What is your budget?
This is important because your new marketing consultant will need to plan out the hours in the strategy. If you give the wrong indications on the budget it might be that the plan which is presented to you is far too many hours too quickly. If you have an idea of budget, marketing consultants will be able to understand how much time they have to make an impact.
What did you spend on digital marketing as a whole last year? And what was the ad spend?
This will give a good indication of whether there has been a significant investment and how that was spent. It will give an indication whether or not significant investment has been made improving the website or whether they’re inheriting a brand new website.
What channels have you spent most money on in recently years and what results did you receive?
This will help the marketing consultant to see which channels have had the most investment spent on them and which channels you’ve already seen results. This will help the marketing specialist to quickly identify where the opportunities lie and see how we can exploit those opportunities first in the initial plans to bring in the revenue to re-invest into new campaigns and strategies.
What is your understanding of SEO / PPC / Social Ads / Email Automation, how much do you actually know?
This will help the marketing consultant to not teach you to suck eggs. If you already have knowledge in a certain area, please do share this to allow the conversation to begin at a higher. Please be honest and don’t overstate you’re understanding, this will lead to the conversations getting far too complicated and you’ll get lost.
You tried a marketing channel in the past and you don’t think it will work because it didn’t before, can you tell me the exact strategy and reasons why you think it didn’t work?
This is a classic. It’s very common that a marketing manager or business owner has the understanding that a channel won’t work because they have tried it before. This can often be flawed thinking because it all depending on exactly how the strategy / campaign was executed.
If for example the paid advertising campaign target a certain set of keywords which at the time everybody thought were really important and there were no conversions recorded – this doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the fault of the keywords. For example, the location could be targeting Northern Ireland and not England or it could be the landing page had a terrible experience for mobile users.
There are many factors at play and a channel shouldn’t be neglected simply because it didn’t work once. The devil is in the detail.
Who is your ideal customer? What are your most important sectors / company types, job titles, locations?
Marketing consultants often hear that “we target the mass market” / “everybody is a potential customer”. That may be true, but each campaign should target a specific group of people with specific attributes to be effective. Create a spreadsheet and write down all of the different target sectors and target business types you want to target. Then write down in each of those sector / business types – what are the most common job titles that our target audience has? Then look at which locations you wish to target those specific people.
This document alone, is going to help your marketing consultant understand so much more about your business and your target audience that before.
What has been successful in gaining new clients previously?
Be open and honest and provide information about what has worked previously. What measurable information can you provide your marketing consultant to help them understand how you’ve previously been able to grow your business.
What did your last consultant / agency do well and do badly and why?
This will help your new person to learn how they can be the best they can be to meet your needs. This will help the new person to see what went wrong and prevent the same happening again.
What are you competition doing to gain new clients? Do you think you’re keeping up?
If you already know about your competition, share this knowledge. Any insider information you can provide can help a lot. However, ensure it’s valid information and not just hear-say because that will mislead the whole strategy.
What are your most important keywords that tend to lead to a sale?
If you know your most important keywords, perhaps this exercise already been completed in the past then do share this information. It will just speed up the process and help your business to gain results quicker.