Every now and then, it’s helpful to have a reminder – I need reminders to change laundry over and get it out of the dryer, from time to time. I think reminders on how to have a successful digital marketing partnership is also needed from time to time. Your digital marketing provider wants to stay informed and work with you on various aspects of your website, campaign strategies, budgets, sales, and many other areas. Some clients have, from time to time, forgotten to let their digital marketing provider know that they are having a special sale this month, or that they are changing websites or web providers. I have personally had all these happen to me in the past. Then it is a scramble to catch up and sometimes things get missed or overlooked… it happens to the best of us. But with a few steps or suggestions “catch-up mode” can be avoided. So let’s get started.
- Share thoughts and ideas. Share your goals about what you want a digital marketing provider to accomplish for you. This is an important conversation so expectations on both sides are clearly laid out and, if needed, adjusted to match better or limitations, of any sort, are laid out. There is nothing worse than not expressing expectations. Sometimes a client expects the moon and stars or a digital marketing provider promises the moon and stars. Well the fact of the matter is neither can be delivered, it’s just too unrealistic. So both sides need to lay out their expectations to start a good partnership.
- Keep each other informed. If you, as a client, are going to be having a sale – don’t let your digital marketing provider know at the last minute and expect results. Rather let them know weeks ahead of time so your sale can properly be promoted and strategized for so you get the best results possible. It’s even alright to let your digital marketing provider know months ahead of time… after all, digital marketing is about planning, calculating, and achieving results. Time is needed to properly do that. On the flip side of that coin, your digital marketing provider should be keeping you informed as to what strategies they are using, what’s performing well or poorly and why, what changes to strategy they are planning, etc.
- Let your digital marketing provider know about changes. The best time to do this is well before changes happen. Yes, this kind of goes along with #2 above but it is really that important. If you plan to change the layout of your website, discuss changes with your digital marketing provider way before the changes go live so they can properly prepare and have everything ready on their end; website tracking may need updating, ad landings might need to change, ad copy might need to be adjusted, and many other things. There are a lot more parts to digital marketing than just getting an ad to appear on a search engine.
- Ask questions and expect answers. This is another two-way street. The digital marketing provider should be asking questions of you, the client, to tailor processes, strategies and budgets to your needs and expectations. Also, as a client, you should be able to ask any question you want and get an answer; now sometimes research needs to go into answers on both sides – just keep pressing until you get an answer (client or provider). The question wouldn’t have been asked if it wasn’t important to the person asking.
- Communicate, communicate, communicate. Yep, again with communicating. It is really, really important. It’s better to communicate something that has no impact than to not communicate something that ends up having a huge impact.
The long and short of it is: if you want to have a good partnership with your digital marketing provider and your business, communicate. Treat them like a division of your business. If you have an employee that your not sure is performing up to par, you’ll probably talk to them… same with your digital marketing provider. Talk, discuss, share – both ways. The more each of you communicate, the more successful the partnership will be.