What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?
At our request and with their input, we have maintained a monthly log of unique visits and overall conversion and sales, both on the consumer and retail sides. I have asked them to track items like our domain authority separately on a monthly basis.
As with any business, we experience seasonality and have seen growth trends along with a month or two of retrenchment. For the food and consumables category, this is normal. I don’t have a year-over-year analysis, but I feel confident that if I had three months of 2018 for comparison, we would show that growth. We are only at month 13 at this point.
How did Directive Consulting perform from a project management standpoint?
When I joined the company in May 2017, the team assigned to us had a much different philosophy, and I did not feel that they were meeting the full expectations of what we needed. In July, a new team was put on the account after I voiced that things were not being done as effectively as possible. This was followed by immediate changes in perception and results. I have seen a lot more collaboration and follow-through on requests.
As marketing brand manager, my thought process involves taking care of both sides of the business. We need people who can understand the strategy. In summary, I would say that Directive has gone above and beyond, to partners, working alongside with us. They’ve met our deadlines and they’ve brought something very tangible to the team.
We communicate using their own project management tools and exchange several emails throughout the week. We established a weekly phone call using Zoom. I have a dashboard on which all meeting notes and reporting are kept. We’re pleased with what Directive is doing in terms of managing the workload and the overall project.
What did you find most impressive about them?
The partnership and collaboration are the most impressive. After July when the new team was assembled, I saw a collaborative spirit, an engagement, and an exchange of ideas. I bring things to the table and challenge them to meet or go beyond them. They come back each week with new thoughts and ideas based on this. The strategic collaboration is key, and the sum is greater than its parts.
Are there any areas they could improve?
It’s hard to answer after such a short cycle. As with all projects, meeting more items on the list is a matter of being able to work faster. In general, we’ve felt that Directive is meeting our criteria and coming back with what we’re looking for. They probably wish that we were more engaged in terms of a PPC strategy since it’s one of the things they’re effective at, but, in terms of strategy, SEO cleanup, and website updates, I don’t have any complaints.
Do you have any advice for future clients of theirs?
Clients should meet Directive’s management team, including Tanner Shaffer, their VP, and 1–2 of the senior consultants. It’s important to understand that an SEO company is not a fix-all solution; it’s only what clients put into the equation and will only be as good as what they’re instructed to be. People should allow themselves the opportunity to collaborate and strategize together. This is where the true power of a consulting firm is unleashed.