Digital Marketing Strategies: Start With These 81 Telling Agency Questions

Four hands place 4 unique puzzle pieces together to introduce our post.

We’re grateful for the dozens of new client inquiries AIMCLEAR receives each month. Often prospective customers request a phone meeting to begin. While we love getting to know marketers and business owners, usually starting with a cold phone meeting is not efficient. Our agency presentations are customized, not cookie cutter. We must understand more about an assignment first. It’s hard to tell a business what AIMCLEAR can do to help them if we don’t have an inkling of what we’re trying to help them with.

It’s not that we don’t place a premium on relationship building—we certainly do. It’s a matter of prioritizing our time on building relationships with businesses we’re likely a good fit for. Answering our intake questions is worth it! In exchange, if we’re a good fit, AIMCLEAR may meet by phone at no charge to suggest a course of action and head down the road to engagement. You see we’re totally ready to invest, take the challenge and earn your account. We just don’t want to take it on blind.

When we introduce ourselves to a prospect blind, the dynamic usually turns into some level of valuable consultation by way of AIMCLEARians interviewing the business, sharing proprietary information about our agency, preliminary strategizing, providing perspective, insights, etc. We love giving time to fellow marketers. That’s why we blog, speak at conferences, do webinars, etc. We just need to feel strongly about a prospect before opening the kimono with just anyone. Digital marketing firms with plenty of free time to hang out to earn your work may well provide you with exactly what you did not pay for.

Gathering the Information

Before we meet more intimately, AIMCLEAR routes most inbound leads to 81 written questions that comprise our “Intake Document.” This post shares AIMCLEAR‘s current agency intake questionnaire (below) for your own use. Our intake process has been called one of the “best in the business” by more than one sharp marketing thought leader.

Our intake questionnaire is designed as a high-level screening. We want zoomed-out data that sheds light on a prospect’s strategic goals, KPIs (key performance indicators), products/services, competitors, existing digital marketing programs, projected media spend, social media background, SEO conditions, PR environment, content creation resources, international needs and design/build/develop prerequisites.

We send the entire questionnaire even if prospects inquire as to a narrow area of our services, with the caveat that they need not fill out the form completely. The comprehensive approach is for two reasons. First, no digital channel exists in a vacuum. For instance there is quite a bit of overlap between SEO and PR. The same can be said for content marketing and paid social. There are many other contingencies between service lines. Second, we want an understanding of how holistic the marketing ecosystem is. That data tells us a lot about the prospective client’s approach (or lack thereof) to digital marketing.

Respectfully Screening Clients

AIMCLEAR divides prospective clients into two buckets: prospects who have a relationship and/or cite a specific AIMCLEARian when they reach out and those who don’t. When the inquiry is without that personal affiliation, directing that customer into our intake funnel is easy. The key elements of our response are:

  • Enthusiastically confirm we can help.
  • Set expectations of process in terms of what will come next.
  • Let the customer know we don’t need them to answer every question.
  • Tell them we may have more questions.
  • If it seems appropriate, we’ll sometimes offer to sign a standard NDA.


All of that said, if the inquiry is from someone we know or that person reaches out to a specific AIMCLEARian (me in the circumstance below) we sometimes do schedule a call even though it’s an extra step. Even so, we still let the intake form fly. Bottom line, we need a baseline understanding of the assignment no matter whom the inquiring party knows at AIMCLEAR. Our biggest clients came to us from long-time friends and industry peers, representing some of the hottest brands on earth.


They still filled out intake questions, just like everyone else. Then the table is set nicely again for our team to send out questions. We’re back on path.


Who’s Screening Whom?

Our digital marketing strategy questionnaire serves more purposes than meet the eye. In reality, AIMCLEAR is a pretty intense firm to work with. We hear potential clients throw around words like “partner.” We say prove your willingness to work hard on your own marketing. If a business wants to work with an agency consultant at the level of AIMCLEAR, they’ll need to pay attention, work, invest, and get skin in the game past money. We push our clients to reach for excellence in their marketing strategies. They better be willing to dish. It’s not uncommon for a prospect to disappear, never sending back the intake docs. We say “Great!” Customers unresponsive during intake will likely be problematic with follow through once they hire us.

So without further ado, we humbly offer you AIMCLEAR‘s Digital Marketing Strategy Planning Questionnaire. We hope that components of our form will prove useful to your intake efforts. Best of luck screening prospective clients!


Product(s)/Service(s) & Competitors (11 Questions)

  • Describe key features of your product(s).
  • Who are your primary targeted audience/customers
  • Secondary?
  • Other verticals?
  • Who are your competitors?
  • Describe key differentiators from your competition.
  • What are your best markets and what is the reason for that?
  • Do you deal with any channel terms of services, legal or industry specific regulatory issues for public marketing?
  • What do you think makes your marketing assignment more tricky than most?
  • What makes your marketing slam-dunk easy?
  • Is there anything else you want us to know, big picture?

Strategy & KPIs (10)

  • Which of the following KPIs best represent your objectives, and in what order?
    • Direct Response [Leads/Sales/Both] CPA KPIs
    • Attributable [Leads/Sales/Both] CPA KPIs
    • Content Amplification (mid-funnel or deeper entry)
    • Community Building
    • SEO: Organic SERPs Brand Prominence
    • Event or Promotions
    • PR, Amplification KPIs
    • Site Traffic KPIs
    • Awareness KPIs
    • Other KPIs

Existing Digital Marketing Programs (4)

  • What search & social channels is your company currently marketing in?
  • What search & social channels, if any, have been tested and continued or suspended?
  • Describe results from each channel and why they were valuable or not.
  • What types of agencies do you use for what purposes?

Changes Sought (6)

  • How do you want your program(s) to change?
    • Paid Search
    • SEO
    • Paid Social
    • Organic Social
    • Display
    • Retargeting
  • What is an acceptable cost per action (CPA) for each KPI?

Projected Media Spend (1)

  • What is your current or anticipated monthly media budget?
    • $0 – $10,000
    • $10,001 – $25,000
    • $25,001 – $50,000
    • $50,001 – $100,000
    • $100,001 – $200,000
    • $200,001 – $300,000
    • More than $300,001

Social Media Background (7)

  • What social profiles do you currently maintain and who runs them? Please provide links to each.
  • Are you happy with the ROI of your social programs?
  • Do you currently run any of the following social amplification ads?
    • Facebook Ads
      • Feed
      • RH column
      • Mobile
      • Amplified page post
      • Pure external traffic-driving ad unit
    • Twitter
      • Promoted Tweets
      • Promoted Accounts
    • Retargeted Psychographics
    • YouTube TrueView Ads

SEO Condition (6)

  • Do you believe you get the right amount of free traffic from Google for the authority of your site?
  • Have you recently experienced a substantial drop in free traffic from Google?
    • Is this the main reason for your inquiry?
    • What are your theories regarding why?
  • Describe how you use Google+.
  • When was the last time your website underwent an SEO audit?

Public Relations Environment (10)

  • Please describe PR activities you currently undertake.
  • Social Amplification
  • Product Launches
  • Contributed Articles
  • White Papers
  • Press Releases
  • Webinars
  • Tradeshows
  • Public Speaking
  • Awards
  • Promoting Other Notable Corporate Milestones 

Content Creation Resources (11)

  • What goals do you have for content marketing?
    • Focused quality traffic to your website?
    • Attributable conversion?
    • SEO?
      • Links?
      • Social signals?
    • Friendship: likes, follows, etc.?
  • Tell us about your internal or third party content creation team.
    • In-House
    • Contractors
  • How much content do you create?
  • Does your business currently blog? If yes, what is the URL for your blog?
  • Does the content marketing team use research to advise content creation? If yes, what data is used and who generates it? 

International Needs (5)

  • What countries and languages do you market in?
  • Do you seek multilingual, multinational expansion?
    • Do you have translation teams in place?
    • Are they local speakers?
    • In-house resources?

Site Design/Build/Develop Prerequisites (9)

  • Is the new website based on existing designs? Or, will this be new design?
  • What will the primary purpose be for the site?
    ___ Catalog?
    ___ Lead Generation?
    ___ Ecommerce?
    ___ Informational ?
    ___ Entertainment?
  • Do you have an internal development team? What are their roles?
  • Will your team provide the content? Or will you need some content development support?

Tools Used (1)

  • Please check which of the following tools you use: (Each category is in alphabetical order)

Ad Management

___ Acquisio
___ AdAlysis
___ AdRoll
___ AdStage
___ Adwords scripts
___ Criteo
___ DoubleClick
___ Marin Software
___ Optimizely
___ The Trade Desk


___ Bitly
___ Chartbeat
___ Google Analytics
___ Google Search Console
___ Kiss Metrics
___ Moz Tools
___ Neustar
___ Optimine
___ Sysomos MAP

Community Management

___ Brandwatch
___ HootSuite
___ Radian6
___ Socialbakers
___ Socioboard
___ SproutSocial
___ Tweetdeck

Competitive Intel

___ Adgooroo
___ AdThena
___ ahrefs
___ Buzzsumo
___ SEM Rush
___ SpyFu


___ Highrise
___ Hubspot CRM
___ Infusionsoft
___ Insightly
___ Kaseya CRM
___ Marketing 360
___ Microsoft Dynamics
___ Netsuite
___ Oracle CRM
___ Pipedrive
___ Salesforce
___ SugarCRM
___ Zoho CRM


___ AppNexus
___ BrightRoll
___ DoubleClick
___ MediaMath
___ Quantcast
___ TubeMogul

Email Marketing

___ ActiveCampaign
___ AWeber
___ ConstantContact
___ GetResponse
___ MailChimp

Marketing Automation

___ ActiveCampaign
___ Adobe Marketing Cloud
___ Eloqua
___ HubSpot
___ IBM Marketing Cloud
___ Marketo
___ OutMarket
___ Pardot
___ ShareSpring


___ Buffer
___ DashThis
___ Datorama
___ Domo
___ Megalytic
___ Raven Tools
___ Simply Measured
___ SuperMetrics
___ Tableau
___ TapClick

Reputation Monitoring

___ Rankur
___ Sysomos Heartbeat
___ Trackur


___ AWR Cloud
___ Botify
___ BrightEdge
___ Conductor
___ Google Keyword Planner
___ LinkResearchTools
___ Majestic SEO
___ Screaming Frog
___ SearchMetrics
___ SEOmonitor
___ Yoast

Tag Management

___ Adobe DTM
___ Ensighten
___ Google Tag Manager
___ Signal
___ SuperTag
___ Tag Commander
___ Tealium
___ UberTags

Thank you again for your inquiry. One final question: Please, how did you hear about AIMCLEAR?


Copyright: dotshock

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

Stay Connected