Scouting for a Good Digital Agency

The world of digital marketing is coming up. Well yes, it is still “coming up”. Inspite of the spur in this field many are; or I can safely say “were” unaware of it. They are now realizing the potential and moving onto this field. Almost every single organization is hiring a digital agency to market for them. There was a time when traditional agencies incorporated the little digital part but even this was outsourced to agencies. Now a digital agency is purely digital and it does not support any form of traditional marketing. It will handle every digital aspect for your firm, be it web design, branding and logo, e- mail marketing, social media, search marketing etc. Many firms are marketing on a digital platform alone. But to thrust your entire marketing on one agency is a big deal. One must weigh all the factors and make a well- informed decision. Here are the factors that one must keep in mind:

• Commitment: The digital agency must have a commitment to everything they do. Getting results is not an overnight task. There has to be consistency in the quality of their work.

• Chalk out a plan: You must know what you want from them. Make a proper plan chalking out the goals that need to be achieved. Give them a certain time frame. But keep in mind these must be done after consulting the agency concerned only. This is because you may not have a complete idea of how much time a digital strategy might take and setting unrealistic goals would not be right.

• Test: The best way of knowing or choosing an agency is by testing them out. First, give them a certain marketing problem. Tell them to develop a digital marketing strategy that can effectively sort the problem. Or better still if both parties are willing, run it live and measure the results. But you must keep in mind that there are a lot of factors involved and that one success or even one failure cannot decide how the overall company is. But this will atleast give you a gist of how their work environment, ethics, behavior etc. are.

• Knowledge: Be well aware of the marketing methods. If not “well’ aware atleast have a general idea about this field. It is always better to have one person in- house to handle i.e. be the point of contact with this firm. There must be someone to constantly co- ordinate with them. This not only helps you be in touch with the activities but also makes the agency’s work much easier.

• Search: Get feedback from their current clients to know if they are satisfied with the business. Also, get in touch with their past clients to know why they could have left.

After all this, keep in mind that you must not only have a god digital agency to support you but must also be a good client to them. Don’t be too invasive but be supportive when you need to.

Build A Sound IT Strategy For A Non Profit Organization

Non profit organizations face continual pressure in raising revenues and containing cost. As a result decisions to invest in technology have been a challenge resulting in lack of CIO leadership. This contributes to their old IT systems with gaping security risks and a lack of integration and access to data. The end result is their IT is a costly function and a constant drag to their business!

CIO influences the organization ability to obtain and evaluate the metrics in detail, improve tech tools, streamline the practices that are used inside the nonprofit organizations to improve margins and to win funders.

To obtain better outcomes small businesses and nonprofits need to invest in customer relationship management (CRM) software and other tools which can help them evaluate the program aspects and other important information of organization to implement appropriate action steps. However, a lot of organizations are woefully lacking in technology and other helpful tools like mobile applications.

Donor’s adoption of mobile technology is on the rise – robust IT for small businesses and nonprofits is no longer a choice but is a must. IT strategy is essential for keeping the systems up and running to track the fast changing business demands and technology to improve the efficiency of the organization.

The importance of IT for nonprofits cannot be minimized. An IT consultant can help small businesses and nonprofits to move beyond operational IT concerns and focus on core business activities. The IT consultants can lay out a strategic plan that is in lockstep with the organization’s business missions & objectives – encompassing digital capabilities like those associated with mobile, cloud, big data, etc.

Ways in which CIO’s help to develop an IT strategy to deliver real business change and lasting benefits of business in digital age:

1) Develop single business strategy to meet digital trend demands

The strategic IT consulting process need to develop a digital strategy to streamline the overall approach of the organization’s IT. The consultant will keep abreast of ever changing IT landscape and keep your strategic plans relevant, revisit the plan periodically, make necessary ongoing adjustments.

2) Improve operations and enhance organizational value

A strategic plan helps to identify the nonprofit and small businesses goals for short amount of time like three to four years. IT support for nonprofits is the master plan that helps to get to your idealistic visions and focus on what your business wants to accomplish. Thus, you can realistically get everything done based on available resources which help in improving operations. Moreover, your nonprofit wheels are set in motion. A clear strategic plan serves you to raise money and build community support, which helps to increase your credibility with donors and community and increase organisational value.

IT consulting and planning

Small business advisors help you decide on the best IT infrastructure platform and applications that will fit your present and future business needs. Thus, a small business need to hire the right consultant to leverage specialized knowledge to resolve the internal business problems related to business expansion and execution to take correct technology steps.

The advisors will bridge the gap in knowledge and skills within the organization and bring fresh professional perspectives to table that can boost the IT productivity levels.

So, the need for an IT strategy is crucial for nonprofit and small organizations to work in an agile way and deliver high customer expectations.

The Marriage Between Your Offline Advertising and Digital Strategy

According to Forrester Research, 46% of in-store purchases are influenced by consumers who have first done their research online. That’s a pretty powerful argument in favour of having a website even if you only have a local business. Marrying your online and offline strategies is a good idea. They could make beautiful music together!

If you think about your own purchasing habits, you’ll probably agree that the internet can be very influential. And a great website can even make a very small business look impressive. The right combination of design, search engine optimisation, and branding together can help everyone from a one-person services company to a large chain retailer be an authority in their market. Become the authority in your market online and you could become the de facto standard in your area.

Because the internet is so influential, it’s wise to use all available tools to help you attract new customers and keep existing customers engaged.

Here are some tips:

  • Combine blogging and offline advertising efforts with consistent messaging. A WordPress blog, either as your main site or attached to your existing optimized but static website, could make a big impact on your traffic levels.
  • Work to become an authority online for your niche. Organic search engine optimisation rankings, social marketing activities, and other efforts can help in this area. This is especially important in competitive industries. If you become known as a subject matter expert, you’ll attract more buyers, even if your local competition is cheaper than you are!
  • Work with an expert local SEO company to ensure that you have the right online infrastructure in place. A local SEO consultant will also understand your geographical area so that you can appeal online and offline and they can help you with your branding, your strategy, your organic and paid search campaigns, and relationship marketing that helps you turn visitors to your site into a lead.