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Larry Bruce

Larry Bruce Founder / President / CEO

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What Is The Value Of A Digital Marketing Agency?

2b08327378f6395d588901390973808e.jpg?t=1Yesterday as I traveled home from Digital Dealer Workshops in Chicago this was the question that was weighing heavy on my mind. I spoke with a lot of Dealers and Internet Managers there and not many had very good things to say about their marketing partners.
The problems were these:


1. Lack of support – For too many vendors support means someone to turn in a ticket to have something done a week from now that the dealership asked them to do. I’m sorry to disappoint but THAT IS NOT SUPPORT. The support a VALUABLE Digital Marketing Agency would supply is the IDEA and the PROCESS. Good support from VALUABLE Digital Marketing Agency means they bring you the marketing ideas, creative and the process by which to gain approval from your store then they execute that marketing campaign across all channels. 
 

2. Lack of knowledge – This stems back to number 1 but too many “Digital Marketing Agencies” are employing entry level people to try and tell a dealer how to spend tens of thousands of marketing dollars. A VALUABLE Digital Marketing Agency would have experienced marketing pro’s who work with your store to establish a digital marketing strategy and most importantly the historical numbers for the strategy to back it up.
 

3. Too Much In-Fighting & no focused direction – Marketing is so fragmented today that a Dealer has to have at minimum 5 vendors to get it all done; The PPC company, the Website company, the Email Marketing company, the Direct Mail Marketing company and Behavioral Marketing company. Add to that Listings, Conquest Email Marketing and CRM and you have 5 to 9 vendors who all blame the other guy when things don’t work and are all fighting to get some of the other guy’s budget.

To make the above matters worse all of these guys get paid a flat amount regardless of how they perform. It just seems to me that this is a recipe for inconsistency and confusion.

So here is what I think a VALUABLE Digital Marketing Agency would provide:
1. A Marketing Performance Manager with digital marketing experience
2. A Market Evaluation – basically some data to make sense of a strategy
3. A Marketing Strategy…duh!
4. The process, message and creative to execute across all channels (Website, Email, PPC, Direct Mail, Conquest Email, Behavioral Marketing, Listings, Social Media Marketing and Marketing Automation)
5. The analytics to show the campaign as a whole

MOST IMPORTANTLY THEY SHOULD BE PAID ONLY FOR THE VALUE THEY PROVIDE AND THE MORE VALUE THEY PROVIDE THE MORE THEY SHOULD BE PAID.

The question is WHAT is that value? It seems to me the value a Digital Marketing Agency provides is results in the form of Leads and Shows at the dealership so why can’t they be paid on those?

These are my questions to the community:
1. What in the above is missing a Digital Marketing Agency should provide for your store?
2. Why would you NOT want to pay them on the value they provide?

Looking forward to seeing some of the answers here, thanks to everyone who posts some feedback.

Wade Golden
This is something I have been thinking about lately with our website redesign in process and a change in marketing mindset. I would think pay/performance makes the most common sense. Especially since it's more likely for vendors to under-deliver at a flat price than to outperform at a flat price. But to answer your first question, I would like to think that the reason I would outsource digital marketing is because it should be cheaper and perform better than doing it in-house. If I have to invest all of my time in managing my several digital marketing paths (website, email, SEO, SEM, whatever the case may be) and I'm still not happy with their performance, it defeats the purpose of hiring someone else to do it. That's my take, anyway.

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