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eCommerce Insider: How to identify a true expert marketing partner

eCommerce Insider: How to identify a true expert marketing partner

South African online retail is growing at a rapid rate and for both established and burgeoning businesses it is crucial to opt for an expert partner who possesses the knowledge, experience, and strategic insights to maximise e-commerce growth potential.

The world of paid media moves so fast, with platform updates, algorithm shifts, new sales funnel building mechanisms and technology shifts happening daily – it’s impossible as an ecommerce business owner to stay up to date with it all.

With this in mind, here is a checklist for business owners embarking on, or considering changing up their paid media strategies:

Check your paid media expert's partner status

Before you choose your paid media specialist or agency it is imperative to verify their skills and this is easy to do across a variety of platforms. Both Meta and Google classify agency partners against a number of things, including skill set, campaign types, spend and best practice, as well as requiring that their buying teams complete a series of exams to validate their expertise which are governed by validity dates.

On Meta, prospective partners can provide their account manager status and blueprint certification links to clients, while Google has a partner’s directory listing accrediting agencies as either standard partners or premier partners. In South Africa, there are only 34 Accredited Google Partners (of which only a handful are independents like TDMC). Similarly, Shopify has only four accredited partners in South Africa.

Insist on account access and transparency

Not being granted access to your own social media account is a red flag in any e-commerce business. By having direct access to their ad accounts, clients have the option to monitor campaigns, evaluate performance metrics and ensure their budget is allocated effectively.

This level of transparency fosters trust, enables collaboration and empowers clients to make more informed decisions. This openness leads to learnings on all sides and ultimately drives successful outcomes. The volume of wasted budgets spent on channels as a result of lack of expertise and inefficiencies is extensive.

At TDMC, we are passionate about transparency and firmly believe that everyone should always be able to see exactly what was spent where and what the results were, without having to request the information.

Ask for an audit

Making a commitment to appoint an agency can be an overwhelming process. One of the ways to allay concerns or answer questions you may have is to ask a prospective agency to conduct an audit of your current social media ad accounts and site performance.

The data and learnings may come at a fee, of course, but I think it’s money well spent – you will soon be able to assess their ability to read the data and determine how and where they can assist your business.

This article was first published on The Media Online.

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