The CMO’s Guide To Picking The Right Marketing Agency

November 29, 2022
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TL;DR – Too Long; Didn’t Read Info You Need To Know

Questions 1-3:

Planning for Success

You did it. You beat out dozens of executives for the job. Became a key player in a growing enterprise. Grasped an opportunity that promises growth. Solved problems.And what have you got for your trouble? A respected position. A responsible role. A deserved sense of pride and accomplishment. And with it—a whole set of new problems:

Developing and implementing original marketing strategies. Dealing with new heights of competition. Leading the charge on customer experience. Managing marketing budgets during times of economic uncertainty. Quantifying marketing ROI against enterprise. To name only a few.

If you wish you had a few more experts you could share these new problems with—others like yourself who have world-class marketing chops—then asking the right questions of your next digital agency is paramount.Questions like:1. How do you plan on analyzing the current and historical data in our ad account(s)?

  • The very first thing you must know is HOWan agency will diagnose the constraints inside your current customer acquisition strategy. If an agency can’t provide historical proof, deep insights, and clear answers to this fundamental question, consider another agency.

2. Upon analyzing that data, what will you do with the information?

  • Does the agency in question have the proper holistic lens and experience to analyze all the big levers in your marketing efforts? Can they articulate their claims into a detailed action plan that’s aligned with your goals?

3. Is there some kind of unique plan or process your agency uses to execute on ideas and strategies?

  • Since the devil is in the details, you’ll want to know the details of the plan they have for you. Details like how they’ll leverage your mix of creative assets and avatar-specific messaging. Important things like your blend ofinterruption- based and intent-based paid traffic channels. Big things like the strength of your offer and how it’s positioned at each phase of your funnel and landing pages. Do they even have a plan?

These three questions are vitally important—so insist on them being answered to your full and complete satisfaction.Because what’s at stake is the future. Your future. As CMO.And CMOs who don’t get the right answers to the right questions lay awake at night wondering if they’ve chosen thewrong agency. Because it could be a year before you know for certain.It’s the uncertainty of it all that breaks down confidence.Speaking of uncertainty and confidence at the CMO level, Deloitte Consulting Group recently surveyed 575 C-suiteexecutives from the top Fortune 500 companies.And what they uncovered is a significant confidence gap between CMOs and CEOs.Only 5% of CMOs say they are highly confident in their ability to impact the overall direction of the business.

That leaves 95% of CMOs—from the top 500 companies in the world— lacking the confidence they can demonstrate financial impact.

Maybe that’s why CMOs have the highest turnover rate in the C-suite.Maybe it’s also why 37% of CEOs confess they are ready to fire their CMO if revenue goals aren’t met.5PLANNING FOR SUCCESSAsking the right questions and getting the right answers is not just important—they will define the success of CMOs heading into the future.Getting the right agency working for you will be one of the smartest decisions you ever make.Questions 4-5:


It’s not like they’re asking a lot of you or anything. (sarcasm)I mean, when CMOs are expected to juggle revenue growth, manage marketing risk, and magically build the brand on a tight budget, you’d think we could call it a day.But now, you’re also expected to be a cross-channel, omni-channel, every- dang-thing-channel digital savant.And unless you possess that gift, getting the right digital agency in your corner can be a godsend.Because when it comes to paid channels, there are a lot of options out there.Interruption TrafficInterruption based channels include Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok, andSnapchat.Interrupted Intent TraffficInterrupted intent channels like YouTube.Intent TrafficIntent based channels like Google Search.If you’re asking, “Where do I even begin?” you’re not alone. And if you haven’t already had your fill of COVID-19 bynow, the pandemic has caused major shifts in the way audiences consume media.Because of that, you should—no, scratch that—you MUST become cross-channel savvy. And you are going to need a digital agency that knows cross-channel like the back of their hand to help you move into the future.COVID taught us a lot of lessons. But at the top of the list is the critical need for brands to pivot quickly based on the changing needs and requirements of their customers.And your customers are a finicky crowd. Understanding where they are today, and where they are going tomorrow based on data, will be essential to business and marketing success in 2023 and beyond.Cross-Channel Traffic NeedsCMOs clearly need this help, too, based on what they are confessing in surveys. For example, nearly half—46%—of senior marketers only use one channel when running a campaign.8And yet, integrated campaigns are 57% more effective than non- integrated campaigns.8Do you know any CMOs who can afford to leave that kind of profit on the table? No? Neither do I.What’s the reason these CMOs are only using one channel at a time?

As you listen in to the conversation taking place behind the scenes, 46% of senior marketers do not understand how to integrate the channels. Another 37% don’t know which channel works best for their needs.

So clearly there’s a fistful of problems. On the one hand, CMOs understand the need for a cross- channel strategy.On the other hand, they don’t have the bandwidth to understand it themselves.To assist in finding the right agency to help with your cross-channel needs, you need to get clear answers to these two questions:4. What traffic channels do you work with, and how do you strategize when running multi- channel advertising?

    • You’re looking for the best blend of traffic that will give you the most efficient ROI. A great agency will understand how these channels may play a unique role in your marketing strategy, and will know your prospects are bouncing across channels along their unique customer journey.

5. How do you measure success across the different channels?

    • A great agency will know how to test, and efficiently leverage creatives, across channels to give you the maximum benefit. They should advise where to allocate your budget. They should have a holistic view so you don’t get stuck in the weeds trying to figure out it out yourself.

Questions 6-7:

Avatar Research

If you’re certain you know who your buyers are… if you’re confident you know who your ideal customer is… and if you’re positive your prospect avatars are dialed in… then I only have one question left for you…

Do You Have Documented Personas On File That Validate And Prove Your Assumptions?

If you don’t, you need to reconsider your assumptions, because…

The company who understands their buyers best, wins.

Plus, if you’re a Six Sigma fan looking for the elusive blue ocean to swim in, the bluest sea in marketing could be creating and using accurate customer avatars.

Sure, your MarTech stack is cool and all, but isn’t its purpose to track your metrics so you can uncover buyer behavior, as well as justify its cost through ROI?

But let’s be honest. When was the last time your digital toolkit

impressed your CEO? Or your CFO?

Unless I miss my guess, it’s probably been a while since you danced to the beat of the music over your tech.

But if you’d like the crank the volume up to 11 and get your blood flowing again, then I suggest you get in tune with the high-performing companies using avatar research.

Because based on Cintell’s industrywide benchmark study of business-to-business organizations entitled:

Understanding B2B Buyers…

71% of companies who exceed revenue and lead-gen goals have documented personas on file—and use them!

Alternatively, only 37% of companies surveyed met their goals without avatar research, while 26% flat out missed reaching their goals.10

In other words, organizations who exceed revenue and lead goals have done a lot more research into their avatars core buying emotions that include:

  • Emotional drivers & motivations
  • Fears & challenges
  • Buying criteria
  • Purchase goals
  • Demographic information

In the hands of a company who knows what they are doing, this kind of information gives you a tremendous competitive advantage.

But this kind of customer knowledge and depth is not without its challenges. This kind of deep dive research is hard, time-consuming, and resource heavy.

That’s why you need a digital agency who has the systems and human resources in place to do this kind of avatar research for you.

So, be sure to ask any potential agency these two questions:

6. What is your process of discovering and defining customer avatars? 

  • A profound understanding of your avatar(s) is hugely important and is the literal foundation for everything else built upon it - the creatives, the copywriting, the landing pages, and funnel steps - these should all call out and speak to your ideal customer avatar.

7. What kind of deliverables will I get on the customer avatar you develop for me?

  • If they can’t answer these two questions to your full satisfaction, then I caution you to beware—because everything else will suffer as a result.

The agency you choose should have a well-defined process for digging deep into your research and be ready to present their findings.

Because if they don’t, they are not helping you avoid the same fate as the 70% of companies who missed their revenue and lead goals… all because they didn’t conduct qualitative avatar research, and then act on it.

Remarkably, if you’ll commit to avatar research, you’ll leap-frog over 43% of enterprise organizations who still do not have personas in place.

Imagine having a clear advantage over 43% of your competition. Talk about a vast, blue ocean.

Questions 8-9:

Testing Creatives

Once upon a time, there was a CMO who saw herself as the brand ambassador and keeper of the story within her organization.

But like most fascinating stories, there’s a heavy dose of conflict written into the plot. In the case of our CMO hero, she’s facing some really big challenges along the way.

Suddenly, she’s hurled into a hyperpaced, ever-shifting world where her responsibilities have exploded, and now include company growth.

Gone are the simple days of being just a brand ambassador—today, she’s a core driver of business revenue.

To paraphrase Jonathan Beamer, CMO of Monster, on the everchanging responsibilities of CMOs:

“We’ve long been creatives and empaths–expected to get in the heads of those we want to buy our products. Then we became scientists, deploying customer research and experimental design to see if the stimuli we put into the world drive the action we expected. Over the last decade, we were expected to be accountable for the dollars we are trusted with, and to communicate well with our CFO partners.Now we also need to be technologists–to understand the myriad of choices we have to target our messaging and track the responses it generates.

Part of this transformation has to do with the new obsession with growth. So, if you’ve ever felt like you were in over your head, you’re not alone. But you may wonder what all this has to do with testing creatives?

Well, if you’re like the other CMOs in the 2021 edition of Gartner’s Digital Marketing Survey, it has everything to do with it.

Because when asked about their digital marketing objectives for 2021, four of the top five objectives relate directly to the goal of new customer acquisition:

  • 45% Improving Lead Quality
  • 38% Acquiring New Customers
  • 35% Driving Increased Sales
  • Among Identified Leads
  • 35% Increasing Brand Awareness

Heading into 2023, this shift is only expected to speed up over the next several years. That’s why 80% of the digital marketing leaders surveyed say they will focus on acquiring new customers in the years ahead.

A large part of this shift originates from the 83% of CEOs who now expect their CMOs to be key drivers of revenue growth.

From the CMO’s perspective, 86% say a lack of resources or capabilities is impairing their performance.

So whether it’s a lack of tools or skills, when CMOs feel the pressure to deliver fast results, they throw things against the wall to see what sticks.

But there has to be a better way. And thankfully, that’s where the right agency partner enters the scene.

To ensure you find the right agency, ask them these two questions:

8. What strategies or formulas do you use for testing?

  • Your agency should have a logical method, process, and mindset for testing new creatives, angles, copy, etc.

9. How do you organize any tests that your agency runs?

  • It’s easy for an agency to come up with a 30-60 day plan when you first work with them. But what about 6 months into your working relationship?

That’s when the initial ideas burn out and agencies can get complacent. They should always bring you new ideas to test. Media buyers should actively seek new audience

segments. An agency should help you capture as many conversions as possible for your offer.

You want your agency swinging the ax all the time. This is true when things are going well, but even more so when performance is down.

Further, you don’t want your agency just trying random things that just end up wasting valuable advertising budget.

A good agency will have an organized and strategic approach to testing.

Questions 10-11:

Reactivity vs Proactivity

You’ve noticed them in your own industry.

You’ve dealt with them personally. Perhaps daily. In your company. In your own department.

They’re the people who show up on time. The people with charisma, and a good sense of humor.

The person with potential, and by all external circumstances, seems to have a bright future in marketing.

But there’s one trait you can’t seem to shake. Since cueing in on it, you’re seeing it more often.

Like when you buy a new car, and suddenly you see the same make and model everywhere.

Except in this case, you’ve just about had your fill of it.

What is this troubling trait?

It’s the habit of being reactive instead of proactive.

Because of their fun-loving personality type, it was hardly noticeable at first. But now, it’s bugging you because you suspect it’s costing the company money. And you’re right.

Because of procrastination, this person can’t seem to get to the next level of professional growth and personal development.

Their biggest redeeming quality seems to be how they react when things go wrong.

Suddenly, when the heat is on, they spring into action in a flurry of activity.

But asking them to be preemptive and proactive is like asking sorghum syrup to hurry in the dead of winter.

Now, imagine having this person in your mind’s eye while filling out the CMO Council’s 2021 survey.

It’s entitled, Scaling the Value of the CMO, and as you are about to see, your peers have something to say about employees like this…

  • Only 14% of marketing leaders rate their team as excellent.
  • Another 39% rate their team as just being average or below.
  • 43% say it is “very difficult, time-consuming, and always challenging,” to find experienced, proficient, and knowledgeable functional leaders and direct reports.
  • A further 40% acknowledge that it is “moderately difficult.”

As you can see, you are not alone in finding top-quality talent. It’s an industry-wide problem.

But the good news is, there is a ton of talent in this world. People who are

on the top of their game. True experts in the digital marketing industry.

The trick is to find them, and then to ask them the right questions so you can get the right answers.

Questions like:

10. What processes do you use to plan out media and how often?

  • As a CMO, you want to get your ducks lined up quarterly.
  • Planning ahead and prioritizing the important from the less urgent items sets your business up for success.
  • Plus, you won’t be scrambling to meet promotional deadlines, building campaigns at the last minute, or scratching around for new creative ideas.

11. Are they planning on a quarterly basis or something else?

  • A good agency will be dialed into your promotional calendar, big sales events, new product launches, and know what work needs to be done ahead of time so your team’s life is an easier one.
  • For example, if BFCM (Black Friday and Cyber Monday) is an important event for you, they should plan the strategy and implementation before Q4 starts.
  • As a CMO, if you’re actively looking for an agency partner, you’re looking for an agency who will integrate planning and testing in every account you have, and stay ahead of the curve year-round.
The last thing you need is another reactive relationship.

Questions 12-13:


You know it as well as I do.

A person doesn’t rise to the level of CMO without earning their chops every step of the way. You’ve got to have a mind of your own. Accept your wins. Take your losses.

And—it goes without saying—be right more often than not.

For the 68,763 CMOs currently employed in the United States, getting it right means being a:

  • Customer
    • Aligning the brand around the customer’s wants, needs, and
  • Capability
    • Developer of strategic marketing plans and digital experiences to future-proof the
  • Innovation
    • Creating breakthrough customer offerings with the use of new technology platforms.
  • Chief
    • Acting as both architect and steward of the brand by creating and telling brand
  • Growth
    • Playing a leading role in creating and managing a plan to achieve sustainable profitable

On top of all that, you’ve got to be a master of persuasion, influence, and getting attention.

If attracting attention is a sign of both influence and persuasion, then CMOs are mavens of it. And yet, some do it better than the rest.

Those who are doing it best have a powerful secret you need to know about. They get help—a lot of it— from the right digital agency.

Not only can the right agency remove a ton of work from your shoulders, they make you look good:

  • To your CEO
    • 83% of CEOs expect CMOs to be key drivers of revenue. When you deliver, you’re a hero.
  • To your CFO
    • When marketing moves from the expense side of the ledger to the profit side. Because “Likes” and “Shares” mean nothing to the But ROI? Now you’re speaking the love language of the CFO.

There’s no getting around it. Your boss expects a lot of you. And when digital channels account for almost 80% of marketing budgets, you should have high expectations from your digital agency as well.

That’s why asking the right questions, and getting the right answers have never been more important.

Confused customers don’t buy, as they say, and the last thing you need is to wonder what you can expect from your digital agency.

If you’re actively seeking a new agency partner, be sure to ask these two questions:

12. What can I expect when we start working together?

  • When working with an agency, you should always be in-the- know on everything from start to finish.
  • You need a clearly outlined set of expectations, and how success will be measured moving forward.
  • Setting expectations early will ensure both you and your agency develop a successful working relationship.

13. What is your onboarding process?

  • The importance of this question cannot be Because everything you can expect moving forward will be a mirror image of how smoothly they make the onboarding process.
  • How long does the onboarding process take? Who is your primary contact person? How will you communicate moving forward? What CRM do they use?

If you’re left wondering what’s going on, especially in the very beginning phases of the agency-customer relationship, consider it a red flag.

Because the agency may not communicate consistently enough to make you feel included in any future strategies.

Questions 14-15:

Clear, Consistent Communication

“Dad, is there anything I can help you with?”

“Yes, son, the motion light keeps turning off. If you’ll flip the light switch down and back up, the light will stay on.”

As you read the narrative above, it seems crystal clear, doesn’t it?

I mean, there is simply no way to misinterpret the meaning behind the instruction. Am I right?

Flip the switch down and back up, and the light stays on. Simple.

That’s what one of our staff members here at Tier 11 thought when his 10- year-old son wanted to help with a project.

But what happened next is a lesson in communication you should never forget.

Because as marketers, clarity trumps persuasion every time.

After hearing his dad’s instructions, the son flips the light switch down.

But not back up.

“No, son, you didn’t hear me. Flip the switch down and back up, and the light will stay on.”

The son flips the switch down. But not back up.

Somewhat bewildered now, the dad repeats himself the third time.

“Son, you don’t understand. Flip the switch down and back up!”

…So…the son timidly flips the switch down. But not back up.

That’s when the dad’s pilot light engulfed to a full flame.

In total frustration, dad marches over to the light switch, and in deliberate overemphasis of action, places his index finger and thumb on the light switch, and says…

“Son! Flip the switch down and back up! What’s the problem?!?”

His son, now teary-eyed, just walks away in defeat.

The dad, in complete dismay, feels horrible for upsetting his son—and yet—how could he be more clear?

Once cooler heads prevailed, the dad finds his son and asks, “What happened, son?”

That’s when the son said, “Dad, I did exactly what you told me to do.”

Suddenly, dad is angry all over again. “What!?! How can you say that?”

“Dad,” the son said, “I flipped the switch down… and then backed up.”

The son took a step backward. He did exactly as he was told.

Or, more accurately, as he interrupted what he was told.

In both instances, each person thought the communication was perfectly clear.

In both cases, each was wrong. But a valuable lesson was learned:

you can never assume you are being clear—you have to be overly clear.

And if you are actively looking for digital agency to partner with, the last thing you want is a lack of clear, consistent communication. That’s why you should ask the following two questions:

14. Who will be my main point of contact on your team?

  • A decent agency will normally have a dedicated point of contact for you that advocates for success within their company. They will also be the key person curating the resources needed for your

15. What form of communication will I use to keep in touch with your team?

  • Speaking of communication, this is especially important when your agency is working within the context of a large team which could involve traffic specialists, creative specialists, funnel/conversion specialists, email specialists, dev people, tracking, etc.

Your agency should make your life less complicated, not more.

And you should feel like a VIP, not just another customer.

Questions 16-18:

Concise Reporting

We might as well face it.

The world of marketing isn’t fair.

It’s not fair that, according to Harvard Business Review, 80% of CEOs don’t trust or are unimpressed with their CMOs.

It’s not fair that, in comparison, just 10% of the same CEOs feel that way about their CFOs and CIOs.

It’s not fair the rest of the C-suite benefits from being primarily internally facing.

On the other hand, it’s not fair CMOs are directly responsible for the way customers, clients, and the press behaves and interacts with the company.

It’s not fair when CMO’s…• … feel the effect of failures more deeply…• … are blamed more personally, both financially and through the       court of public opinion…• … when things don’t go as planned.

And it’s not fair when the online world changes at the speed of thought, making it impossible to keep up.

So let’s face up to it. Being a CMO is not for the weak of heart.

But you didn’t sign up for fair.

You signed up to make your mark. To prove your worth. To make a meaningful difference.

And do you know what levels the playing field better than almost anything else you can do?

If you said getting a positive Return On Ad Spend (ROAS), you hit the nail on the head.

Because no matter what anyone’s personal opinion of you, no one can’t argue with the math.

It doesn’t matter if you’re focused on short-term, high-impact goals, or long-term initiatives to future-proof the business. When you become a growth marketer, you’re a hero.

That’s why you’re going to need to find the right digital agency to partner with heading into the future.

Because since customers are the most valuable asset a company has, all you need is more of them—in budget.

When you can do that consistently, marketing is no longer a cost center, it’s a revenue driver.

And when you’re a revenue driver, both your CEO and CFO will have a new opinion of you.

It also builds your confidence in yourself. Suddenly, you’re a part of a small cohort of CMOs who own a specific set of activities, such as:

  • Innovation road maps…
  • Company vision, mission, and culture…
  • Customer relationships, and experience, and…
  • Designing sales processes…

… Everything that sets the best CMOs in the Fortune 500 apart.

So, isn’t it time you level the playing field by getting the right agency working for you? To do so, be sure to ask them a few smart questions.

Questions like:

16. How are you responding to the various privacy events occurring (iOS, FLOC, Google Chrome)?

  • CMO’s need to decide on budgets and need to sell their decisions/forecasts up to their manager, so having reliable data to work from is critical.

17. Do you have a 1st party data plan to counter the third-party data incursion?

  • Facebook data can be unreliable, so having an agency that can have a solid reporting process thataccounts for this is an enormous factor in choosing an agency?

18. Do you have a data warehouse and/or secondary sources to pull data from our CRM?

  • It’s vital that your agency has a third-party data source to corroborate what is being seen amongst all platforms.

This goes without saying that in order to have a proper grasp on clear reporting, your agency should also have a solid understanding of the various privacy events occurring in our current day.

Questions 19:

Quality Control

It’s a little thing called quality.

You know it when you see it. It means no longer worrying if things are being done at the highest levels. And it means you have the comfort of mathematical certainty. Right?

Well, unfortunately, no. Confusion around how to define quality, and how to quantify it, is as old as the hills.

The year: 410 BCE.

The characters: Socrates & Asculepo.

The topic of conversation: Quality.

Socrates: How are you progressing at medical school?

Asculepo: The professors are trying to teach us methods for practicing high-quality medicine.

Socrates: And what exactly is this thing called quality?

Asculepo: Quality is a good characteristic of things or events, and it’s very highly desired. If we practice high-quality medicine, more patients will recover.

Socrates: Did your professors explain the elements of high quality, and how you can measure these elements?

Asculepo: The term they used was “metrics.” The problem is different professors like different metrics, and they disagree with each other.

Socrates: It would appear the professors want to teach you to practice high-quality medicine, but cannot agree on how to measure this thing called quality.

Asculepo: We students are left wondering if any of them really know how to measure quality.

Fast forward to 2023, and one would think we’d have a better grasp on quality and how to measure it.

In business settings today, however, quality is defined as: “The extent to which a product or service meets and/or exceeds a customer’s expectation.”

2,432 years after Socrates, it appears there is still no good definition for quality.

That’s why you should insist on a clear, “quality control” definition from any digital agency you are considering.

Because without it, you’re going to be confused. And listen, you’ve got more than enough worries on your plate to be fighting a battle of uncertainties. So, here’s my suggestion.

In your search for your next digital agency, approach the interview from a Socratic frame of reference.

A. Pose a research question (see question #19 below).

  • Keep in mind whatever answer you get back will need to be actionable within a finite time

B. Form a hypothesis and estimate the impact of the answer.

    • Be certain to keep your Socratic hat on as you think critically about how the answer can be reliably validated—or

C. Conduct an experiment.

    • Look over every detail of how they will maintain proper hygiene of your brand.

D. Analyze the results and draw your conclusions.

    • Examine the objective results of your

Whatever you do, don’t be left wondering about what quality control looks like from any digital agency you are considering.

There should not be any unclarity to your decision. To help you dial in clarity, ask the following question:

19. How do you define quality control, and what is your process to ensure my brand is always representedas it should be?

    • Any potential agency you work with should be supremely aware of YOUR BRAND.
    • A good agency will always ask for any Brand Guidelines they need to follow as well as ask anynecessary questions to get to know your brand.
    • If they do not ask for your Brand Guidelines, that’s a big red flag.
    • They should ALSO have a process that all your ads go through to be sure it always meets premium quality.

Finally, they should have a thorough quality check system within their own internal team.

Questions 20-22:

Reviews with Purpose

Do you know what happens when you do a deep dive research project into the unsexy topic of reviews?

You discover some pretty sexy things. And if not sexy, at least fascinating.

Which isn’t all that bad of a tradeoff when you come to think about it.

Especially when it comes to how it affects you as CMO.

Take, for example, a 2009 study entitled: A typology of reviews: an analysis of 14 review types and associated methodologies.14

Ok, fine. It’s an unsexy name. Sue me.

What do you expect from a study designed around the health industry?

But before you call your lawyer, hang around long enough to discover how the secret method behind these 14 review types can be used as an evidence-based practice to make you money.

And as a CMO with your own MarTech stack working for you, I’m thinking you’ll find this worth your time.

Besides, with 12 months (and four quarters) in each year, I’m certain you have plenty of reviews coming at you from your CEO and CFO fast as a bullet train.

So why not take a page out of this study and get it working on your behalf?

Now for the sexy part. This study used a simple analytical framework: Search, AppraisaL, Synthesis, and Analysis (SALSA).

And its purpose as an evidence- based methodology is to root out prejudices and biases.

Now, before you discount SALSA based on the year 2009, you may find it interesting to know the framework is timeless and is currently used to weed out bias in—get this—Artificial Intelligence research.

In a recent study entitled, Revolutionized Technologies For Marketing: Theoretical Review With Focus On ArtificialIntelligence15, we read…

“The present systematic literature review is based on [the] SALSA method, which departs from scoping search toappraisal, and finishing with synthesis and analysis.”

In other words, SALSA really is sexy.

Because gathering research and getting rid of rubbish is the name of the game in the science of accurate data.

And you need all the accurate data you can when researching your next digital agency partner.

Thanks to SALSA, you can do it in four easy steps—no AI required.

a. Search - for digital marketing agencies you’d like tob. Appraisal - appraise their abilities against yourc. Synthesis - (a combination of components to form a connect whole) to determine if they meet the requirementsyou are looking for.d. Analysis - their past clients to see if they have the marketing chops you trust with your

All this helps you root out prejudices and biases so that you choose the right agency.

So, whatever you do, make sure you ask some really great questions, like:

20. Will I get monthly or quarterly reviews?

  • It’s important that you know what your agency will be looking at data-wise, but also how they willreport that data back to you.

21. How will reviews take place?

  • A good agency will not only have regular customer reports for you, but will also hold regular review calls with your team to be sure that you’re aware of any new trends, adjustments that need to be made, or plans for future ?

22. What metrics will we be reporting on in review calls?

  • These calls will also be vital for your company to know when forecasting budgets.

So, there you have it. The 22 questions you should ask any potential digital agency.

Now, let me show you how Tier 11 can help.

How A Counter-Intuitive, Anti-Ad Agency Mindset Scales Your Business

Introducing Tier 11

Dear CMO, It’s not getting a-n-y easier out there, is it?

Very few people understand what you go through on a daily basis.The stress. The worry. The pressure. It’s all fallout from growingexpectations in your CMO role.Gone are the simple days of being a campaign runner. Now, you’re expectedto be a……customer strategist, tactician, profit-and-loss owner, growth driver,department head, and now enterprise business leader.And it’s not getting any easier out there. The explosive complexity of the rolemeans the stakes are higher now than ever.CMOs must raise their influence to match the echelons of the C-suite,or they are destined to become another statistic in the long line ofCMO turnovers.But not you. Not after reading this special report. Because you now know the22 questions you must ask any digital agency before you hire them.And that’s important because getting the right agency working for you turnseverything on its head. Like how an inverse funnel can grow your CMOimpact, your confidence, and your reputation.“What’s an inverse funnel?” you ask. Imagine turning the typical client funnelon its head……in a very counter-intuitive, anti-ad agency kind of way, so you canfocus more on the lower part of the funnel, where the money is made.It’s what the most confident CMOs do others don’t. According to DeloitteInsights…“We asked CMOs which part of the customer funnel they are responsible for—from the upper-funnel activities of awareness and consideration to mid-funnellead generation to lower-funnel final purchase. A majority of the surveyedexecutives (50%) are accountable for awareness as their core success metric.However, as the figure below shows, CMOs whose responsibilities lie in thelower funnel (and are accountable for the final purchase), were twice asconfident in their ability to make an impact than the rest of their peers.”CMOs responsible for lower-funnel activities are more confident about their impact than those responsible for purely upper-funnel ones

The counter-intuitive, anti-ad agency, inverse funnel allows you to speak the languageof your CMO and CFO, which is sales and growth.The best part is when you work with the right agency—think Tier 11—you aren’tsacrificing top-of-funnel awareness or middle-of-funnel lead generation.You’re simply leveraging the best of all worlds because you have Tier 11 on your side.What you are looking for is the most perfect combination of…

A digital marketer’s perfect combination unleashes the next wave of growth in your company!

…of creativity and analytics. Throughout this report, I’ve talked about theimportance of……planning for success, cross-channel traffic, avatar research, testingcreative, reactivity vs proactivity, expectations, clear and consistentcommunication, concise reporting, quality control, and reviews withpurpose.Here’s where it all comes together for you. According to research conductedby McKinsey & Company, companies who actively harness creativity and datain tandem have growth rates twice as high as companies who don’t.To draw this conclusion, they surveyed more than 200 CMOs and seniormarketing executives, and tracked their performance. Then, they identifiedthree groups… Idlers – Isolators – Integrators

Integrators grow their revenue at twice the average rate of S&P500 companies!

If you see yourself as a driver of company growth, then this should be prettyexciting for you! Because there are three ways integrators are modernizingmarketing:They treat creativity and data as equal partners. They make integrationa way of life though an agile marketing operating model. They seek“whole-brain” talent.

  • Creativity & Data—Equal Partners: Customer experience and consumer insights merge. 70% of integrators employ advanced analytics for consumer insights. Compare that with only 40% of companies with average growth. Here at Tier 11, we have this down to a science.
  • Integration is a way of life: Integrators have set structures that allow them to innovate at a higher rate than their peers. This is done through small, nimble, cross-functional, collocated, and autonomous teams. Tier 11’s international teams are called PODS.
  • “Whole-Brain” talent: Finding world-class talent with both right and left brain skills doesn’t have to be elusive. Individually, each of Tier 11’s 61 international employees is extraordinarily talented. But working as a team—that’s how we scale your company!

Plus, Tier 11 has the MarTech tools to keep your campaigns running smoothlyand profitable.And listen, if you’ve been a CMO for over five minutes, then know howincredibly valuable all this is… especially if you’ve ever fallen into the trap oftrying to do everything yourself.I mean, let’s take just ONE area we’ve covered today—avatar research. Asyou’ll recall, 71% of companies who have active and updated avatars on fileexceed their revenue and income goals.On the flip side of that coin, 70% of companies who failed to meet theirrevenue goals do not have quantifiable avatar research on file.So clearly, if you are determined to be an integrator and growth marketer,then you need avatar research. There’s are just three problems. It’s HARDwork. It’s time-consuming. And it’s resource-intensive.And if you decide you want to do it all yourself, brace for overwhelm.

If your goal as CMO is to grow revenue, then what are you pretending not to notice?

To complicate matters, if you decide to do your own research, and if you missjust one key research insight, you could flush your cash down the toilet.As proof, look at the chart below, and what you’ll discover is more than 81boxes—you’ll find a diagnostic chart you and your team can use to help plugany holes in your research.

Starting from the left and progressing to the right, you’ll see the top row isthe only row that ends with a UNICORN.But miss even one step and you’ll lack something that’s sure to cost youmoney.I know it’s not very pleasant to think about, but if your goal is to growrevenue—and your campaigns are not performing as they should—then whatare you pretending not to notice?For example, look at the chart to the left and focus on the second row. As youcan see, the deep-dive research step is missing. That’s step one; that’s jobnumber one.So, if you don’t do a deep dive into your customers, what do you end up withon the other side of the chart? Right! Lack of avatar accuracy. And how muchcash is burned on inaccurate avatar targeting?A quick Google search says, “Commerce Signals estimates that 40% of allmedia spend is wasted—a number that comes from about 60 studies, said TomNoyes, the company's founder, and CEO.”Suddenly, one must wonder how much of that is lost because of poor avatarresearch? It’s got to be a lot, right? And remember, that’s just one missed stepin the process.What happens when we miss other steps? Look at the last row and you’ll seecampaign optimization is missing. And what’s the result of missing that step?Lack of company profit.Therefore, I ask again. What are you pretending not to notice? What is costingyour company money? What steps are being missed?Last question. Would you like some help, and if so, would you like to see oursuper system? Ok, great! Then…

Introducing CaAMP Customer Acquisition Amplification™

Tier 11’s Super System

What you are looking at is far more than an interesting chart.To the employees who work for us, it’s a road map. To the clients who trust us, it’s a money-making process.To you, it can be your career maker.Because what you see here is Tier 11’s super system from a 10,000-foot view. And I can absolutely assure you, no one else has anything like it.It took 10 years of trial and error to dial CaAMP into perfection.If you’ve ever wondered why we call ourselves an anti-ad agency, this pretty much sums it up.Because effective marketing is more than just Facebook, Instagram, Google, and YouTube ads.Effective marketing considers every step in the process, and especially after the initial sale is made.

If scaling your business is your goal, then you're invited to book a relaxed, no-pressure, no-obligation call to discover how Tier 11's Strategic Growth Plan™ can transform your business using CaAMP™

Hello, my name is Ralph Burns, Founder, and CEO of Tier 11……and I want to thank you personally for taking the time to read the CMO’s 2023 Guide To PickingThe Right Marketing Agency.It’s my sincerest hope you found it both informative and helpful. And while I admit this is probably unlike any CMO report you’ve ever read, that’s kind of the point.The point is to stand out and stand up differently than everyone else. To bring value, few others can or will. To show real expertise. And to provide you with a real plan to help you find the perfect agency for you in 2023 and beyond.Because it'll be a year before you know if you've chosen the wrong agency. And by that time, many of your CMO peers will be looking for a new job. But not you! Not if you'll follow the advice in this guide and ask some really smart questions before hiring a digital agency.Of course, we're here to help. That's why we're inviting you to take us up on our offer to conduct a Strategic Growth Plan™ (SGP™) for your business. And while there is a modest cost for the SGP™ the discovery call to explore your business's specific needs is 100% FREE.If you're like hundreds of other business owners who have invested in Tier 11's Strategic Growth Plan™, you'll not only be impressed, you'll be delighted. That's because we analyze your ad copy, ad creative, website,landing pages, marketing funnel, and much more. Once that's done, we hand you an initial 30-day action plan, followed by a 60-90-day growth plan that tells you exactly what needs to be done to scale your business. Getting your hands on Tier 11's SPG™ guarantees you have a comprehensive action plan designed to help you scale.After receiving this SGP™, you'll know:

  • What type of ad copy and creative you should be using ..
  • What mistakes or holes are happening in your marketing, ..
  • What steps to take next to improve your website and pages, ..
  • Quite frankly, a whole lot

It all begins with a relaxed, no-pressure, no-obligation call so we can get to know each other better. So why wait?Book a call and see if a Strategic Growth Plan™ is right for you.Ralph BurnsFounder & CEO Tier[elementor-template id="114887"]

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