There are many good reasons to work with a marketing agency. You might be interested in establishing a presence with an unfamiliar marketing strategy. You might be eager to see better results on a campaign that’s been dwindling. You might even be interested in saving money, paying an agency to manage your campaign rather than hiring a marketing manager full-time.
Whatever the case, your results are going to depend on the relationship and rapport you’re able to build with your marketing agency—and that means you’ll have to put in some work.
How to Work With a Marketing Agency
These tips will help you work with a marketing agency more effectively.
- Choose the right partner. Your results will be dependent on your ability to choose the right digital marketing agency. This means you’ll need to consider many different variables. For example, what is this agency’s area of specialty? How much experience have they had with your agency? Do they have access to ample resources to support you? How long and involved are their contracts? How much are they charging you? Do they seem easy to communicate with? In line with this, you’ll need to check out online reviews and testimonials to ensure this is the right partner for your needs.
- Set expectations early. Once you choose a marketing agency partner, it’s important to set expectations early. What are you hoping to accomplish? What do you define as “success?” What kinds of behavior are unacceptable from this agency? How do you think this campaign is going to go? This is a great chance to clear up any differences in understanding so you can move forward as a team.
- Be transparent. Similarly, you should be transparent throughout the development of your relationship. If your agency asks you for clarifying information about your brand or your goals, provide it. If you have ideas or thoughts that could better the campaign, bring them up. The more proactive you are, the better.
- Establish terms for communication. Different companies have different expectations when it comes to communication. Some prefer a hands-off approach, allowing the agency to do the work it does best with minimal interaction. Others prefer to have weekly (or even more frequent) meetings. Express your preference from the start.
- Remain clear and concise. In all forms of communication, attempt to remain as clear and concise as possible. Review all your written communication before sending to ensure you’ve adequately captured your thoughts, and don’t add unnecessary details. The smoother your communication with your agency is, the better your campaign is going to run.
- Trust, but verify. “Trust but verify” is a Russian proverb cautioning individuals to trust the people they work with, but to always verify that their trust is well-placed. In the context of working with a marketing agency, this means always taking the time to verify that what they’re telling you is true. It’s a good system of checks and balances that can help you get the best possible results.
- Listen to expert recommendations. Your marketing agency of record will serve as your advisor, providing you with pieces of advice about your campaign and relaying expertise to help you make better decisions. You hired this agency because you trust them as experts, so be prepared to listen to that advice.
- Get to know the whole team (if you can). You might have a designated contact within your chosen marketing agency, but it’s helpful to get to know the whole team (if you can). Meeting and talking to other team members will help you get a sense for how the organization operates, and can help you improve your relationship.
- Focus on outcomes. It’s easy to get bogged down by the minutiae of individual tactics and low-level decisions within a campaign, but you’re much better off focusing on the bottom line. Judge the agency based on the outcomes they provide, and keep outcomes as your highest priority.
- Remain flexible. Try to remain as flexible as possible. Be willing to experiment with new tactics, listen to new ideas, and don’t be afraid to shake up your routine. Your flexibility can dramatically improve your results.
|Choose the right partner
|Consider factors like specialization, experience, resources, contract terms, communication, and online reviews.
|Set expectations early
|Clearly define goals, success metrics, campaign expectations, and unacceptable behaviors from the beginning.
|Provide clarifying information, share ideas, and actively engage in the development of your marketing campaign.
|Establish terms for communication
|Express your preferred communication frequency and style to ensure a smooth and effective working relationship.
|Remain clear and concise
|Ensure all communication is clear, concise, and devoid of unnecessary details to facilitate better understanding.
|Trust, but verify
|Trust your agency but verify the information they provide to ensure you are getting the best possible results.
|Listen to expert recommendations
|Value the expertise of your agency and be open to their advice and recommendations to improve decision-making.
|Get to know the whole team
|Familiarize yourself with the entire agency team to understand how they operate and strengthen your relationship.
|Focus on outcomes
|Prioritize bottom-line results and judge the agency's success based on the outcomes they deliver for your business.
|Embrace flexibility, experiment with new tactics, and be open to new ideas to enhance the effectiveness of your campaign.
Identifying a Bad Relationship
If you’ve tried all these strategies, and you’re still struggling to make the partnership “fit,” it may be time to sever your relationship with this marketing agency. Don’t stress too much about it—if you’ve already tried to make things work, there’s no option left but to seek another option. If this is the case, provide feedback to the agency to let them know why you’re leaving, and start looking for an agency that’s a better fit for your needs.
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Evaluating Agency Performance and Metrics
Evaluating the performance and metrics of your marketing agency is crucial to ensure that your investment is yielding the desired results. Here are key points to consider:
- Define Clear KPIs: Start by establishing clear Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) relevant to your specific marketing goals. These could include website traffic, lead generation, conversion rates, or social media engagement metrics.
- Regular Performance Reviews: Schedule regular meetings with the agency to review campaign performance. Use these sessions to analyze the data against the set KPIs and discuss any necessary strategy adjustments.
- ROI Analysis: Assess the Return on Investment (ROI) of your marketing campaigns. This involves comparing the revenue generated from the marketing efforts against the cost of the services provided by the agency.
- Customer Feedback and Engagement: Gauge customer feedback and engagement levels. This can be done through surveys, social media interactions, and website analytics to understand the impact of the campaigns on your target audience.
- Competitor Benchmarking: Compare your campaign performance against industry benchmarks or competitor activities. This comparison can provide valuable insights into where your campaigns stand in the market.
- Analytical Reporting: Ensure that the agency provides detailed and transparent reports. These reports should not only present data but also offer insights and recommendations for future strategies.
- Adaptability and Flexibility: Evaluate the agency’s ability to adapt to changing market trends and your business needs. The capacity to pivot strategies based on performance data is a key indicator of a proficient agency.
- Long-term Value: Look beyond immediate metrics to understand the long-term value brought by the agency. Consider factors like brand awareness and customer loyalty that might not translate immediately into sales but are crucial for sustained growth.
- Technological Proficiency: Assess the agency’s use of technology in tracking and analyzing data. The use of advanced tools and platforms can significantly enhance the accuracy and efficiency of campaign tracking.
- Communication and Transparency: Effective communication and transparency from the agency in explaining the data and performance metrics are essential. It ensures that you are fully aware of how your budget is being utilized and what results it’s yielding.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I work with a marketing agency?
Working with a marketing agency can help you establish a presence with new marketing strategies, improve campaign results, and save money compared to hiring a full-time marketing manager.
How do I choose the right marketing agency?
To choose the right agency, consider their area of specialty, experience with your industry, available resources, contract terms, communication ease, and check online reviews and testimonials.
What should I do once I choose a marketing agency partner?
Set clear expectations early, define your goals for success, establish acceptable behavior, and communicate how you envision the campaign.
How can I ensure effective communication with the agency?
Be transparent and proactive in providing information about your brand and goals. Establish terms for communication, expressing your preferred level of interaction.
Why is clear and concise communication important?
Clear and concise communication ensures better understanding and smoother campaign execution.
How can I trust the marketing agency’s information?
Trust but verify by taking the time to verify the information provided by the agency, ensuring you receive accurate advice and deliverables.
Should I listen to the agency’s expert recommendations?
Yes, listen to their advice as they serve as your advisor and provide valuable expertise to enhance your campaign decisions.
Is it essential to get to know the whole team at the agency?
Getting to know the entire team can help you understand the organization’s dynamics and strengthen your relationship with the agency.
What should I focus on when evaluating the agency’s performance?
Focus on outcomes and the bottom line, judging the agency based on the results they deliver.
Why should I remain flexible in working with the agency?
Being flexible allows you to experiment with new tactics and ideas, leading to improved campaign results.
Working with a marketing agency offers numerous benefits, but building a successful partnership requires effort. Follow the provided tips, establish clear communication, and trust the agency’s expertise to achieve your campaign goals. If a relationship doesn’t work out, provide feedback and seek a better-fit agency. A strong partnership with the right marketing agency can significantly contribute to your business’s success and growth.
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