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How to choose a contractor for promotion on the Internet?

We are engaged in online marketing. Every day, our sales team helps customers determine the contractor and how to evaluate his work. Often we are asked to help navigate a lot of obscure commercial offers.

Why is this happening? Why is the choice of a contractor in the Internet marketing market difficult? And can all contractors be “brought to a common denominator”?

The reasons for the difficulties in choosing an artist
1. The market has not formed common criteria for evaluating contractors

There are objective factors. The service of promoting a company on the Internet is quite complicated. To navigate the forecasts, indicators and KPI, you need to understand the essence of the issue.

Moreover, there can be no universal selection criteria applicable to all companies – each business has its own goals in the network, which means that the tools and performance indicators will be different. To measure all with one arshin will not work.

2. The choice of a contractor arises with a certain regularity; with the same regularity, the selection and evaluation criteria change

This is how the ideal contractor selection scheme looks like:

Contractor selection scheme

Ideally, the company’s business strategy is first developed, on the basis of which the marketing strategy is built. Next comes the sales plan, in which there is a share of the site. In order to achieve your online sales goals, an online marketing strategy is developed. After determining the scope of tasks, the executor who conducts the advertising campaign is selected. Then its results are evaluated, a decision is made to continue working with the contractor or to search for a new one.

In reality, often the strategy of brand promotion on the Internet does not exist, the tasks are assigned to the contractor without being tied to the goals of the business, the analysis of the results is carried out by the wrong person who set the goals and according to other criteria (the marketer went on maternity leave, the strategy changed, etc.) . As a result, no one is happy with the result.

What to do? And how to choose?
We propose to approach the issue from the point of view of classical marketing. After all, Internet marketing is the result of its evolution, which means it obeys its laws.

Steps for choosing a contractor:
1. To study (or develop) an online promotion strategy

In essence, a strategy is answers to questions:

• What do we want from the Internet? What will be called success? What resources do we have? What performance metrics will we use?
• Who buys our product / service online? How to buy? When to buy?
• What content do our customers consume? Where do they consume? How do you make a purchasing decision?

After answering these questions, you will get a media plan with a list of channels, tools and targets.

2. Identify the required competencies

Different companies have different working principles – someone prefers to build competencies within departments, someone gives everything to outsource, etc. In any case, it is worth understanding the necessary scope of work and the control mechanism.

We answer the questions:

• What can we do ourselves?
• What competencies are we lacking (what kind of work does a contractor need)?
• How will we monitor the progress of work and the achievement of results?

3. Find out important selection criteria

The criteria will depend on how much work you intend to give to the contractor.

If this is full outsourcing with the development of an Internet marketing strategy, the question of reputation, experience with similar projects, and the breadth of competencies will come to the fore.

If you give the executor tasks on one channel / tool, most likely, competencies in a particular area, price / quality ratio, etc. will be important.

Here are the characteristics that are worth paying attention to.

Possible contractor specifications:

o company image:

• market position (leader, catching up, outsider);
• time of presence on the market;
• reputation;
• proven experience with similar projects
• the breadth of competencies and the level of competence of contractor employees;

o range of services:

• the breadth of the range of services provided (SEO, SERM, SMM, contextual advertising, display advertising …);

o quality of services:

• setting goals and forecasting project results;
• deadline for achieving the promised results;
• high involvement of contractor employees in the project;
• focus of the contractor on the result;
• initiative in choosing the best options for solving the problem;

o quality of service:

• speed of reaction to the appeal to the company;
• speed of solving emerging issues;
• quality of solving emerging issues;
• tact of employees;
• timely and high-quality informing the customer about the stages of work;
• clear reporting on the work done;
• no need to delve into the details of the project;

o price level:

• price level for company services;
• “price / quality” ratio for the services provided.

As a result, you will get a table in which you can organize commercial offers.

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