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When working with a digital marketing partner, it’s important to choose the right one in order to reap the most benefits. A substantial amount of time and resources can be lost if your practice discovers the digital marketing partner you selected isn’t a good fit.

Doing your due diligence upfront can help save you valuable time, money and headaches in the future. Plus, you’ll be setting your practice up for success at a quicker pace when you have the right digital marketing partner on your side.

It’s crucial to take your time when researching your digital marketing options. There are plenty of questions you should ask, but we’ve compiled the top 3 that usually arise when seeking a new digital marketing partner.

1. Will You Work With My Competitors?

Believe it or not, some digital marketing companies find it common practice to work with anyone and everyone, regardless of whether or not their clients are competitors. This is a huge conflict of interest and is almost universally frowned upon in the digital marketing space. What happens when your competitor is paying more to the agency than you are? Odds are, more resources are going to their campaign than yours. From the agency’s perspective, it’s still a bad practice. Why would an agency want to compete with itself? It just does not make sense from any angle.

Ask very directly if the marketing agency is working with any of your competitors. If they’re not, ask if they would ever consider doing it. If they are, you should explore other options. If possible, find out if the company offers market exclusivity and be 100% clear on the terms of that exclusivity. 

2. Do I own my website and domain?

Unfortunately, we find that many practices aren’t aware of who owns their domain or if they actually own their website. First, if you are just starting your digital marketing and do not have a domain, ask the new agency to purchase the domain in your name (or just purchase it yourself and give access to the agency). If you decide to leave the agency later on, having the domain in your name will make it easily transferrable.

Second, many practices are unclear if they actually own the website, or if the agency does. This is something you need to get clarification on in the vetting process. If the agency says they own the website, the content, the photos, etc…, transferring your digital marketing to another agency may be troublesome since you’ll be missing the most important part of your campaign.

Many agencies build websites in proprietary systems and templates that can only be used when working with that particular company. Be sure to ask what they’ll be building the website in. If it is a CMS (Content Management System) like WordPress, then packaging up and moving the website to another company can be fairly simple. Although a WordPress site can also be built in a Multi-User environment that can disable important functionality if it is moved away from that particular company. If it is being built in a proprietary system, ask if and how the website can be moved should you decide to leave and if it will be fully functional in another environment. Requesting a fully functional backup of your site once it is designed, and live, is a great way to ensure that you have and own it.

3. How Do You Determine The Success of a Campaign?

Success is defined in many different ways. What your digital marketing partner may consider a success might not be exactly what you had in mind as your end goal. Determining the success of a campaign goes beyond just looking at a single statistic. In fact, there are likely more follow-up questions to ask rather than definitive answers. When you ask your new digital marketing partner how they determine success, they should provide the following information along the way:

  • The metrics they use
  • What their KPIs (key performance indicators) are
  • How they measure success
  • How often they report

After you’ve obtained this information, you’ll be able to see more clearly how the agency defines success and whether their definition aligns with your goals.

As we mentioned above, there are other important questions you should ask your new digital marketing partner, but in general, we find that these are the three major questions you should always ask. The main goal is to ensure the digital marketing agency is in complete alignment with your goals, so you know your best interest is top of mind.

By Chris Suchánek
Chris is a digital marketing pioneer that brings over 25 years of experience in brand promotion and marketing to his role as a CEO. Before launching Firm Media in 2008, he served as Operations Manager for an industry leader in digital marketing, where he oversaw client relations for more than 700 medical practices. Prior to Firm Media, he contributed to projects at EMI, RCA, MTV, and Warner Brothers and also served as Director of Marketing and Publicity for Brainstorm Artists International.

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