Like what you see?
Choosing a Partner is as Easy as P.I.E.
If your brand hasn’t employed a marketing automation program yet, you’re already behind. But that’s ok, because choosing the right partner is as easy as P.I.E. (and not the kind you can eat). When looking for a marketing automation expert, find a company interested in being a true partner, which requires integrity and experience.
Is this company going to be your partner? Your real partner? What does it mean to be a real partner and how can you tell if this company is going to be a good one? Here are a few questions to ask yourself.
If you answer yes to most of these, you could be looking at a great partner.
- Did they take the time to learn about your business? Making recommendations for your marketing automation involves knowing your marketing plan and your business. If this company is going to advise you on how to speak to your customers, they should know your business.
- Did they ask about your goals? Being a partner means thinking past a specific campaign or implementation. When you are a true partner, your goal is to advise on how a specific campaign can ultimately help you reach larger goals and objectives.
- Did they spend time with you? A company who will get in the trenches with you is one that you want to be around for a long time. For many people those “trenches” are workshops, tradeshows and brainstorming sessions.
Beyond a good personality is integrity. A flashy presentation might be fun in the moment. But, when you find a company that has integrity throughout its organization you know you have a keeper. How can you tell if a company has integrity?
- They’re honest about their work and the capabilities they have in house or in their contractor network. They do what they say they will. Unfortunately, there are agency sales teams who will commit to being able to do everything under the sun. What you need is to meet the people who will be doing the work and hear from them what is possible and what is out of scope.
- They’re transparent in their pricing, sticking to a committed budget or scope. We all have budgets to stick to. Being transparent about budgets is critical when your agency is scoping work. Regular check in meetings with an agency is a great way to find out how work is progressing and if it’s in line with budget expectations.
- They have the hard conversations with you. There will be times when things go wrong. A good partner with integrity will bring those to your attention and talk through them openly to make sure that together you can come to a resolution.
Now let’s get down to the nitty gritty. Experience. It can be hard to tell if a company has the experience they will need to help you be successful. In marketing automation work, you can’t ask to see another customer’s database or integration. So, here are a few other ways you can judge experience.
- Is the agency certified? For example, if they are doing marketing automation work for you in Eloqua you’ll want them to be Oracle certified partners. This means that the maker of the marketing automation software has vetted them. They will have individuals who work at the agency that are certified in the software’s functionality. Maintaining that certification also means staying up to date with advances in the software and the industry.
- Can they produce case studies? Your agency may not be able to share specific revenue numbers from successful campaigns. But having these means that they’ve taken such pride in the success of a client that they took the time document it.
- Do they have references? If a company has been in business any length of time they should be able to provide 1-2 customers who love them. What you are getting from these references is their opinion on how great of a partner this company is. Take advantage of this time and ask questions about their partnering, integrity and experience.
So, What’s Next?
Take advantage of the mass amounts of resources available and educate yourself. We’ll get you started with some of our own blogs about marketing automation.
Now that you know what type of questions to be asking, it’s ok to admit you need a partner. There are a lot of ingredients that go into marketing automation, from data to timing to messaging. If you are looking for a true partner and want to know more about Simantel’s integrity and experience, contacting us is as easy as pie (the kind you eat.)