4 questions for your digital consultant

19/12/2014 – It’s safe to assume that every well-funded campaign next cycle will have a seat for a digital consultant at the kitchen table. But which pro should fill it?The proliferation of digital firms and rapidly evolving technology make getting this hire right tougher than ever. Here are four questions every campaign should ask potential digital consultants.What are your capabilities? Digital firms are not created equal. Some act as a one-stop shop, while others may specialize in a small niche, such as Web design. The advantage of working with the former is that all of your digital needs can be met by a single entity that has the campaign’s strategic vision in mind. Working piecemeal with individual specialists may allow you to receive a better product in each particular space, but the fragmented process can be cumbersome and expensive.

Either way, you need to know up front exactly what a firm can and can’t do for you. You don’t want to be scrambling at the end of a critical fundraising quarter looking for an online fundraiser because you assumed your current digital vendor was handling it.

What other clients will you be working with?

You want to know what other clients a firm is dealing with for two reasons. First, you need to make an assessment how the firm’s resources might be allocated in crunch time. Second, you want to know that the firm you’re talking to is working with other legitimate, like-minded candidates. The trick here is to find a firm with a balanced portfolio. You may not want to be the biggest and only campaign on their client list, because it could be an indication they lack the resources to handle your campaign. But you don’t want to be the smallest race on the list, either, because you could have trouble getting your calls returned.

Why are you better than the other five firms I am talking to?

This one is pretty straightforward. You need to decide what you’re looking for in a digital firm and ask point blank why their firm is a better fit than the five others you are interviewing. There are a number of really good firms in the arena, but that doesn’t mean they are a good fit for you. Some firms have a national focus, others a more regional and local. Some firms like to invest heavily in social media, while others like targeted pre-roll and display advertising. Some firms want to be in on every campaign conference call, while others are simply happy to fulfill requests and orders as they come in.

Force the firm you are considering to articulate why they are a good fit for your particular campaign’s needs. If they can’t make a compelling argument as to why they bring real value to your operation, trust me, there are many others out there that can.

How will I be billed?

All campaigns run on a tight budget, but not all campaigns know what to expect when it comes to paying their digital vendor. No one likes surprises when it comes to money. So ask questions like, how will the creative cost associated with ad buys be handled? What will edits to the website cost? How is the cost of fundraising emails assigned? Do you charge a retainer, and if so, what does the retainer entail? These are just a few of the questions you’ll want to flush out upfront.

Autore: John Porter. Fonte: campaignsandelections.com | John is a digital communications strategist for the Prosper Group. He can be reached atJohn@theprospergroupcorp.com

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