Saturday, September 19th, 2020
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According to Smart Insights, 49 percent of organizations don’t have a clearly defined digital strategy.
Choosing the right digital strategy for your business is essential. Experience helps you sift through what to do differently, what not to do, and where to focus your energy. Having a fresh perspective from an outside eye can make all the difference. What’s more important is choosing a company that can execute that strategy.
When you need to choose the best digital strategy company, you may be wondering where to start. Here’s a list of our picks for the best digital strategy companies in the world.
1. Neil Patel Digital — Best For Content Marketing & Digital Strategy
I’ve written more than 4,294 blog posts in 10 years. I’ve created millions of words and I’ve used content marketing to build three companies of my own. I used content marketing to generate 195,013 visitors a month and I’ve done the same things for my fortune 500 clients. When it comes to digital strategy and content marketing I’ve shown it can work.
I do the same thing for clients with my agency, NP Digital. We help our clients develop a digital strategy that maximizes the results they achieve with their content marketing, advertising, and SEO campaigns.
The focus with our digital strategy is revenue. Everything we do is focused on producing real results for businesses whether that’s more traffic, leads, or revenue.
NP Digital’s client list includes:
- Thomson Reuters foundation
- American Greetings
2. REQ – Best for Enterprise Business Strategy
REQ is a Washington DC based, award-winning agency with enterprise-level experience. They’re industry veterans with some of the best talent in the business.
Projects start at $50,000. They offer a comprehensive suite of solutions for your marketing and digital strategy needs. Including:
- Advertising & Media
- Digital Advocacy
- Brand Strategy
- Reputation Management
- Public Relations
- Data & Analytics
They’ve been named to both the Inc.500 and Deloitte Fast 500 lists – they’re one of the fastest growing companies in America. They have offices in Washington, DC, New York, Boston, San Diego, Las Vegas, and San Francisco.
REQ’s client list includes:
- Sweet Green
- Empire State Building
- Constellation Energy
3. Usman Group – Best for Mid-market Business Strategy
With 80% of its clients in mid-market range, earning between 10M – 1B, the Usman Group specializes in digital strategy and market research. They provide analysis, strategy, execution, and measurement to help clients deploy successful campaigns.
They apply the four key principles of design thinking, learn from people, identify patterns, make solutions tangible, iterate continuously, in all of their client engagements.
Projects start at $10,000. You get a hand-picked team that will provide evidence-based, practical strategy and recommendations.
Usman Group’s client list includes:
- Red Prairie
- University of Chicago
- National Safety Council
- Chicago Sun Times
4. DeSantis Breindel – Best for Branding Strategy
DeSantis Breindel is a New York City based digital strategy company that specializes in end-to-end branding strategy. They help businesses with brand differentiation, customer experience, merger & acquisition branding, brand valuation, brand launch, and employee engagement.
Projects start at $75,000. They offer thorough research and measurement for your digital branding, brand identity and strategy, content marketing, customer experience design, and film production services.
DeSantis Breindel’s client list includes:
- Lathrop Gage
- Lincoln International
- Lewis Roca
5. Mabbly – Best for Data Analysis, Channel Strategy
Mabbly is a Chicago based strategic design agency that relies on digital strategy, market research, and data analytics. They focus on turning complex problems into growth opportunities. Supporting human connection with digital experiences, via sophisticated design and data-backed digital strategy.
Mabbly’s team of digital and brand strategists work together to curate a channel strategy that combines the message along with the medium that’s right for your business opportunity. Projects start at $25,000.
Mabbly’s client list includes:
- Berkshire Group
- Griffith Foods
- 21st Century Fox
- Limitless Coffee & Tea
6. Ironpaper – Best for Small Business
Ironpaper bills itself as a B2B growth agency. Their conversion growth strategy is focused on gaining traction with growth up to 1 percent. The growth phase is set at 1 to 3 percent, with anything above 3 percent listed as scaling.
What’s interesting about Ironpaper is the fact that they discuss the elephant in the room.
“Oftentimes, enterprises try to answer the question, ‘What is a good conversion rate?’’ without any context. What is a good conversion rate? When establishing conversion rates, context is everything.
A lack of context can actually do harm to a marketing team, because it causes teams to make the wrong assumptions.”
This tells you that Ironpaper isn’t focused on vanity metrics or conversion manipulation. They know the difference between high and low value conversions. Their projects start at $10,000 and are focused on small businesses.
Iron Paper’s client list includes:
3 Characteristics That Make a Great Digital Strategy Company
Your digital strategy company should be able to provide you with specifics ahead of time. While many companies are able to provide you with amazing strategies, many are unwilling to demonstrate this ahead of time.
1. Your agency asks the right questions
Creating an exceptional digital strategy begins with your agency asking the right questions. These questions determine what will be answered and where your answers will go. Here’s a small sample of the questions your agency should be asking.
- How is our business currently performing?
- Which parts of your business are underperforming?
- What’s our goal for each area of our business?
- What do customers expect from our product and our business?
- Which marketing channels are our customers active on?
- Which marketing channels should we use to accomplish our goals?
- Which metrics and KPIs will we use to evaluate performance?
- How should we promote our products and services in the market to achieve our goals?
These questions inform your digital strategy.
- Why are we in business?
- Where are we right now?
- Where do we want to go?
- How will we get there?
Your digital strategy framework should answer four high-level questions. Good digital marketing agencies should be asking these questions at the beginning of the engagement process.
2. Your agency is willing to share strategy
The agency you choose should be willing to share sample strategies with you. This doesn’t mean that you should expect your agency to provide the entire strategy upfront, for free. Spec work isn’t ideal and that’s not what you’re looking for.
You’re looking for one example.
They can share this with you over the phone, in your proposal or quote, or in a sample report. You’re looking for them to share a small snippet, a piece of their proposed digital strategy. This is important for several reasons. With sample data you can:
- Evaluate your agency’s competence
- Use sample data to evaluate potential performance
- Assess their digital strategy or marketing priorities
- Outline knowledge gaps and weak points in their process
You’re not asking for a comprehensive strategy document, you’re simply asking your agency to pick one part of your business and create a strategy around that; ask your agency a question (e.g., how would you increase sales for one of my products?).
3. Your agency can implement Strategy
Venture Capitalist Arthur Rock, believes strategy is important, but not as important as people who can execute that strategy.
“Over the past 30 years, I estimate that I’ve looked at an average of one business plan per day, or about 300 a year, in addition to the large numbers of phone calls and business plans that simply are not appropriate. Of the 300 likely plans, I may invest in only one or two a year; and even among those carefully chosen few, I’d say that a good half fail to perform up to expectations.
The problem with those companies (and with the ventures I choose not to take part in) is rarely one of strategy. Good ideas and good products are a dime a dozen. Good execution and good management in a word, good people are rare.”
A great strategy isn’t enough. You need amazing people who can implement your digital strategy and produce the results you need to grow.
Your agency should have two things:
- A team that can implement your digital strategy
- A proven track record showing that they’ve achieved this consistently in the past
If they can provide you with both or they’re willing to provide you with a trial period where you’re able to test their ability to execute your digital strategy, then it may be a good fit.
What To Expect From a Great Digital Strategy Company
Your agency should provide you with detailed specifics for each of these points. If you have more questions or concerns, you’ll want to bring those up with your agency.
- A clear track record: Your agency should be able to show you samples, references, case studies, and reviews showing that they’ve achieved results for other clients.
- Clear milestones: You’re looking for clear milestones, timelines, and deliverables that show you’re able to create and implement a plan successfully. Your agency should be able to provide you with a timeline, explaining how long everything will take to implement, and when they anticipate you’ll begin seeing results.
- Agency procedures: You’ll want to see how your agency plans on approaching your campaign or project. They should be able to break down the approach that goes into their strategy document; this document should clarify how they’ll approach your campaign, what you should expect, what their goals are and more.
The digital strategy company you choose should provide you with the options you need to implement the plan successfully.
Choosing the right digital strategy for your business is essential. You need a plan to guide you, outlining where you are, where you want to go, and how to get there. Having a fresh perspective from an outside eye can mean the difference between success and failure.
Remember, executing your digital strategy plan is even more important than simply having a plan. Use this pool to choose a digital strategy company that will partner with you to achieve your business goals.
Disclosure: This content is reader-supported, which means if you click on some of our links that we may earn a commission.
Every business needs insurance. Depending on your business type and industry, some of you will need more protection than others.
Without insurance, you could be liable for potentially hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars.
What happens if one of your vehicles is involved in an accident? How will you pay for the damages of a fire or flood in your office? What if an employee or customer slips and falls on your property?
You need to have insurance, or you’ll be paying these costs out of pocket.
But finding the best business insurance package for your organization can be tricky. On the one hand, you want to make sure that you’re covered, but on the other, you don’t want to overpay on premiums.
The best way to start your search is by choosing a reputable business insurance provider—I’ve narrowed down the top business insurance companies in this guide.
The Top 6 Options For Business Insurance
How to Choose the Best Business Insurance For You
There is no “one-size-fits-all” plan for business insurance. Every organization is unique, so you’ll need custom protection based on your needs. Certain insurance providers are definitely better for specific types of insurance, as well as other factors.
As you’re browsing and getting quotes from different providers, make sure you keep the following considerations in mind:
Some insurance providers have more experience covering businesses within certain industries.
For example, a restaurant would have very different insurance needs from a construction company. A dental practice won’t have the same needs as an ecommerce website. You get the idea.
So as you’re evaluating a potential provider, take a look at their existing clients and industries served. Do they have experience covering businesses in your industry? If not, look elsewhere.
If you have to submit a claim, you want to make sure that your insurance provider has your back. When you pick up the phone, will someone answer?
Any delay in the claims process will cost your business money. Let’s say there is a flood at your retail storefront. If your insurance company drags their feet, you might not be able to re-open. How soon will someone come to evaluate the property? How quickly can they approve a contractor to repair the damages?
Choose an insurance company that will go the extra mile to serve your business in times when you need their help the most—that’s what you’re paying them for.
Reputation of Provider
There are literally thousands of insurance companies in the United States. Some are brand new, some have been around since the inception of insurance, and many fall somewhere in between.
In most cases, I prefer to go with an older insurance company with a long-standing reputation. These providers have seen it all, and they’ve survived the test of time. You run some risk if you go with a newer company. Let’s say you have some obscure or rare situation with a claim. It could be a first for a new company, and they might not know how to handle it.
We’ll talk about the different types of business insurance in greater detail shortly. But in a perfect world, you’d like to get all of your business insurance coverage under one roof.
Getting property insurance from one provider, vehicle insurance from another, and general liability from a third company is just too confusing. So look for an insurance company that has a wide array of coverage options that accommodate your needs.
Getting proper coverage is obviously important, but how much is this going to cost you?
If you choose the cheapest plan you can find, you’ll probably be exposed to some more out of pocket costs. But if you choose the most expensive plan on the market, do you actually need all of that coverage?
Look for a balance between these two extremes. When it comes to insurance, I typically like to be a bit more conservative. I’d rather overpay a little bit than risk not being fully covered. But this all depends on your individual risk tolerance.
The Different Types of Business Insurance
There are dozens of different business insurance types. But for the purposes of this guide, I’m going to focus on the ones that are the most common and applicable to the masses.
General Liability Insurance
General liability coverage protects you from risks like bodily injuries and property damage. This typically includes medical payments if someone is hurt on your company’s property. General liability can also protect you from lawsuits related to things like libel, slander, privacy violations, copyright infringement, wrongful evictions, and more.
Most businesses will need some type of general liability coverage.
Professional Liability Insurance
Professional liability and general liability are often confused with each other, although the two are not one in the same.
Professional liability insurance is also referred to as errors and omissions (E&O) insurance. This protects businesses sued by clients claiming damages for professional services that you provide. Things like an accountant making a mistake on a tax return or a web developer making mistakes on a site that they manage would be examples where professional liability insurance is necessary.
Business owners insurance (better known as BOP) is a policy that combines liability and property into one package. It’s very common for small and mid-sized business owners across a wide range of industries. Most contractors will carry some form of BOP insurance as well.
BOP packages do not cover your employees—it’s specific to business owners.
Workers’ Compensation Insurance
Once you hire your first employee, workers’ compensation should be immediately added to your business insurance policy. Most states require workers’ comp insurance by law.
The coverage pays for things like medical expenses and disability for employees who were injured on the job. This could include minor slip and fall injuries to long-term conditions (like carpal tunnel) or even death.
Business Interruption Insurance
This type of insurance will protect your company if your operations are interrupted during some type of disaster or catastrophic event. Organizations with physical locations that could lose income due to these types of interruptions can benefit from a business interruption policy.
Your business can be compensated for lost income in these types of scenarios.
This type of business insurance policy is pretty-self explanatory. Just like you need insurance for your personal vehicle, you’ll need to cover any vehicles used for business purposes. If an accident occurs with one of your vehicles (whether you’re driving or not), you’ll need this type of coverage.
Whether you own or lease physical space, you need to have property insurance. Again, it’s similar to the type of insurance you’d have to protect your home or apartment.
This type of insurance will protect your business from events like fires or theft. Your equipment, inventory, furniture, etc. should all be covered in this policy. However, it’s worth noting that some types of natural disasters, like earthquakes, aren’t always covered in a standard property insurance policy. You might have to pay extra for this type of coverage, depending on your area and the insurance provider.
Product Liability Insurance
If your company manufactures products that are sold to the general public, you must have product liability insurance. This coverage will protect your company from lawsuits related to damages caused by your products.
For example, if someone is injured using one of your products, they could sue your company directly for their medical expenses. That’s when product liability insurance would kick in.
#1 – Chubb Review — Most Versatile Business Insurance Packages
Chubb is one of the most reputable business insurance providers on the market today. They are known for exceptional customer service.
This provider has a wide range of plans for small businesses, commercial insurance, industry-specific policies, and more.
Compared to other insurance providers on the market, Chubb has one of the most extensive coverage portfolios that you can find. Some examples of these policy categories include:
- Accident and health
- General liability
- Cyber insurance
- Environmental packages (premises pollution liability and contractor pollution liability)
- International insurance packages
- Management liability
- Inland and ocean marine
- Product recall liability
- Professional liability
- Workers’ compensation
Chubb has over 200 years of experience in the business insurance space. Just be aware that their premiums tend to be a bit higher than other options—but you’re paying for the best.
#2 – CNA Review — The Best Custom Business Insurance Plans
CNA is another reputable provider in the business insurance world. They have 120+ years of expertise in this field.
With CNA, you’ll benefit from a custom insurance package to help manage your risks and liabilities.
There are certain industries that CNA has the most experience working with; these include construction, education, manufacturing, healthcare, real estate, wholesale, technology, professional services, finance, and more.
Here’s a quick glance at some of the types of business insurance offered by CNA:
- Workers’ compensation insurance
- Professional liability insurance (errors and omissions)
- Property insurance
- Commercial auto insurance
- Business interruption insurance
- General liability insurance
- Equipment breakdown insurance
I like CNA because you can pick and choose which types of coverage you need, and get them bundled into a single policy that’s custom fit to your needs.
#3 – Hiscox Review — Best For Small Business Insurance
Hiscox is my top recommendation for small business owners. Their policies are affordable, while still providing you with enough coverage to protect your organization from a wide range of potential scenarios.
When I say that Hiscox is great for small businesses, I mean ALL small businesses. They’re currently providing protection to organizations in 180+ different industries.
The list of coverage types offered by Hiscox isn’t quite as extensive as some of the other options on the market today. But they still have more than enough options to accommodate the needs of most businesses.
- General liability insurance for small business
- Professional liability (E&O) insurance for small business
- Business owners policy (BOP) for small business
- Short-term liability insurance for small business
- Cyber insurance for small business
- Workers’ comp for small business
- Commercial auto insurance for small business
- Umbrella insurance for small business
- Employment practices liability insurance for small business
Hiscox is an established name in the business insurance world. They’ve been around since 1901 and insure 300,000+ small businesses across the US.
#4 – Insureon Review — Best Business Insurance Marketplace
Technically speaking, Insureon isn’t actually an insurance provider; it’s an online marketplace for business insurance.
But this robust platform definitely deserves a spot on my list. Insureon is super easy to use, and it’s the best way to compare coverage options from different providers in a single place.
If you’re looking to get the best possible rate, I strongly recommend Insureon. Otherwise, you’d have to get quotes from different providers individually, which is much more of a hassle.
Insureon allows you to compare free quotes from some of the top-rated and well-known business insurance providers on the market today (including some of the options on our list).
- The Hartford
- Liberty Mutual
- AmTrust Financial
The list goes on and on. You can browse policies for professional liability insurance, cyber liability insurance, BOP policies, general liability insurance, commercial property insurance, workers’ compensation insurance, and more.
Insureon is typically geared toward smaller businesses. But it’s used across a wide range of different industries.
#5 – Progressive Review — The Best For Commercial Auto Insurance
Progressive is an industry leader in the commercial auto coverage space.
With 45+ years of experience, they aren’t quite as old as some other players in the industry. However, Progressive is definitely a well-established and trustworthy provider for commercial auto policies.
Here’s a list of some common types of business vehicles insured by Progressive:
- Landscaping vehicles
- Tow trucks
- Box trucks
- Snow plows
- Sports utility vehicles (for hauling cargo and transporting products)
- Pickup trucks
It’s worth noting that there are certain types of vehicles that Progressive will NOT insure. This includes emergency vehicles (like fire trucks and ambulances), golf carts, double-decker buses, monster trucks, race cars, wheelchair buses, and a few others.
In addition to the commercial policies, Progressive also has coverage for general liability, BOP, professional liability, workers’ comp, and more.
#6 – The Hartford Review — The Best For Workers’ Comp
For those of you who don’t know, Hartford, Connecticut is known as the “insurance capital of the world.” So it’s no surprise to see The Hartford (named for its headquarters’ namesake) on our list.
This company was founded more than two centuries ago, back in 1810. To say they are a well-established name in the business insurance industry would be a drastic understatement.
The Hartford has an extensive list of product offerings for business insurance. Some of their most popular policies include:
- Business owners’ policy (BOP) insurance
- General liability insurance
- Workers’ compensation insurance
- Business income insurance
- Commercial auto insurance
- Commercial property insurance
- Commercial flood insurance
- Home-based business insurance
- Professional liability insurance
- Multinational business insurance
Overall, the workers’ comp coverages provided by The Hartford are second to none. If you want to give your employees the very best protection, look no further than The Hartford.
In a market saturated with business insurance options, there are really only six choices that I’d consider.
If you choose one of the names reviewed above, you can rest easy knowing that your business is being protected from a well-established and reputable provider.
Be sure to use the methodology I described earlier as you’re shopping around and evaluating different options. That’s the only way to get the best possible business insurance policy for your company.
In Friday’s series-opening win, the Lakers got a whole lot more from Howard than they could have expected.
Zach Lowe makes his picks for MVP, ROY and the other major NBA awards.
The post Lowe: LeBron vs. Giannis, Ja vs. Zion and the big awards debates appeared first on Buy It At A Bargain – Deals And Reviews.