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How can I find the right Digital Agency for E-Commerece?

I have launched a consignment fashion e-commerce site and am working very lean. I have been setting up basic do-it-yourself SEO, PPC, Re-Marketing, Funnel Analysis, Social, e-Mail etc. It is getting to be too much work and I can't hire a team yet. So I have started to look at 3rd parties to help. Here are the challenges:

1) Finding someone with expertise in my specific area (consignment women's fashion online)
2) Evaluating core marketing expertise vs. add-on services. Many development shops and creative agencies seem to have impressive pitches on their marketing services, but it's hard to tell how deep the skills really run. We aren't primarily interested in development or communications, more so in the technical, strategic and support side of marketing.
3) Finding a resource that will help us get smarter by teaching, rather than simply handling the work

Can anyone recommend a resource (agency, consultant or service) that you've had positive experiences with that would be good for solving any of these challenges?

Thanks

M

13 Replies

Dominique Reissmeier
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0
Dominique Reissmeier Entrepreneur
VP Product at UUX
Hi Matt, Send me an email at [removed to protect privacy] to discuss further. I know a few people that might be able to help. Dom
John Rutkowski
2
0
John Rutkowski Entrepreneur
CEO at BOLDER Designs
http://www.ezsolution.com/In Lancaster can handle the Web, SEO, Social and ecommerce. Tom Malisec is a peer of mine, known him for 4 years. Does great work. Tell him I sent you.
Edwin Miller
2
0
Edwin Miller Entrepreneur • Advisor
4x CEO | Founder/CEO at 9Lenses | Board Member | Author | Angel Investor
Hi there, been where you are... Why don't you speak with our lead of marketing communications / SEO. He is a Kellog grad, wicked smart, has built a team of writers - know's the ins and outs of the web / SEO... Shoot me an email at [removed to protect privacy]. I will intro you. He is wicked smart and understands what needs to be done. I do not believe you can outsource this as well as building the expertise internally. Being found / understood / connected on the web is critical.

E.
Idris Grant
2
0
Idris Grant Advisor
Chairman at LSi Media
My firm can help you. http://www.lsi-media.com Let me know if you are interested in discussing your needs.
Jim Power
2
0
Jim Power Advisor
Executive Operations Director ♦ Strategic Planner ♦ Communicator ♦ Trainer ♦ Problem Solver ♦ Nonprofit Management
Matt:
One person / agency you should look into that I think will meet you criteria and concerns is:

Jay Bower - www.linkedin.com/in/jaybower
Crossbow Group, LLC 136 Main Street Westport, CT 06880
PH: [removed to protect privacy]
[removed to protect privacy]
https://www.linkedin.com/company/136975?trk=prof-exp-company-name
Nick Greenfield
2
0
Nick Greenfield Advisor
Vice President of Marketing and Growth at Washio
Matt,
My friend has the exact background you're looking for in terms of women's retail marketing for social, seo and sem. He led growth for a very successful startup and is now helping a number of brands do the same thing. Email me - regularnick at gmail and lll connect you.
sara ledterman
2
0
sara ledterman Advisor
Editor in Chief at Adornomag.com
Hi Matt, We struggled with the same thing at adorno(interior design space) I have a list of resources that are more independent people. I found their experience to be better rounded than an agency, more willing to be flexible with pay and also better at teaching your team. If you can shoot me a direct message with what specific skills you are looking for, I can connect you. A few have even worked at fashion startups before, so they ought to be a good fit. Sara
Gil Allouche
2
0
Gil Allouche Entrepreneur
Founder @ Metadata
97th floor is an outstanding agency I work with on a few separate engagements. Sent from my iPhone
Kent Lewis
2
0
Kent Lewis Entrepreneur
Anvil President & Founder | Purveyor of measurable marketing that moves you (analytics, search & social media marketing)

Matt,

As a long-time marketer and agency owner, I have a few thoughts:

1. Consignment-specific experience is overrated. Look for an agency or consultant with women's fashion experience vs. consignment (which may be very difficult to find. For example, my agency is or has worked with brands like Nike, prAna, Lucy, Ugg and Dr. Martens.

2. In terms of evaluating overall agency fit, look beyond the obvious testimonials, case studies to references and referrals from folks in your industry. For example, while Anvil is a marketing agency, we specialize in search engine and social media marketing for ecommerce companies.

3. Last but not least, I'm happy to be a resource for you. I've written a few articles on the topic of selecting a marketing vendor and getting the most from that vendor. I've even covered in-house vs. outsourcing and consultant vs. agency:

Six requirements for a value-added SEM vendor

http://www.dmnews.com/get-beyond-clicks-and-conversions/article/90202/

Marketing Consultant vs. Agency: Which is Right for Your Business?

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/article/20141023191624-325170-marketing-consultant-vs-agency-which-is-right-for-your-business

Get More From Your Marketing Agency in 6 Easy Steps

http://blogs.imediaconnection.com/blog/2011/04/03/marketing-agency-client-tips/

In-house Agency vs. Outsourcing Digital Marketing

http://blogs.imediaconnection.com/blog/2013/10/04/square-1-agency-digital-marketing/

Let me know if you have any questions.

Kent Lewis

President & Founder, Anvil

[removed to protect privacy]

[removed to protect privacy]

Matt Kennedy
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0
Matt Kennedy Advisor
Digital Agency Founder, Entrepeneur
Thanks for the responses everyone and offers to connect. I appreciate them. Not sure how to respond to you directly in this forum, but I up-voted your comments. Hope to connect with you soon.
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