Over the past few years, clients have been spending more on digital advertising. This has resulted in higher demand for consultant services and accordingly, in an increase in consultancy firms that offer to help you navigate through the world of digital marketing and uncover the full potential of your business. So many options make it hard to find the best digital strategy agency. Scroll down to discover our top choices along with the custom evaluation methodology that backs our selection. Just below it, you can find a simple guide to narrow down the choices and find the best digital strategy fit for your organization.
Our selection is a result of meticulous research that has been conducted by our expert team. Below you can find the evaluation methodology we’ve devised and used to evaluate the companies.
First, we assess the companies’ catalog of services. Some of them have a narrow focus and offer strategy and consulting only while others offer a broader scope of services and can meet all your digital needs under one roof. Regardless of the type, digital strategy consulting firms help businesses take full advantage of online advertising. Below we outline the services typically offered by the agencies and their importance for creating the best digital strategy.
Digital transformation is the integration of digital technology into all business areas which changes the way you operate and deliver value to customers. Digital consultancies that offer this service drive innovation through careful planning while actively managing constant shifts in technology. They identify opportunities that help clients stay fresh and competitive.
To understand your needs, the digital strategy firm needs to learn what drives your business. They should gain insight into your organization through a set of workshops and exercises to audit your technologies, processes, and people. This data will fuel further research and recommendations and, as a result, the overall strategic growth.
Market research provides relevant data to help you solve your company’s marketing challenges. This is an integral part of the planning process. Strategies such as market segmentation and product differentiation can’t develop without thorough market research.
User experience research describes the thorough and systematic investigation of users their needs, motivations, and objectives. In our evaluation of digital consulting firms, we focused on what observational techniques, task analysis, and feedback methodologies they use, how they get those methodologies into the UX ecosystem of the clients and identify how they deliver improved UX.
Customer-centric strategies are proven to deliver measurable results, helping companies navigate all facets of the digital landscape. CX consulting services, therefore, are an essential part of the offering of the top digital consulting firms, enabling businesses to understand their customers better, identify common issues, and deliver a superior experience. They are also closely related to experience mapping which helps you understand the customer journey and how to connect with customers, influence their decision making, and ensure that your message reaches the right audience.
Competitor analysis is a valuable practice that helps you identify your main search competitors and industry rivals. Through this research, the digital strategy agency will provide insights into their place in the industry, their ranking signals, and outreach strategies. The strategy that will come out of this research will prioritize identified and established actions with all the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors in mind.
An omnichannel strategy will deliver a holistic experience to benefit end-users. This approach enables connections across a variety of physical and digital channels which will give you the opportunity to live up to your brand’s promises. The agencies that offer this service have been tested for their agility in creating integrated experiences that speak directly to the end-users.
Digital planning is the summary of all services and it will prove crucial for potential collaboration with digital marketing companies. Once the strategy agency has accumulated all the data via the above-mentioned services, they will be able to define the target audience, creative theme, and campaign goals and plan the content and distribution channels. Another aspect of this service is the go-to-market plan which is essentially the roadmap to business growth. Such a plan should outline the next steps to be taken, making the overall strategy more focused and achievable.
Digital strategy firms apply inbound marketing by developing the right content strategy, best SEO practices, and setting up a stable content distribution process, social media plan, and more. Additionally, a solid strategy helps you integrate your digital marketing activities with other aspects of your business and into wider business goals. This is the perfect opportunity to unify the workforce and maximize the chances of success. A successful strategy will help all departments align while supporting a smooth transition and cohesive experience.
After we establish that the digital strategy agency offers focused services, we look for evidence that will demonstrate they have successfully performed digital strategy tasks for real businesses. We dive deep into their case studies and portfolios to understand their approach and the steps they have taken, and evaluate the impact of their strategies. On our list, you’ll find only digital consultancies that are proven to deliver sustainable, flexible, and customizable solutions that accurately meet the clients’ needs.
We don’t stop at checking the case studies and portfolios of the digital strategy agencies in question. We also examine what their past clients have to say about working with them. We check reviews on business directories, social media platforms, and Google, as well as the testimonials we can find on the companies’ official sites.
If possible, we extend our research to talking to past clients and gather more information about the expertise of the company in question. Our goal is to uncover the strongest but also the weakest points about the digital consulting companies. We use this insight to determine the level of customer satisfaction, as well as the depth of their expertise and agility in resolving potential issues. Only the most reputable digital consultancies with a proven track record get featured on our list.
Next, we delve into the technical capabilities of the agency’s team and the technology they use to execute digital strategy successfully. We assess their technology focus, workforce models, and working prototypes. We appreciate strategic agencies with a solid implementation of descriptive, explanatory, and predictive insight, digital media, cloud computing, and disruptive technologies. Using advanced technologies will boost the agency’s ability to retrieve data faster and easier, process it, and automate tasks.
Beyond using the right technologies, the company’s team needs to be able to maximize your performance. One of the must-have skills is project and program management capabilities which involve deep knowledge about how to size and scope the projects. Additionally, they should have digital security management, business analysis, and metrics knowledge.
Digital marketing consulting firms should also be prepared to select KPIs you wish to measure moving forward. We present ourselves as potential clients and talk to past customers to evaluate whether the agencies are results-driven and effectively demonstrate the value that your digital strategy is providing to your organization. We also make sure that the team can establish a reporting schedule and a clean line of communication with the clients, including channels of communication, dates of when reports will be sent, and the appointed person for communication.
Security is crucial for any business so we look for digital transformation consulting firms that take this matter seriously. We consider their staff policies and policies for storing data and dealing with customer information. Additionally, we appreciate cloud-based backup systems, as well as robust payment systems.
Our goal during the evaluation process was to find companies that provide great services for money and excellent ROI. Some of them fit right into the industry standards but some of them are pricier. We should note that, if we have listed pricey companies it’s because we’ve determined they provide great value for money. Generally, pricing per hour varies with different agencies. They start from $50 per hour and the total pricing will depend on the scope of your projects.
We’ve done the hard work to bring to you the best companies that can help you craft a stellar digital strategy. Still, to find the agency best suited to your needs you’ll have to do your part too. Below you can discover some helpful tips on how to narrow down your choice and what to consider before sealing the deal with an agency.
You can’t expect to find an agency that will meet your needs if you don’t know what those are in the first place. Analyze your business to discover the challenges and layout of your objectives. Consider whether you want to improve brand recognition, boost leads or sales, market to a new audience, grow your market share, or improve your overall presence. This will give you a solid base for working with a digital strategy agency and help you shortlist them based on whether or not they can cover your needs.
You can benefit best from an agency with digital consultants that specialize in your industry. They will have a proven track record in resolving sector-specific issues and challenges so it might be easier for you to get on the same page and get strategies that will work well for your company.
The agency you choose should offer an integrated and coordinated service and takes a collaborative approach to ensure your goals are met. If possible, meet with the digital strategy consultants in person to get a better idea of the company’s ethics and values, their take on risk-taking and innovation, the personalities of the team members and how they align with yours.
Outline the budget you’re willing to set aside for your digital strategy. Eliminate all firms whose pricing goes beyond what you’re comfortable spending. Carefully review the ones that are left after employing this method. Go for the digital strategy agency that can meet your needs while staying within the budget so that it doesn’t destroy your bottom line.