with you to establish KPIs, OKRs, SMART(ER) goals, etc. that are linked to the success of key business initiatives.
- Do They Care? Everyone wants new business, but there’s a difference between employees and owners. The business owner is one that sweats the results and will go the extra mile to ensure success. It’s hard to measure passion, but when evaluating potential partners it’s an important consideration to keep in mind. When the team is aligned, incented and rowing in the same direction it’s amazing what can be accomplished.
While there are certainly a number of things to think about as we move into the new year, when looking for help in achieving your objectives don’t look for a resource, an agency or a consultant–look for a partner who has the skills, expertise, energy and integrity to ensure 2021 is a banner year.