Planning for a digital marketing campaign is, by anyone’s definition, a complex task. But all the preparation in the world won’t do any good if you don’t take one very important first step – making sure your infrastructure is ready. Think of it this way: You may be able to generate a huge amount of interest in your product or service and drive a tremendous amount of traffic to your website, but what good will all that effort be if your site is slow or – even worse – not functional? That’s why preparing your infrastructure should be the very first step in your digital marketing campaign plan, and that means choosing a hosting provider that’s right for your company.
Which Provider is Best for You?
Just as preparing your infrastructure is the most important first step in your digital marketing campaign, choosing the right provider is the most important first step of preparing your infrastructure. You can start by understanding exactly what services you’ll need from a hosting company, then making sure that the package offered by your hosting company is customized to suit your specific needs so you’ll never pay for services you don’t actually use.
Choose a provider that’s proactive. While many companies can offer you a customized package of services, finding a proactive provider is much more challenging. At PointClick, we make the extra effort of monitoring your infrastructure on a regular basis – not just when you have an issue. That means we can anticipate which issues may become problems in the future; find and repair breaches before any damage is done; and monitor the progress of your campaign over time.
Will Your Data Be Safe?
Almost any provider will tell you that they protect your data, but it’s important to know the details about how they intend to do that. You’ll need to understand what safety measures your provider has in place at their data centers. Is access restricted or can anyone enter their buildings? How well are they constructed and protected against the ravages of severe weather or other disasters? What kind of data recovery plans does your provider have in place that will ensure that your data is safe, and your network is up and running as quickly as possible in the case of an emergency?
At PointClick, we spell out very clearly for our customers exactly the security and compliance measures we take to protect your information. This includes performing anti-virus and firewall maintenance; encrypting data and managing a secure FTP server; performing CDN management and maintenance; and managing web application firewalls. In addition, our routine monitoring of your network enables us to find breaches before any real damage is done.
Is Your Infrastructure Ready to Support Your Digital Marketing Campaign Plan?
Once you’ve chosen a hosting company with a customized package of services, and have some assurance that your information will be adequately protected, you’ll need to work with your provider to make sure your infrastructure is ready for the results of your digital marketing campaign. You’ll need sufficient storage and bandwidth to accommodate what could be a significant increase in traffic.
There are other tasks that your provider should perform as part of your campaign preparation prior to launching your campaign. Ask your provider what kind of testing they perform. There are various categories, each of which is vital to ensure that your system is ready for your campaign: application testing determines how well your network can handle extremely heavy traffic loads; and load and stress testing will determine how your system performs under a variety of different conditions. But testing isn’t the only task that needs to be done before you launch your campaign. At PointClick, we understand how vital it is to ensure that you’re ready for whatever the results of your campaign may bring. For one of our customers, that meant scaling up their existing DNN platform by 4,900% – increasing their capacity from 4,000 users per year to 200,000!
From ensuring that you have sufficient bandwidth and storage to optimizing your applications – you’ll need a provider that offers complete go-to-market launch support.
Will Your Provider Follow Up?
Obviously, in addition to ensuring that your infrastructure is prepared before your digital marketing campaign is launched, you’ll also need to make sure that your hosting company will follow up routinely after your campaign begins and will continue to do so throughout your working relationship. At PointClick, we are proactive in continually monitoring your system, which enables us to provide you with the information you really need to make your marketing efforts a success, rather than bombarding you with meaningless technical information you don’t need (or want) to know. We provide information that’s vital in measuring the effectiveness of your campaign, such as:
- Who is visiting your site
- How long it takes for each page to load
- How your site performs in different regions
- What type of content is most frequently loaded
- When your site goes down and for how long
Are You Receiving True Customer Service?
Have you ever put in a service call to a company, only to wait a ridiculously long period of time for an automated response? Make sure your provider will be there when you need them the most, and that they’ll get back to you personally, rather than with just an automated response. They should treat you not just as a client, but as a trusted business partner.
At PointClick, we go above and beyond what most other hosting companies provide with another service that might just prove to be invaluable to your campaign: We provide a complete End-to-End Network Technology and Specifications document for each client. This is, essentially, a map of the whole system. Having this type of information enables our customers to recreate their entire campaign if service is ever discontinued or interrupted, and they can take that plan to ANY hosting provider.
Ask your prospective provider if they’ll do the same. If not, it may be time to turn to a hosting company that truly understands the needs of marketers and specializes in hosting for digital marketing teams -PointClick.
If you’re still researching, we have a free eBook titled The Little Things Matter In Managed Hosting: Why Digital Marketers Need A Managed Hosting Partner That Works As Your Extended IT Team. Download it now if you need some help selecting your Managed Hosting Provider.