Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?
I’ve seen improvement in a lot of different areas. We’re tracking a whole slew of metrics, and they’re almost all up because of Directive's work. I’ve built out a pretty comprehensive web tracker that tracks the whole of KPIs [key performance indicators] relative to historical performance. We’ve also established goals that go against that.
We track the overall visitors that come to the site, so we do track quality visits. Those have gone up relative to organic and paid quality visits. Then we have our leads. Obviously, we have a couple of different categories of leads when they come to our site and fill out different forms. One is when they fill out an information request, which is specifically requesting a salesperson to contact them. A secondary softer lead is when they download gated content. We’re tracking those, and those metrics have improved as well, both paid and organic.
We track our total paid clicks, our ad-click-to-lead ratio, and then cost per lead. Everything is going up. I was seeing positive results within the first 60 days. We were definitely getting results I could brag about within 60 days.
How did Directive Consulting perform from a project management standpoint?
My project manager is really outstanding.
What did you find most impressive about Directive Consulting?
They get it. I’ve been doing this 17 years, and I have worked with hundreds of vendors for different projects in the past. I have longstanding relationships with certain contractors. I kind of have a best-of-breed model where, rather than hiring internal people, I pay even a premium to work with best-of-breed in different areas, whether it’s web development, graphic design, advertising, or PR. I try to establish long-term relationships, so the relationship is really important to me. From the get-go, I could tell that they were really out for my best interest, and they wanted to establish a long-term relationship that was going to be beneficial to both of us.
They’re no-nonsense. They knew I was very data-driven and that my decisions about them were going to be based on a combination of a good working relationship as well as measurable results. I knew that right from the get-go. I tasked them with several things in the vetting process that I wanted examples of, and I only gave them a short period of time to do it because I wanted to gauge their willingness and desire to work with me, and they accommodated that. I basically gave them an absurd request before I even signed a contract with them, and they fulfilled it. That was at the beginning, so that gave me a good feeling. I had been burned by another vendor, and I wasn’t going to make that mistake twice.
I wanted to set aside a half hour or so each week to have tracking meetings and measure the performance from that previous week, and they’ve been very accommodating with that. They were always providing me with comprehensive reports, but they weren’t exactly in the format that was easiest for me to convey that information to my superiors, so they’ve been very accommodating and adaptive in putting together a measurement model that works really well for me. It ties the measurable metrics to the activities that they’re doing, so it makes it very easy for me to say to my management, “Hey, these are the things that we’re doing, and this is the result. These particular categories are key KPIs.” I can show them what we’re doing that’s driving those results and what we’re going to be doing in the future, along with what’s working and what’s not. They’ve adapted to my requirements enthusiastically.
Are there any areas Directive Consulting could improve?
They could always be cheaper, but you get what you pay for. They’re considerably more expensive than my last vendor, but at the end of the day, the value I’m getting from them is far superior to what I was getting previously. I don’t blame them for that, especially since I sell six-figure software. What else could they do differently? Nothing. I’ve been pleasantly surprised with them, and I’m hard to please.
They go the extra mile. I have a project manager and then they have several people on the back end, and they’ll bring those people in on the call any time I have a question.
They leave no stone unturned in their quest to drive new leads to our site. They’re looking at every angle constantly, measuring, testing, and improving. I don’t have to ask for anything. They know far more about this than I do, and they’re leveraging that to get the results.