Do you have a real digital advocate?
Surprisingly, we’ve been getting reports from businesses that are being invoiced by other local firms and so called “digital agencies” for unauthorized marketing services. This can be disconcerting. Usually when this happens, it’s truly an honest mistake. The account executive working with the client assumed the sale. Or perhaps the campaign in question started early and wasn’t supposed to be billed until next month.
But what about when the campaign or service wasn’t authorized at all? Or when a digital agency is absorbed into a another media company and there is no one left that is familiar with your account? Are you getting the service you expected? Does the invoice match the reporting? If you’re not sure what benefit you received from your marketing spend then there are some definitive steps you can take.
Know What Advertising Campaigns You’re Running:
While it’s wonderful to have a marketing partner that you trust, it is still important for you, the business owner or in-house decision maker, to understand what tactics are being used to accomplish your overall strategy. In order to audit the rest of your spend, you need to understand the components of your campaign and the affect of the digital campaign on your business.
Expect Detailed Campaign Reporting:
Any reputable digital marketing firm will provide detailed reporting. If there is no reporting then how do you know the campaign even ran? You should expect to sit down at least once per month and walk through campaign results from the previous month. This postmortem is critical to your overall success because it helps you and your strategist identify what’s working, what isn’t and adjust accordingly. We believe it’s equally important for you to have an opportunity to ask questions and that your account executive understands your goals and the reports they’re presenting so that you come away from every meeting feeling like you learned something. Your digital agency should be your advocate for all things digital.
Examine Website Traffic:
We encourage local marketers to become familiar with Google Analytics reporting on their sites. While you don’t need to be an expert, you do need to be able to identify traffic patterns and the effects of your advertising and promotional activities on your site. If you’re seeing huge swings in traffic or just subtle shifts you should identify where these changes are originating from and why. Even offline marketing should affect your website traffic, particularly inbound search traffic. If you’re not seeing any impact or digital affect then it’s time to consider why. Have you chosen your digital and brand advocate wisely?
Reconcile Your Invoice:
This is probably the most important step. If you know what you’re running, your reporting is in line and your website traffic confirms that your campaigns are having the desired effect then your final step is to verify that your being charged correctly. Each component should be clearly listed and you should be able to correlate these items to your reporting and your authorization to execute the campaign.
Nothing bad can come from going through your invoice and understanding your marketing campaigns more deeply. The key here for local business owners is to trust your instincts. It’s easy not to trust your suspicions that something just isn’t right or to feel overwhelmed by the seeming complexity of reporting, analytics and all things digital.
Think of it this way: If you can’t understand how your campaigns are performing in the marketplace, how will you ever know if they’re effective and working as intended?
Any consultant worth your time will take the time to explain anything you don’t understand. If that consultant runs into something along the way, they should be able to request help from their team.
If you would like a no obligation consultation or assistance understanding your reporting, campaigns or invoices from any marketing provider or digital agency, please contact us today!