I had a call yesterday with a long time client who I love and respect. She is the marketing director for a large communications company in Canada. She’s smart, motivated and is results driven. Over the last few years, we’ve delivered solutions for her that have driven tangible results and at this point (I think) she trusts us and values our viewpoint.
We handle all of their web design and development, but started talking about inbound marketing a few months ago. We spoke about ways to drive incremental revenue, increase her commercial business and accurately target and nurture potential buyers. All with very specific, trackable campaigns that provide a definitive results-driven ROI.
We also spoke about specifics like editorial calendars, marketing campaigns, marketing automation, premium content, blog posts, email marketing, lead nurturing, outreach and ROI.
During a call yesterday, we spoke about how we can work together to develop and implement a content marketing and inbound marketing campaign for her company.
I love having conversations like that. The most successful engagements are collaborations between the client and agency team.
The client in question has designers and developers in house. If she has these team members in place, why does she need a company like ours?
THE TOP 5 REASONS TO HIRE AN EXTERNAL INBOUND MARKETING AGENCY
1. Your Inbound marketing company is on the clock and while that doesn’t sound very “partnership-ish”, it’s true. We have strategic objectives, deadlines and dedicated resources. Things don’t “come up” with our team and we ensure we are able to produce the assets required to execute on a defined schedule.
2. You will have dedicated resources for your project. Aside from being on the clock, you have a specific team dedicated to your project and objectives. This includes an senior level strategist, designer, developer and content writer.
3. The proper agency will provide research and consulting and a non-biased results based on data. The team isn’t as close to your business and while you can provide invaluable guidance from your sales and marketing teams’ experience, the agency team can provide ideas and solutions based on data and provide best practicies for how you should approach your campaigns.
4. Your agency should have experience with what works and what doesn’t by working with other clients and be able to provide 3rd quarter advice to enable you to hit the ground running.
5. Software is just a tool. The real value comes from who is strategizing and running your campaigns. You know who is a star and who isn’t. You know who has great ideas and who who can move the needle. You need a strategist to utilize this tool as a catalyst for your business.
What does an inbound team look like? There are 4 distinct team members to an inbound team and a possible 5th member floater. The 5th member could be an additional strategist, videographer, information architect, statistician or other.
INBOUND MARKETING TEAM MAKEUP
Senior Inbound Strategist
Owns the client relationship
- In charge of defining overall strategic initiatives
- Responsible for meetings & setting expectations for campaign goals
- Responsible for project management
- Responsible for final approval of developed assets
- Executes lead nurturing campaigns
- Responsible for reporting and ROI determination
Responsible for maintaining client guidelines
- Responsible for developing and integrating custom graphics into content
- Responsible for wireframes, mock ups and all design variables
- Responsible for developing CTA’s, landing pages and email templates
- Final Sign off on Design
Responsible for coding and implementation
- Responsible for website integration
- Responsible for developing higher level functionality when required
- Responsible for web development changes
Responsible for editorial calendar
- Responsible for outlines, drafts and blogging content
- Responsible for content strategy execution
- Creates content offer messaging
- Industry & Competitor Research
- In charge of social media accounts. Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin & Instagram
Most inbound marketing agencies provide a single role for designer and developer, but it’s a very important distinction. Designers are not developers. If you know a great designer, they can’t write solid code. If you know a great developer, they aren’t great designers. It makes perfect sense why they wouldn’t be good at these two diametrically opposed skill sets. If you find a great designer who is also a solid developer, please have them call us.
Inbound Marketing is a partnership between agencies and companies. Both rely on each other to help deliver the greatest result for the client while acting as an external part of their team.
When researching inbound teams, make sure you address the actual quality of the team. Understand who recently worked at a low level, non-professional job and is now an inbound marketing consultant and who has been in the web/design/marketing industry for the last number of years and can provide solutions, guidance and drive results for your marketing programs. Additionally, inbound marketing has a low barrier to entry. Ensure that your team can support your additional web design and development initiatives moving forward to aid in developing cohesive design, development and marketing solutions.