iPhone, iPad, Amazon Kindle and BlackBerry. What do all of these devices have in common? Each of these has seen incredible consumer adoption and provided marketers with new ways to engage with consumers – yet none of these devices existed just 15 years ago. And while they reflect just a few devices that consumers are engaging with daily, there are far more that have launched over the past 15 years and more already on the way. So what does this all mean for marketers? Simply put: finding the right digital marketing partner has never been more critical to your campaigns.
Based on my experience over the years, combined with a number of conversations I’ve had with some of my peers more recently, I’ve culled together a list here with some of the most important factors that marketers should consider when choosing the best advertising technology partner for his or her next campaign.
1. Identify your campaign goals and/or digital strategy. One of the most important aspects of choosing a marketing partner is making sure you are aware of what you are hoping to accomplish through your campaign. That said, spend some time to identify what your marketing needs are and what business goals you are looking to achieve. Also think about what type of consumer you are trying to reach, their media consumption habits to determine what devices you should be using to reach them and how you will measure your success. Not all marketing partners are created equal, so you want to make sure they can help you engage with your consumer base and, most importantly, achieve your business goals.
2. Don’t hesitate to take time to fully evaluate their “digital resume”. Take a close look at where their roots are set and their client roster. Do they have a strong background in digital? Does it seem like they have enough experience working with digital campaigns? What companies have they worked with? If they have a longstanding record working with reputable brands, chances are they probably have a pretty good track record of achieving successful campaign results.
3. Understand the full suite of services that the prospective partner offers. The only way to ensure that your advertising technology partners will have the capabilities to fully execute your campaign vision, is to understand what some of their most successful campaign executions have involved and what they’ve defined as success across multiple platforms including online, mobile, video and more. You’ll also want to know how they’ve measured campaign performance. Having this knowledge will help you determine whether the technology partner you are considering working with has the full-scale of capabilities to run your next campaign.
4. Determine the level of service that you can expect before, during and after your campaign. You’ll want to understand whether their service is that of a self-service, a dedicated account team or a combination of both. You should also find out what type of support you will receive after the campaign is over to evaluate the success of their work. This will beg the question: What kind of service do you need? Are you and your team knowledgeable enough to run with a self-service tool or would you like to have a team that you can call at any time if there are any issues at any point in the campaign? After a campaign is over, will they review what worked and what didn’t and provide advice on what can be done better next time? You’ll want to choose a partner that can give you the level of support you need while also having enough expertise to help your current and future campaigns run successfully.
5. Find out what form of measurement they use for tracking campaign results. Have they been able to track the results of their campaigns? If so, how? One of the most vital parts of launching a campaign is whether or not the results are measurable and, more importantly, that they understand and measure the KPIs that are most important to you. Saying they measure a bunch of ad elements is one thing, but measuring aspects that don’t matter to you wouldn’t be worth your time and money. Also, finding out their philosophy on ad measurement could be a good way to evaluate their expertise. Are they focused only on ad engagement metrics? Are they keeping a pulse on industry ad measurement advancements like cross-channel measuring and viewable impressions? It’s important to work with a partner that not only uses robust, valuable data that will ultimately help you see the results you want, but also one that is keeping up with the direction the industry is going in and can educate you along the way.
According to Nielsen’s quarterly Global AdView Pulse report, spending on advertising is on the rise around the globe – across all media types. Internet advertising saw the biggest increases, with advertisers spending 12.1% more in Q1 2012 than the year prior, and it’s only going to increase in the future. Keeping the above factors in mind as you assess theright advertising technology partner for your campaign may be incredibly valuable. I realize that for some these may seem obvious, but for those who are branching further into the digital realm, these could be just the recommendations you needed to choose the right partner for your next campaign. Good luck!