Is your organisation partnering with a marketing agency? There are so many advantages in choosing to work with a digital marketing agency: expertise on tap, extra resourcing to push your business further than ever before, and ongoing education opportunities, for example.
Ultimately, partnering with an agency is an investment – and, like any investment, it’s important that you review the arrangement regularly to ensure you’re getting the most value possible. Here are some tips to help you get the very best results from your marketing agency partner.
The truth is, agency teams love a chat. They want to know everything about your business, your project, your expectations, your budget, and more. Everything you tell your partner agency is going to help them map out solid, relevant marketing plans for your business. Informal chats can often lead to great ideas, so ensure that you have regular catch-ups scheduled with your external marketing partners to discuss upcoming campaigns, potential challenges, and proposed digital marketing ideas.
Healthy, effective communication is a two-way street. Inform your agency of any potential project delays, changes, and staff updates as early as possible, and ensure they are also communicating any potential delays and updates on their end. The more transparency between both parties, the stronger the relationship and the more effectively you can both work towards achieving your marketing goals.
Good agency teams will always proactively learn about the latest digital marketing trends, platforms and services. Your agency team is essentially your go to marketing expertise, so you should feel comfortable accessing that knowledge at any time, whether that’s a one-off question or a scheduled training workshop.
Basically, your agency should have the best interests of your business and team at heart, and should be willing to offer advice and extra support whenever needed to ensure you deliver on your goals. Marketing experts who are happy to get into the trenches with you and work out the best plan of action is a good indication that you’re getting bang for your marketing buck.
Provide feedback early and often
Digital marketing agencies want to help you and see your project succeed, and your feedback is a vital part of the process. It is important to remember that even after multiple meetings, calls and catch-ups, the creative process can still occasionally leave room for interpretation.
To get the most from your digital marketing agency, ensure you provide detailed feedback early. Be as precise as possible: comments such as ‘I don’t like it, but I don’t know why,’ aren’t constructive and don’t allow much room for improvement. Drill down: is the language in the copy too formal or informal? Did you want to use different images? Is your logo not prominent enough?
When you receive the agency’s proposals, mocks-ups, copy and other creative assets, go over everything and note anything you want changed. This is the time to be honest and as granular as possible. Clarifying what you do and don’t like will allow the agency to understand your needs and deliver accordingly. Try to deliver feedback in one round to keep the revision and approval process efficient. It’s also a good idea to nominate a single person on your team to deliver/receive all feedback – too many cooks can make for a messy process!
Give your agency what they need
Creative teams need to provide collateral that is consistent with your organisation’s brand. If you have a style guide, brand guidelines, logos, or images, make sure you provide them early in the process so that your external marketing team can quickly get a feel for them. And to ensure nobody’s time is wasted, provide this information in a way that agency staff can easily access, such as cloud storage like Google Drive, Sharepoint or Dropbox.
Set reasonable expectations
In an ideal world all projects and plans would have plenty of lead time for everyone with clear and realistic deadlines. In reality this can be a huge challenge. Issuing short deadlines and quick turnarounds to your agency may mean that material is not as good as it can be. Allowing for longer lead times means your agency team has enough time to properly ideate and create, delivering you the best results possible.
Trust the process
It can be hard to trust an outside organisation to bring your ideas to life. You may have your heart set on a concept or approach that you believe will get results, but your digital agency may have reasons why that proposal isn’t ideal. Hear them out: remember, this is their area of expertise and they want you to succeed. They may propose something that you are resistant to. A good digital agency will explain their rationale and justify how their proposal will improve results.
To get the best out of your agency, ask them to show you more evidence of their decision, for example, if it will be a better return on investment, or if there is a better platform for your business to be using.