The Ultimate Guide to Choosing an Internet Marketing Company (part 1)

This is Part One of a new educational series called: The Ultimate Guide to Choosing an Internet Marketing Company.

It’s no secret.

The Internet has fundamentally transformed the way people find things, shop and even connect with other.  Over the years, audiences have become increasingly tougher to reach as they lose patience with old-fashion, traditional interruption-based marketing.

As a result, businesses have shifted, more and more, from outbound to inbound digital marketing - and with good reason.  Companies who part with traditional marketing methods to follow their audiences online are getting more leads and customers, for a better overall return on their marketing dollars.

That being said, initially, there are challenges companies must overcome before they can be effective online.  For instance, the skill set of their internal teams might be lagging behind.  For some, the time and resources needed to train employees on how to master digital marketing ‘must haves’, like search engine, social media, content and email marketing, doesn’t exist.

As a result, for emerging companies wanting to take advantage of these ROI-charged online tactics, developing a long-term partnership with an Internet marketing company who can provide the necessary Internet marketing services is now an unavoidable step in their growth process.

However, one-size does not fit all.  Digital agencies come in all shapes and sizes.  Choosing the right partnership can be a daunting task.  For smaller companies, it’s necessary to experiment to some degree with Internet marketing.

But as companies mature or start committing more funds to marketing, they need to bring in professionals.  Just as that might be true for working with technology partners or manufacturing advisors, it’s also true for Internet marketing services.

Of course, simply deciding you need to work with an Internet marketing company doesn’t mean the search will unfold effortlessly before you.

Therefore, the following guide will, hopefully, lighten the burden and give the insight needed to help you determine the best Internet marketing company for your business.


Do you want to grow your business?

This might seem like an odd place to start when considering whether you should work with an Internet marketing company, but it’s a very critical step and one that shouldn’t be ignored.

First, there’s nothing wrong with being small and profitable.  However, if you have your heart set on getting bigger and have a good reason for doing so, before contacting Internet marketing companies in your area (i.e., Toronto), you should clarify what getting bigger actually looks like.

Before beginning the search, a company needs to think critically about what role an Internet marketing company is going to play in its business objectives. Whatever the reason - whether they’re planning for accelerated growth or a redesign of their Web site – these ideas should be fully formed before you reach out.

If planning for growth, it’s best to figure out how much new monthly revenue you want to bring in.  Next, decide on how much of that new revenue will come as a result of the Internet marketing you do (%100, %75, etc.)  This is key, because if you have a strong sales team you might not need to make such an aggressive investment in marketing as, say, a company who has a weak or small sales force.

It’s quite possible your sale team could generate the majority of that new revenue.  On the other hand, if your sales team is great at nurturing and closing leads, but weak at generating them, you might have to depend more on your marketing for lead generation.

During this time, try also figuring out your both closing-rate and average revenue per client (or project).  Again, this is important, because it will help an Internet marketing company determine exactly how many visits and leads your Website will need to generate in order to hit your new revenue goal.

Finally, when expressing your goals, try to be realistic.  The realistic scope and direction of your marketing efforts stems from a clear understanding of your business and its customers.  No one knows more about your business than you do.  Therefore, it’s critical that you pass on that knowledge to any potential Internet marketing partner.

[Read Part Two…]


Photo credit: gandersessen1