How Do You Choose a B2B Marketing Agency for Your Business?

How do you choose a B2B marketing agency

There is no shortage of B2B marketing agencies claiming to match the services that your company needs in order to grow. However, it’s vital to not just pick the first B2B marketing agency you find. A marketer’s daily responsibilities involves balancing multiple projects and managing priorities in a way that can be demanding.  In B2B in particular, choosing an agency that has an analytical mind and creative soul is essential. You want to work with a business partner who understands the market, the trends, the competition and can enable your business to grow. 

Depending on your A-to-Z marketing needs you will want to select a firm with a wide-ranging scope of experience in everything from strategic marketing, Go-To-Market plans, positioning, competitive analysis to messaging, marcom, social media, and PR. The agency needs to be able to position you as an expert in your field as well as generate business leads to support your sales efforts and help you to grow. 

Working with a B2B marketing agency can be a great way to grow your organization and drive revenue.  There are countless options for companies in need of B2B marketing services from the one-person freelancer to a larger firm with a wide range of clients.  Obviously, there are benefits to each, but it is the mid-size B2B marketing agency that offers the best advantages.

Small- to mid-sized B2B marketing agencies like SAGE provide flexibility, responsiveness, attention and dedicated support to each client, faster turnaround time and better pricing than larger full service advertising or marketing agencies.

Key considerations

  • Experience
  • Work samples
  • Knowledge of your industry
  • Success stories/testimonials 
  • Recommendations  
  • Your budget

 

What to look for in a B2B marketing agency?

Understand that no two marketing agencies are the same. Most marketing agencies are either one of the following: a digital agency, a branding agency, a PR agency or a content agency. 

We believe in integrating online and offline marketing activities to maximize tools available. We know it’s not easy to find a trustworthy B2B marketing agency or a highly recommended marketing team with expertise in Integrated Marketing.

For example, let’s say you have chosen a digital agency.Then they start a PPC campaign.  Next you realize they didn’t investigate properly and lack deep understanding of your brand.  They don’t know what’s unique about your company vs. competitors, your customers’ pain points, or how your company answers a real need.  The chances your campaign will have success are much lower.

 

Tips on questions to ask

You’ll want to have a personal relationship with the marketing agency you choose, so it’s important to understand the processes they have in place for healthy communication, deadlines, revisions, and last-minute project requests. Don’t hesitate to ask difficult questions such as:

  1. What differentiates your agency from the rest?
  2. How would you describe your company culture?
  3. Can you describe your approach to each stage of the buying cycle?
  4. What is your pricing structure?
  5. How do you measure a 3-to-12-month sales cycle?
  6. Can we see samples? Including e-books, case studies, infographics, etc. 
  7. Most importantly, how do you measure results?   

As a client, you’ll want to work with a marketing advisor you trust, a business partner who is comfortable handling high pressure business challenges (often unpredictable) and be able to measure and reveal how your marketing investments pay off. It can take months to clarify what’s working. 

You want to work with an agency committed to KPI’s and measuring success on an ongoing basis. Most likely, the agency will provide a complete image of the marketing’s effect on your business on its own. Nonetheless, when you pull it all together, you’ll have a complete understanding of the cost and revenue association and a clear picture of what’s working.

 

Next steps

Once you feel confident in the marketing advisor’s approach, the next step is to understand and consider the initial marketing proposal. By doing so, the agency and you will need to define a service level agreement (SLA). The SLA is a document that establishes an agreement between the agency and client..  During the SLA writing, it is important that the organization’s sales and marketing department be aligned.   

 The most essential parts of an SLA include:  

  1. Creating a timeframe for milestones to set goals (SMART approach)
  2. Defining your target leads
  3. Taking an assessment and establishing benchmarks.  Benchmarking entails reviewing existing KPIs available by the marketing and sales teams, e.g. Lead Scoring. This information can be shared across sales and marketing, and both teams can benefit . For sales, the benchmark could be the number of attempts to contact leads. For marketing, they could focus on conversion rates of visitors, leads, marketing qualified leads (MQL) and sales qualified leads (SQL)
  4. Proposing a deliverables and action plans
  5. Creating a standardized process of communication – this could be as simple as recurring meetings with sales and marketing teams to review progress, goal achievements and KPIs

A close relationship with sales and marketing can be a strong tool for growing your business. Going through this SLA process together will give both departments an understanding of how to better drive leads through the funnel.

 

Find a B2B marketing agency you can grow with

One person from the marketing agency will be the main contact.  A close relationship with this person will fulfill your company’s marketing needs. This individual from the B2B marketing agency will work closely with all departments from the sales teams to the product teams to the business development teams. Strong relationships are a key factor in creating innovative and successful marketing tactics.

 

Get the most value from your budget

When  you decide on an agency and sign a contract, you’ll want to create a good working relationship with them. Here are some tips on how to go about that:  

  1. Kick off meeting: It is very important that the agency identifies your needs and goals. Explain purpose, expected goals and deliverables of the project while maintaining an atmosphere of open communication. Do this before the agency presents its plan.
  2. Recurring Marketing Update meetings: This keeps communication strong between you and the agency. It establishes the status of a project – What is done, what is due to be completed and what barriers or challenges are to be anticipated.
  3. Recurring weekly/bi-weekly Sales and Marketing alignment meeting: This helps marketing and sales develop strategies for building a stronger pipeline. The goal is to arrive at a common understanding/agreement around goals, tactics, expectations, strategy, and performance.

Hiring a B2B marketing agency is not an easy decision.  Take the time to do your research and reach out to a number of agencies to get an understanding of what services are offered.

If you’ve started the process of looking for a B2B marketing agency in Israel to help grow your company, we would love to talk to you and see if there’s a fit. Email us at info@sagemarketing.io

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