Like anything in business these days, it isn’t easy to compete digitally. Often, businesses don’t have the in-house expertise for profitable sales.

They have to invest in outsourcing the work to a digital agency either in a one-time project or for a continuous program.

The basics needed for digital success:

  • Synergizing with your brand strategy
  • Designing experience
  • Technology performance including a sophisticated online-store process
  • Marketing know-how
  • Content- writing and editing strategies
  • Mobile-app development and implementation
  • Training (if you want to ultimately operate the digital processes in-house)

Any or all of these e-commerce services can be expensive, so to maximize value it’s imperative to interview digital agencies to pick the right one.

Determine and explain your reasons to invest

Firstly, before meeting any prospective digital partners, you must develop a vision for your company objectives.

During each interview, explain your objectives.

You should explain to each prospective agency why you want to hire an agency, your desired outcomes, how you will benchmark, specify any issues you might have, anticipated deadlines, budget, and whether it’ll be a one-time program or continuous program.

Treat prospective agencies with transparency

To get the desired value from an agency partner, transparency is crucial. Before embarking on the interview process, you and each agency must sign a non-disclosure agreement. (A discussion about non-disclosure will reveal if a partnership will work.)

For strong results, you must convey your selection process to the agencies.

To best serve you, the agencies will need to understand your process. They have to be able to plan a productive response to you as well as their staffing and time.

Explain who the decision-makers are. If you’re not sure about your budget, seek input. (You might need a knowledgeable outside participant to help you decide on a budget and the decision-making process.)

Specificity is vital

Discuss in detail any and all specifics such as what you know you need and what you don’t know, how the work will be conducted and your technology requirements.

Discuss your competitive situation and coordination of the deliverables – the liaison/staffing you’re prepared to provide.

Share any applicable proprietary data and reports including target markets, product information, revenue from each marketing channel, site analytics, site maps and organization.

Above all, share your branding process and brand experience to-date.

Your decision process

Develop an objective scorecard based on your goals and benchmarking.

Anyone on your staff who will be involved – from management to your agency liaison and accounting person paying the invoices – should be included in the interview and scoring of each agency.

Each agency should be evaluated on its approach to your projects, experience and references, abilities, projected staffing and timelines, location the work will be performed, communication, reporting and analytics, references and your needs.

While aptitude is important, so is an agency partner’s attitude in helping you be successful.

From the Coach’s Corner, relevant information:

CRM – Boost Sales with Behavioral Marketing – To increase your profit margins with customer relationship management, consider leveraging the principles of behavioral marketing and behavioral segmentation. Behavioral segmentation can increase loyalty by segmenting your marketplace audience.

Psychological Pricing Tips to Sell More Products, Services – Depending on your products or services, psychological pricing is based on the idea that certain prices are more appealing. Here are six options.

5 Tips to Rock with Your E-commerce ‘About Us Page’ – Your “About Us” page plays a crucial role in whether people will buy from you. It’s always an emotional decision. Here’s how to capitalize on it.

Storytelling: Motivate Customers to Brag about Your Company – Your best opportunity in marketing messages is to inspire your customers to write testimonials about their positive experience with your company. Certainly, you’ll profit more if you can entice your customers to tell your story about your products and services.

Marketing Psychology: Choose the Best Colors for Online Sales – Here are color tips to improve visitor experience and to capture customers – including a great infographic on 40 facts about the psychology of colors.

“If you think hiring professionals is expensive, try hiring amateurs.”

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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.