We’ll put it out there – as you evaluate prospective partners like KME Internet Marketing to help with web marketing initiatives, gaining exposure for your business and driving new sales from the Internet, this is exactly what you should seek.
Research and ask about ALL of these skills and expertise domains, either directly, or as part of your Solicitation or Request for Proposal/Information (RFP/RFI):
1. Is the firm accessible, with local, hands-on, in-person availability of subject matter experts? Professional, personal service and communications are critical.
2. Who exactly will you be working with; are these professionals accessible? The firm’s website should include leadership profiles and pictures, and these individuals should be well-known in the industry and accessible via professional social media (i.e. LinkedIn). The firm’s leadership should have demonstrated at least 10 years in the Internet Technology industry.
3. Is the firm established, well-known and engaged in the community, with clear evidence of success over time? Avoid the newbies, the out-of-towners, the affiliate marketing scams (there are MANY around), the off-shore-ers, the “website marketing mills”, the inexperienced recent graduates, the recent career-changers, the part-timers and interns. Seek those with community roots and involvement, knowledge of local geopolitics. Does the firm appear among the top results itself, in local search engine results? (Try this – search for “Loudoun Internet Marketing” in Google – and note KME is referenced in nearly every result on the first page!). Is the firm engaged in local business and social media forums?
4. Does the firm require a long-term contract? This is a clear sign of a revenue-focused firm, vs. a customer services-focused firm.
5. Is the firm “in it for the long haul”? Firms with established certifications and designations, for example “Disadvantage Business Enterprise” (DBE) designations by the State of VA and the SBA, provide evidence of invested commitment to industry and clients. KME is a designated “SWaM” (VA DBE) and “WOSB” (SBA) enterprise (in process). KME also maintains Google Adwords certifications.