How to evaluate a B2B Inbound Marketing Agency
Before a B2B inbound marketing agency is hired, they should provide a long-term marketing plan to develop a steady and ongoing stream of qualified prospects coming to your website to request more information or contact a sales person. As you are creating your campaign objectives, think about how you will evaluate the inbound marketing agency. This will help keep your campaigns on track and ensure clear communication between your team and the agency.
Adherence to Your Goals and Objectives. A good marketing agency relationship always begins with goal-setting for the campaigns and overall long-term outcome. But as the marketing program progresses, focus on the goals can slip. Because of time, scheduling and a desire to get things done, some companies will not pay attention to their goals month-to-month. The marketing agency’s focus on goals can slip as well due to changes in search engines or unusual responses to certain pieces of the campaign. Real-time maintenance and focus on previously-set goals is critical for evaluating a B2B inbound marketing agency because any changes away from the goals will impact other departments as well as objectives and planning in the future.
Working environment and team interaction. Agencies and company employees need to interact regularly in order to track and maintain the campaigns as well as solve problems that may arise. Regular review of goals, key performance indicators (KPIs), achievements and challenges are all an important part of team interaction. The agency should work to create a collaborative environment in order to maximize the time together. Clear communications policies are important as well so that there is no confusion or miscommunication between the agency and the company.
Tracking of campaign KPIs
Tracking the results of the campaigns and how they compare to the original goals set is also an important means of evaluating a B2B inbound marketing agency.
- Organic Traffic – The goal of any business using inbound marketing is to have most of their traffic come from organic search. High organic traffic means that people are finding your website on their own, which lowers the cost of attracting them to your site.
- Landing Page Conversion Rates – A landing page that does not generate leads is useless, no matter how much traffic it gets or how beautifully designed it is. If the landing page is getting a lot of traffic but has a low conversion rate, then a re-evaluation of the page is an imperative.
- Lead-to-Customer Ratio – Converted prospects from the landing page become leads. Lead scoring will determine how many of those leads are sent to the sales team for follow up. After conversion it is important to know how many leads your sales team is able to close. Lead-to-customer ratios are calculated based upon how many of the leads sent to the sales team become clients.
- Cost per Lead – Understanding the cost per lead helps determine the effectiveness of the inbound marketing agency. Cost per lead should be close to the target set in the strategy sessions and be going (hopefully) down.
- Inbound Marketing ROI – Calculating your inbound marketing return on investment helps assess monthly and annual performance. Equally important is the ability to use it to plan strategies and budgets for the following year. You do not want to continue adding money or increasing your budget for a marketing activity that is costing your company money.
So as you are putting together the plans and strategies for the B2B inbound marketing agency, make sure to add in the means to evaluate the agency. Budgets and outcomes can be easy to forget when you first launch your plans. Make sure you have put an evaluation plan in place in order to make changes if necessary.
Would you like to learn more? KEO Marketing has a team of inbound marketing experts who can help you set up and run a very productive inbound campaign. For more information, contact KEO Marketing or call us at 888-702-0679.
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With more than 25 years of hands on marketing strategy and operations experience, Sheila Kloefkorn is dedicated to developing marketing strategies and plans that help clients succeed. Some of the world's largest brands have depended on Sheila for marketing programs that delivered tangible and substantial results. Specialties: B2B marketing, lead generation, lead nurturing, sales strategy, marketing strategy, competitive marketing strategy, social media, search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), mobile marketing, email marketing, website design, marketing plans.