Questions to Ask When Hiring a Marketing Vendor for Execution Work
One of the primary questions you need to have the answer to when you go out and look for an outside marketing firm is whether or not you are buying a strategic partner or you are looking for an execution vendor to work with you on this particular project or engagement.
Now, we’re going to talk today about the questions you need to have confidence in order to hire an execution vendor and what you’re taking on as the buyer in those environments. So the first piece that you have to know is how much confidence do I have that the strategy leading into this work is the right one.
So if you have a lot of confidence in that strategy, you know, exactly how the work that you’re going to outsource fits in. Good to go.
The second piece you need to really know about is, what are the assumptions that I am making in this plan that lead to this work getting done? Just have those in the back of your mind so that you have clarity about the areas that you might have gaps in the future and how you will fill those in. The third piece, this is very broad, but how confident are you that you know what good looks like?
So at the end of the day, the strategy leading into the execution of the work requires that you know how to determine if the work is good or not. You’re going to go out, you’re going to hire somebody to, let’s say, build you a few landing pages for a campaign. How do you know if those landing pages are good? How do you know that they are going to work inside of your strategy? You need to have clarity on what good looks like. And then the last question to ask yourself is, how am I going to articulate what success looks like inside of this work when it’s not going to be tied to an outcome? When it’s simply a component of strategy, tying it directly to an outcome is more difficult.
So you need to have the understanding of how does this fit into the overall plan and be able to articulate what success looks like for this engagement. More than anything, else. When you hire an execution vendor, you as a strategy lead take on the assumption of the risk. You are telling them, I need you to make a good X, Y, or Z thing that fits into my strategic plan. I am going to decide what good looks like and I am the one who is determining the strategy.
So when you sign off on what good looks like, you are taking on the assumption of the risk that both the “what” that is done and the “how” that got done are in line, equal each other, and will effectively support your overall strategy.
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