I want to make a pretty bold statement (semi rant) to start this blog post…“Your Strategy is Only As Good As Your Execution!”. Too many times I have seen great concepts and strategies never materialize because the project was just in theory and nobody ever got down to business to get things done.
Don’t get me wrong, having the appropriator strategy is a big part of it, but how many times have you seen an eager client’s passion fizzle away after that first meeting? or how many times has the internet marketing agency promise to do all these amazing things, but never follow through?
In order to take care of business its a two way street, between the client and agency.
Watch out for the snake-oil salesman that will tell you whatever it takes to get you to sign on the dotted line. Just like anything, if it sounds to good to be true, it probably is. Internet Marketing takes time, effort, and money…don’t let an agency fool you into thinking that you pay them and its a silver bullet to massive amounts of leads/sales.
Pretty Powerpoint Presentations
I know some clients love to be wow’ed with fancy presentations that makes everything seem like the agency/company knows what they are talking about. But do they really? Unfortunately if you have never worked with the agency/company before you will not know until the strategy is suppose to go into action.
For client, don’t be amazed just because their powerpoint has cool transitions between slides.
Real Case Studies
From an agency standpoint, its easy for them to promise you the world and “talk the talk”. To a client, they don’t know…they just want someone they can trust and that will lead them in the right direction. Unfortunately that doesn’t always happen, so clients, make sure you ask the agency for REAL case studies of similar businesses they have done what they are setting out to do for you.
If an Internet Marketing strategy calls for content creation, link building, and social media outreach, get the details of how its going to get done.
- Who is going to create the content?
- How often is content going to created?
- How is that content going to be promoted?
- Who is building links? What tactics are we using to build links?
- What social media outlets are we going to use?
- Who will be involved in engaging socially?
- When should we start to see results?
Probably the next most important thing next to the actual execution is communication. Having good internal communication as well as between the agency and client is huge. If after the first meeting you iron out the details of the strategy, there are going to have to be check-points or updates on where things are going.
Especially for larger organizations there are going to be a lot more moving parts, which means better communication on how each piece of the strategy is coming together.
Steps to Getting Down to Business
- Why: Know why you are carrying out the strategy that you are. The goals and objectives should be written out for everyone to see and easy to understand. If certain dates or tasks were promised, make sure they are in writing, in case you have to go back to them in the future.
- Who: Who will be executing your strategy?This is extremely important! What if a agency charges you $25,000 for a new website, which they never told you that they were going to turn that project over to a group in India who will do a half-assed job for $4,500. How about a Social Media strategy and execution that gets passed off to the new hire straight out of college with no experience? The moral of the story…know exact who is going to be working on what you agreed upon.
- When: Set realistic deadlines for key project milestones. I understand that tasks and deadlines get pushed back or moved up, but have at least a good idea as to when certain milestones should be completed. This will help all parties stay on task and shoot for a goal.
- What: What needs to be accomplished? This is probably the MOST important part. Again, it goes back to getting things done. What exactly needs to get done and how are the two parties going to delegate responsibilities. IMPORTANT: If one of the parties does not fulfill their end of the strategy or delays the project, it can have a domino affect for the entire project.The bottom line is to hold people accountable…this includes the client.