Guide To Choosing The Right Demand Generation Partner For Your Business Needs
If you are reading this, you are thinking of outsourcing demand generation for business this year.
Are you expanding your business and need someone to get you a rock-on demand generation strategy? Or you have just realized that outsourcing the damn demand generation process is much cheaper, effective and result oriented.
After all, demand generation also impacts lead generation for business.
Whatever may be the reason, there is just so much to handle in-house (like planning, content creation, designing, syndication, social media marketing and more) that outsourcing looks like the right choice.
We work with numerous mid sized businesses and answered tonnes of questions. Some do homework and asked the right questions, others not so much.
In this post, we have listed all the relevant questions that you SHOULD ask your potential demand generation agency based on success, data, process and other key criteria.
1. Know your needs first
Before you go on the quest to search the perfect demand generation partner, define your needs. While you need to know your goals and target growth, you also need to know where does your target buyer hangs out, what type of demand generation methods works best for them and who is your target audience.
2. Select 4-5 organisations
Narrow down your list to 4-5 relevant demand generation agencies based on the industry they have worked with, their reputation in the market, work and any other information available to you.
3. Explore processes WITH them
a. Do they have a management plan?
You can get lost in attractive portfolios and fun presentations by the demand generation agencies but focus on the management processes.
Ask questions about
- How they communicate with clients (sharing reports, updates, what worked or didn’t etc),
- How do they manage deadlines?
- What does their on-boarding plan looks like? etc.
The aim of bringing a demand generation agency onboard is to make up for the lost time and revenue; create stress free environment and boost lead generation for business without you having to sell your soul. So, it is important that they have processes in place.
b. How do they familiarize themselves with your business?
If they don’t have a discovery process, MOVE ON.
A demand generation partner can do well ONLY if they understand your business, values and culture. You want to have a partner who uses the information to create innovative campaigns, set growth targets, KPIs, SMART goals and not flip their stance at your command.
Also, ask them about their audit process. Do they analyze your ongoing marketing efforts – PPC, social media strategy and campaigns to understand your weakness, strengths, areas you have already tested etc?
However, you SHOULD NOT be NEEDING to ask these questions. If they are good, they will ask a thousand questions to understand your requirements.
c. How do they decide on methodologies for a demand generation campaign and how do they measure success?
You don’t want them to do everything based on trial and error. Ideally, they already have experience in your industry and know what works best.
In terms of tracking and measuring relevant metrics, you are looking for funnel conversion rates, closing percentages, conversion to MQL etc?
d. How do they pick a team you will work with? Do they have people with required experience? How were they chosen, and what skills/experience do they bring?
You have to work with this team for a long time. It is important to know how they will serve your needs.
Ideally, you are looking for a point of contact who will be held accountable throughout the relationship. Also, you need to have access to expertise which can be used as and when required.
Along with this, ask them
- What tools do they use?
- How do they stay up to date with latest advancements in technologies, tactics etc
- How do they transfer knowledge onto their teams? etc
- Breadth of service
You should be clear on the services you will get
- Will the team deal with marketing automation like CRMs, analytics, BI, etc.?
- Will the team develop content strategy and run content audit?
- Does the team have copywriters and graphic designers?
- Does the team have creative professionals (like videographers, programmers, etc) who can create effective media?
- Will they coordinate with other partners you work with? For example, PR. etc
4. Test quality assurance
- Talk to references
Former clients are honest about their experience. If you cannot talk to former clients, try to connect with their current clients.
- Ask for their track record?
- Have they worked with any known brand?
- Have they been featured on any reputable media channel? etc
There you go!
The right demand generation partner can help you access higher levels of expertise, unlock new opportunities, generate innovative ideas, learn new marketing tactics and emerge as a superstar.
So, don’t let your head turn around by a sexy website or a well designed portfolio and get stuck with fluff. Focus on clear proof points and this to your colleagues.