If you’re thinking about choosing a white label agency, it’s likely because you’ve already done the trade-off math. While building out digital marketing solutions from scratch can certainly be tempting, the right partner can save you time and hassle.
So now, the question becomes who you should work with and why. We’ll look at the key factors to take into consideration before you formalize an agreement.
1. Strategic Alignment
The ultimate goal of a white label agency is to create new revenue streams, which means finding a partner who can align the digital marketing services toward your client’s needs. This takes more than just experience and expertise, but an innate understanding of what it means to interact with your company.
Identifying strategic alignment with a white label agency translates to having comprehensive discussions that unveil opportunities that strategically benefit both parties from the partnership and promote mutual growth. If you prioritize strategic alignment at the beginning, it will make implementation a breeze. Consider not only if the agency provides the service(s) that your clients are looking for, but also caters to that specific use case or a specific type of reporting that your clients are willing to pay a premium for.
When you engage in discussions, steer conversations that reveal the long-term intentions of the partner. Instead of just learning more about their products and services, discuss the product roadmap and what to expect down the line. These conversations are great exercises that will provide you with ample anecdotal points to help you gauge the alignment.
2. Work Culture & Values
This factor has more to do with communication styles, flexibility, and total bandwidth. You will want to look for an agency that fits in with your culture and the way your business handles, well, its business. When you ask for something that’s outside-the-box, are you met with formal policy discussions or a fluid response that tries to find a resolution for you? If your organization has a casual atmosphere but still appreciates making swift changes when they’re needed, look for an agency with a similar style of working. Some agencies may purely adhere to a corporate culture whereas some may be more informal. If you would prefer to skip the jargon and get straight to business, you’ll want to find a partner who feels the same way. Whether you want formal or casual, it’s important to find someone that shares the same priorities. Also, you’d want to look at a partner who is in a similar position, usually agencies of similar size mesh together best. Or if the agency has a similar entrepreneurial environment like yours, the greater the chances are that you will align.
3. Experience and Knowledge
An agency both with a significant tenure that is also innovative and entrepreneurial with its products and services is hard to find. In your exploration process, check out the company profile and gain information about the number of years in business, locations, industries served, etc. A white label partner is always going to position themselves as an expert, but having in-depth conversations can be a great way to grasp how much specialty knowledge they truly have. When you talk to the right agency, you get a sense that you’re talking to someone who knows what they’re talking about and has been doing this for a long time. You should also be looking at how many tech and media partners the company has on speed dial, in addition to a solid and practical range of products. A good agency will constantly innovate its solutions and have a strong network of tech and media partners.
4. Customer Success
If they have case studies on their website, take a pass and find out about their success in the past. Look out for case studies of companies similar to yours so you can identify what to expect. Whenever possible, finding testimonials from customers is also very helpful. Because at the end of the day, you’re looking for an agency that has solid and proven customer success.
You can ask for referral contact; if the agency allows the opportunity to contact a past customer, it might be worth your time to ask additional follow-up questions and get validation either way. This can tell you more about how the agency handles everything from routine operations to hiccups in individual projects.
5. Genuine interest in Partner Growth
Uncompromised customer service means running a marathon, not a sprint. It’s all too easy for white label agencies to start strong only to end dead last. You’re looking for a partner who’s in it for the long haul, one that’s just as sincere and helpful on Day One as they are on Year 10.
You can see who’s willing to go the extra mile by how an agency responds to different matters. Are they willing to be part of your pitch meetings with your clients? To truly take a burden off your shoulders, the agency needs to give far more than it takes. Whether that’s measured in hours, dollars, or headaches, an agency’s staff should be looking out for you.
Do you get the training that you and your sales team need? Some agencies provide solid product and sales training as part of the onboarding process so you have the knowledge and confidence to resell. A good partner is someone who’d provide substantial training, and collateral on top of it that supports your sales process, such as catalogs, pitch decks, and case studies. Look out for an agency that’s genuinely interested in mutual growth and goes that extra mile to secure long-lasting business for your agency.
6. Pilot Program
If you can try something out for a month or two before making a bigger commitment, it can give you more confidence to really move forward. Most agencies have a fixed agreement and offer at least a six-month commitment, but there are many others who offer a pilot campaign. An agency offering a pilot program tells you that they are willing to be open-minded and let you test the service for a period so you have a better sense of daily operations and the quality of the product. If you do choose to pilot with an agency, communication is the key to making sure both parties are heading toward mutual success. Clearly state your expectations from the pilot and make sure you’re on the same page with the partner.
The Rewards of Research
When you boil it all down, choosing a white label partner means being diligent with the decision-making process to avoid inefficiencies later. At its core, you’re looking for companies that you can envision yourself working with 5+ years down the line. If you can foresee a prosperous professional relationship, it’s a good sign that you’re on the right track.
As you evaluate each point, there will inevitably be some that are more important to you than others. Whether it’s options for a pilot program or the opportunity to alleviate the time you spend pitching prospects, it’s these details that can help point you in the right direction as you’re making the important decision to scale your business.
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Demand Local provides turnkey, white-labeled digital advertising solutions. Get in touch with us and learn more about how you can maximize your profits by letting us do the heavy lifting, while you can spend your valuable time on closing new deals.