Congratulations, you’ve discovered the amazing HubSpot platform. You’re ready to dazzle new visitors and loyal customers alike with your website and marketing tactics, but to help you take full advantage of your new tool, you’ve decided to hire a HubSpot agency. Now here comes the hard part: Which agency do you choose?
Start with the HubSpot partner directory. The directory is a database of HubSpot agency partners automatically sorted by partner tier.
In the dating world, you’re more likely to trust relationship advice from someone who’s been married for 50 years rather than from a couple going on six months. Likewise, HubSpot partner tiers signify which partners have achieved the highest levels of success for their clients.
Partner tiers take into consideration acquired and managed revenue, software engagement and successful implementation of inbound marketing. Those partners who’ve achieved the diamond level status have typically been with HubSpot for some time and have extensive knowledge of the platform and its capabilities. These partners receive a high level of support directly from HubSpot.
Moving up tiers can take significant time and effort, so be sure to pay attention to a potential partner’s status, as higher level partners will be a more authoritative source for inbound marketing.
But don’t just choose a partner based on their status. There are a number of other factors to consider when finding the right fit. To help make this process easier, we put together a list of the key characteristics to help you evaluate potential HubSpot partners.
Your agency partner should function as an extension of your marketing team. They should be open to new ideas, willing to discuss new initiatives and help with implementation and training. When evaluating your potential team, focus on the following areas:
Skills & Expertise
An agency’s past experience can be integral to the success of your future partnership. If you want to redesign your website, you need someone with experience in digital design and development rather than email marketing. When looking at the agency’s partner directory page, review their listed services and industries they’ve worked with previously.
Be sure to ask important questions like:
Another way to identify more specific areas of expertise is to look at certifications. While some consider certifications a badge that just gives you bragging rights, some certifications, like the Google Partner Badge, give you access to benefits like specialized training and dedicated resources. Review the certifications section on the HubSpot partner page and ask what other certifications they have. This expertise may come into play in your future marketing strategy.
You could be working with a highly capable individual, but if your personalities clash, accomplishing a simple task could feel like climbing a mountain. Get to know a few team members to see if your communication styles, company values and personalities mesh. Most companies share employee biographies on their site as well. Read through some of the bios to get a better feel for who they are. You can even share some stories about yourself to give them a better idea of who you are, too. You’ll likely be spending a significant amount of time talking to these people, you might as well get comfortable, right?
Like any good you purchase, you’ll want to know how it works. Ask your potential partner how they work best and what kinds of processes they have in place for communication, approval and feedback. They may use different platforms or have standard documents in place. Understanding their process and sharing any of your own can help ensure a successful partnership. Here are some example questions to ask:
There are several ways to review an agency’s success; here are just a few to look for:
Also, be sure to ask how they measure success. A good agency should be able to report on Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) such as website traffic, conversions, sales qualified leads and new customers. It’s important to be able to tie your marketing efforts back to your overall goals.
As we all know from famous movie scenes, there’s no one we trust more to guide us into battle than a fearless warrior who leads by example, so why should marketing be any different? In this day and age, most people like to do initial research online and come to the table with a basic understanding (and likely some questions to ask) during their first meeting. One key component of a marketing agency to evaluate is their own website and online presence.
An agency’s website should exemplify their best work. Ask what types of tactics they’ve used or tested on their own site and what they’ve found successful. They may be able to show you more than they can tell you. In fact, if their website content is well-optimized, this may even be how you came across the agency in the first place. Also, take a look at the their social media presence and blog. When evaluating a potential partner, it’s good to know the agency practices what it preaches.
The same way you may have questions and be evaluating a HubSpot agency, they should have questions for you as well. It’s important they not only take an interest in what you’re looking for, but who you are as a company. A true partner will be invested in your success and knows when they can provide value to you and when they can’t. If what you’re looking to accomplish is nearly impossible, or something they don’t have knowledge or expertise in, they shouldn’t agree to be your partner. Be prepared to answer some questions about your business and your company goals to find out if they truly are a good match.
Any agency worth your time should understand your goals and present a plan for reaching them. This doesn't mean a standard set of deliverables they provide every client. If you are committed to reaching revenue or lead generation goals (or any other marketing or sales goals), find a partner that will propose a realistic plan to do so and understands that plan may need to change from month to month depending on what is working and what is not. (Why pay for 12 blog posts and LinkedIn ads every month if they aren't working? The right agency will know when to pivot and utilize your budget where it is most needed.)
Finding your perfect HubSpot agency partner may not be an easy task, but taking the steps to make sure they’re the right fit will save you lots of time in the long run. Focusing on these key characteristics will put you on the right track to finding a HubSpot agency that fits your needs.
Cheers to a long and healthy partnership!
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