Your marketing agency is an extension of your team. Its professionals bring specialized expertise and experience that you don’t have the time or resources to recruit and manage in-house. As with any critical part of your organization, you want to get the most out of the time and budget you’re investing to achieve your business goals.
To help you maximize the value of your agency, we’re offering these three tips for helping ensure your agency partnership is delivering the best possible results.
1. Communicate to avoid problems
One of the biggest complaints that we hear when interviewing potential clients is that they don’t hear from their agencies often enough. Another is that they don’t know what their agencies are doing. As with any relationship, communication is crucial to success.
Is your agency proactively reaching out to you? Or do you have to initiate everything? Have they set up weekly, monthly or quarterly standing communications? Do they stick to the schedule?
At the bare minimum, a standing monthly touchpoint should be established, and at the beginning of launching new initiatives, weekly is recommended. We always encourage our clients to set aside time for agency communication so projects are always moving forward and necessary updates are being provided.
Another important question is whether your agency is providing you with timely alerts on things like campaign performance and key analytics. For instance, if your website traffic dips suddenly and abnormally, are you being notified immediately? If hours, days or weeks go by before you address it, this can have a long-term negative impact on performance.
Also, keep in mind that the quality of the communication is just as important as the quantity. Your agency should be giving you information that you need to make decisions and take action, not just fluff and vanity metrics.
2. Establish accurate measurements tied to clear goals
Your agency should help you clearly define success relative to your business goals and establish measurements that will accurately reflect your progress toward those goals. If it doesn’t, there’s a good chance it will lean on generic analytics and neglect the specific end results that really matter.
If your goal is to increase leads, and your agency is tracking website visits, you have a measurement gap that can be filled with conversion tracking. When your goal is to get people to fill out an appointment form or call you to get an estimate on your services, your measurement needs to be aligned with those activities.
Awareness and engagement metrics, such as email open rates, Facebook likes, and video views, are important, but they don’t support conversion-based end goals, such as generating leads and sales.
Be clear when you state your goals and expectations to your agency’s team and insist on the same level of clarity from them with regard to how they’re going to hold themselves accountable.
3. Set deadlines to drive success
The ability to perform high-quality work is important. The ability to deliver that work on time is essential. Consistently meeting deadlines is one of the most valuable traits your agency can possess. Without deadlines, expectations are likely to be misunderstood and delays and bottlenecks are virtually guaranteed.
Make sure your agency is being pro-active in setting deadlines. If it isn’t, do it yourself and hold the agency accountable. But remember, deadlines are a two-way street. If your response to reviewing and approving work is slow, then your agency will have a hard time meeting mutually agreed-upon deadlines.
By setting deadlines, you create urgency and focus and increase your chances of hitting your goals by a wide margin.
The best outcomes are the result of collaboration
As important as these tips are to supporting a successful partnership with your agency, they can only be effective when they’re part of a relationship-based effective collaboration.
Aaron Beyfus, lead web user experience designer at Buggies Unlimited, gave us his insight into what makes a successful agency partnership:
“Take the time to provide thoughtful answers to your agency’s questions. This is key to having a successful partnership with your agency because the better they understand your business, the better they can help you.”
BroadBased clients see the most success when we’re able to openly collaborate and merge our expertise with theirs. This allows us to accurately identify their perfect target audience, craft a unique and value-driven message, and deliver it on the most-effective platforms.
The best wins are shared wins, so if you’re partnered with the right agency and following these tips, the result will be a win-win.