So, you’ve hired your dream marketing agency. (If you haven’t yet, check out our blog on how to choose a marketing agency.) You put a lot of resources into finding the right agency, but you’re not quite done yet — it’s time to set yourself up for a long-lasting agency relationship. Even the best relationships take work, and agency relationships are no different. The good news is that, like most things, great work yields great results.
Our CMO, Jesse, was featured on a B2B Growth podcast How to Hire an Agency and Be a Good Partner. He speaks about the best ways to approach an agency partnership and how to set yourself up for success. Other members of our team also brainstormed our best tips so you can have a strong, long-term relationships with your agencies.
Adam Williams, Chief Executive Officer: Trust is the core component in the relationship with the marketing agency.
Partnership fails without trust. The way to gain trust is through open, honest and constant communication. If the client or agency is hurt or feels something isn’t right, not mentioning it puts a strain on the relationship. Agencies can’t fix problems they don’t know exist, nor can clients. Clients should work with agencies that they know they can be honest with.
Ray Cameron, Director of Digital Marketing: Remember your goals!
There are a lot of activities that can keep you and your agency busy — lots of trends and ideas that can steal your attention. Review your organization’s goals and your marketing goals monthly to make sure all of your efforts are aligned. The work that you and your agency do is most effective when it’s done to achieve specific outcomes.
Ben Robb, Director of Strategic Engagement: Affecting change takes time.
If there is a strategic element to your engagement, be prepared to wait before you see results. Planning for and implementing big changes to an established marketing program can take months. Your agency will need to research, analyze, plan, test hypotheses and test them again before unrolling important changes. If the process goes well, it will be worth it.
Mark Rantal, Senior Designer: Ask about how to give design feedback.
Talking about visual design is hard. Many bring merely their own subjective values and feedback to an aesthetic conversation, expecting others to eloquently translate fuzzy words like “pop,” or “eye-catching,” (the best I’ve heard is: “We want more zhush!”). But bringing examples instead of opinions can make a world of difference. Good design is “show, don’t tell.” Take the same approach when working with designers.
Anthony Hyatt, Marketing Manager: Cast vision together.
Agencies operate best when you give them your organizational goals and work backwards, versus handing them one-off projects. Trying to attract new customers? Grow your social following? Get more ad revenue from time on site? You’ve already hired a team of marketing experts trained to diagnose and treat.
Maggie Bartlett, Marketing Manager: Focus on strong communication.
Be open and honest with your agency about updates, feedback and changes regarding your business, products or the work your agency delivers. They are working hard to make you look good! They need honesty and the most up-to-date information from your team to be successful.
Beryl Coulter, Marketing Specialist: Have clear expectations.
Unclear expectations can become a major source of frustration between a company and its agency. From turnover time to communication method even to file format, tell your agency exactly what you expect — and be honest! Your agency will be grateful to have standards so the relationship does not become a game of trial and error.
Lily Benjamin, Marketing Specialist: Remember your agency is your partner.
You and your agency are both working towards the same goals, and you both bring something unique to the table. You are your business expert – you know your products and services better than anyone. Your agency brings extensive experience in a variety of marketing areas. Combine these perspectives and work together to brainstorm, strategize, plan, execute and see results.
There you have it — our best advice on having a productive, long-lasting experience with your agency! Every agency relationship is different, and as you settle into yours, keep track of your learnings to share with your agency — they’ll find the feedback invaluable.
Do you have your own tips you’d like to add? Or, do you have further questions on hiring and working with an agency? We want to hear from you! Feel free to reach out. Also, if you’re curious about our long-lasting client relationships, check out our testimonials.