Before diving into the topic of this post, it’s important to understand the difference between a digital strategy company and a traditional digital agency.
A digital strategist provides sound technology and internet marketing consulting, helps the client specify their vision and goals, draws up plans, oversees execution, and manages implementation to ensure client success. It’s likely that the digital strategist will need to have several meetings with the owner, CEO, or C-level team in order to gather the information she needs to fulfill her objective.
Top things to look for in a digital strategy company
- The company you are vetting out begins the conversation by asking you what your business goals are in retaining their firm. A real digital strategy organization will start with your goals and help you determine a solution.
- A traditional agency will likely ask you what you want, and then there will be onerous back and forth when the solution provided does not solve the original problem. Digital strategists obsess over the goal and the plan, execution is much easier.
- Documentation of the consultative process. Assessment, planning, and strategy are the most important part of any digital strategy engagement. It’s likely that traditional agencies do not have this process documented, because most of them don’t do it. Ask the company you are vetting out to provide information about their approach and how they will work with you.
- Look for results in their work portfolio. A beautiful image of a website that a digital agency built does not mean that the website did anything more for the company they served other than a good looking site. Be sure to ask or look for business results that were a result of the engagement.
For example, macro conversion rates on organic traffic increased by 1.2%, and macro conversions on paid traffic increased by .8% – overall 27% month-over-month traffic increase from content marketing campaign in July – August, etc.
Digital Strategy Company vs. A Traditional Digital Agency
On the other hand, we have a standard digital agency. A traditional digital agency will take instruction from the client and provide services based on what the client determines their needs are. There is less of a focus on consulting and more of a focus on doing what the client believes they need. There is nothing wrong with the traditional model, it actually might be beneficial to use a traditional agency if you have your strategy, plan, requirements, and on-boarding plan completely documented already. However, this is rarely the case and traditional digital agencies more often than not under serve the needs of their clients.