Digital marketing has become a highly saturated industry. Everywhere you go, there are pseudo-experts, amateurs, jack-of-all-traders, and so-called marketing specialists who would try to lure you into all kinds of temptations.
How would you distinguish between the real and the fake? Still, how would you pick out the good from the great? You haven’t worked with any of them in the past and so you don’t have the first-hand experience of how good or bad an option is. You may depend on their case studies and testimonials, but how difficult is it to fake these things nowadays?
Unless you see these testimonials on a highly authentic Rating platform like Clutch.co, you can’t readily buy into them.
How about the things they cannot fake? How about taking a look at their online standing and see what they are doing for their own company? It’s obvious a company that maintains a lousy brand image on the web can’t really help solidify its clients’ brands. Had they had a sense of branding and marketing, they would have done it for their own company.
Next, how about getting them on a call or a one-on-one discovery meeting? If they can’t express it well, they might as well lack the skills to perform it well. People who know their stuff can tell you a lot about their background as you start to engage them in a discussion. It takes a few minutes of a live conversation to know whether the company you’re looking to assign your project to does have the needed knowledge, resources, and expertise to provide you with a clear roadmap. If they do lack what is needed, they will usually beat about the bush, trying their best to confuse you instead of making you understand the standard process.
If they happen to pass all these simple tests so far, it’s time to judge them on their plans. How relevant is their proposed solution to your specific problem and unique business situation? If it’s a marketing plan, what justification are they giving you to include certain strategies and exclude certain others? How concrete, complete, and customized are their proposals? Does it reflect the discussions and requirements you have been exchanging with them all along? How clean, to the point, practical, and results-driven is their proposed plan of action?
The proposal is really the most important component in their entire process as it helps you gauge the effectiveness of their strategy as well as the seriousness of their attitude towards your project. More often than not, it should give you a sufficient reason why you’d choose one agency over another.
But things don’t really conclude there. No matter how good a plan sounds on paper, it’s still a plan. And you can’t base your entire decision on a plan — which is nothing more than a future promise — that the agency tries to sell you on.
So what else do you need to look at?
Better pricing structure? Yes. Contractual obligations? For sure. Flexibility on the part of your potential vendor to work on a pilot project? Big factor.
If you’re getting favourable answers for all of the above, it’s time you gave them a big GO!
What it Takes to be the Best Digital Marketing Agency and How VirrgoTech Fits the Criteria
To be the best digital marketing agency takes everything we discussed above. What makes us stand out as the leading branding and digital marketing agency in Pakistan are our cutting-edge marketing and branding solutions, our expertise and resources, our established processes, and our ability to deliver results to high-end brands across the globe.
From the moment we start interacting with a prospective client, we make it a point to understand their businesses, their market and marketing challenges, their unique requirements, and all other aspects of their projects to help us help them better. This consultative approach ensures our prospects understand the challenges and opportunities their projects pose. It also helps them define a roadmap for how to address those challenges and capitalize on the opportunities.
Why is it in the best interest of our prospects? Because even if they choose to collaborate with some other agency, they will still develop a better understanding of how things should be planned, executed, and managed in a way everything is aligned with their marketing goals.
For example, you have a business in Pakistan but you’re not a marketing or branding expert. All you know is that this business needs exposure, clients, and brand awareness. You approach a digital marketing agency in Pakistan and you ask them to guide you through the process. In the most likely scenario, the agency wouldn’t bother to dig deeper and understand what you’re trying to achieve for your business. They’ll cut it to the chase, skip what doesn’t help expedite the sales process, and assume that you should not be concerned about the nitty-gritty of the process, but just the end goal.
Nevertheless, the process matters just as much. Maybe not right away, maybe not when the project kicks off, but when things are well in the middle and it’s too late to pull back.
To explain why, let’s create an example scenario (one which is very likely in the marketing world):
You: I need more sales and better brand exposure.
Your prospective agency: Sure, have you ever tried digital marketing for your business before?
You: No, never.
Your prospective agency: No problem, you should run ads on social media then.
You: Will that generate sales.
Your prospective agency: It’ll generate traffic and the traffic can be converted into customers. So yes.
[Two months down the road, the leads’ quality is astonishingly poor and you ended up wasting your time and scarce marketing budget.]
You: I’m not happy. I’m worse off now than when I came in.
Your agency: Sir, how’s that our problem. You asked for traffic, we gave you that. We don’t control consumer behavior, can we?
You: But this strategy doesn’t seem to be aligned with my business goal?
Your agency: How about changing it to something else?
You: At this stage?
Your agency: Yes.
You: How about me calling it a day here?
You: [Parting ways…]
A lose-lose situation! Your agency lost you. You lost their trust, your time, and your marketing dollars. How did that happen? Because there was no due diligence on the part of your agency and you took a rash decision.
Here’s how a reliable digital marketing agency (such as VirrgoTech) would have gone about the process:
You: I need more sales and brand exposure.
VirrgoTech: How long has your business been around and how much sales are you currently generating (per month)?
You: We are in this business for X number of years and we are getting Y clients per month. Very few though, we want to grow exponentially!
VirrgoTech: Of the two important goals, which one is your priority: brand awareness or sales?
You: Sales, of course. But I’d also like some brand exposure.
VirrgoTech: [Explains how brand awareness may not result in immediate business outcomes and how it’s connected with the long-term success of the prospect’s brand.]
You: How do you suggest we should go about this process?
VirrgoTech: Sure, we are here to walk you through it all. Before we do that, we’d like for you to clarify a few more things: Are you interested in gaining immediate results (achieved through paid advertising mediums such Google Ads’ PPC and Facebook’s paid advertising) or you want to gradually build your online presence through organic mediums (such as Search Engine Optimization, Social Media Marketing, and Content Marketing)?
You: What is the difference and what would you, as our digital agency, suggest? I’m more interested in building a sustainable brand than a fly-by-night operation?
VirrgoTech: [Explains each strategy in detail and how certain channels — such as PPC and Display Advertising — help generate short-term traction and certain channels — such as SEO and organic content marketing — are viable options for long-term exposure and business growth].
You: I guess I would like a mixed approach where we partially focus on generating customers in the short run and partially on building our online presence through organic methods, such as SEO and social media marketing.
VirrgoTech: That’s exactly how we envision it. We’ll go ahead and put together a customized plan of action that includes everything we discussed today along with other pertinent details. The Search Advertising and Social Media Advertising campaigns should help us gain relevant traffic and conversions in the short run. The SEO and Social Media Marketing ones will help us solidify our brand’s image and its organic presence over the long haul. Ultimately, a certain portion of the inbound traffic generated through these channels will convert into loyal customers, helping your brand achieve its long-term growth objectives in a safer and more sustained manner.
Now, you see this is the type of consultative approach that always works to the advantage of both the the parties: the client and its partner agency. It’s transparent, less risky, and more elaborate. As a client, you know you’ll get what’s expected. No outrageous promises, no gimmicky tactics, no unrealistic goals, and no need for damage control as you go down the road.
What’s more, we encourage our clients to test us on pilot projects before making any long-term commitments. Better yet, we don’t bind them into contractual agreements and ensure that our service terms protect their business interest as much as they do protect ours. This very approach allows us to go above and beyond the call of duty to deliver stellar results, making our clients happy and retaining them for a long time of time.
We don’t hide behind contractual terms or resort to complacent practices. At the end of the day, we know that the only way we can retain and grow our business is by helping our clients retain and grow theirs. The model we have set up is such that our own interests are tied to the business interests of our clients, making it extremely difficult for us to underdeliver.
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