So, you’ve found yourself shopping for marketing agencies to partner with. Maybe you want to increase your marketing capacity, but the idea of more staff and overhead costs gives you a headache. Or maybe you need the kind of expertise that can only be found in a specialized agency. Whatever your reasoning, you’re on the cusp of something great. By expanding your team with a marketing partner, you’re investing in your company’s growth and continued success.
As the account manager for a digital marketing agency, I’ve seen partnerships take a business to heights it didn’t know was possible. And beyond that, some of my clients have become some of my best friends. But if you’re new to this whole partnering thing, a little preparation and know-how can go a long way to making things work. Here’s what you need to know to form a successful partnership with a marketing agency.
Find the Right Fit
Before you go signing any contracts, make sure you’ve done your research on the agency partners you’re considering. Have a look at their previous work, talk to some of their references (like other businesses they work with), just like you would if you were hiring a new employee. At PRIME, we often have a number of exploratory meetings with potential clients before offering a proposal to make sure we fit in terms of culture, goals and our ability to meet those goals within the given time frame and budget. You both want to make sure that, together, you can be successful.
Designate a Main Point of Contact
As you establish a partnership with a marketing agency, designate one person in your company who can be the main point of contact. Then, funnel any pertinent information to your agency through them. And if it doesn’t go without saying, choose someone who has the ability and capacity to communicate. A single point of contact helps avoid conflicting directions or opinions and makes it someone’s responsibility to communicate.
For larger companies, the point of contact might be the Director of Marketing. For small businesses, it might be one of the owners. The agency should also provide a single point of contact – likely an account manager.
Understand You First
Before you send your agency partner on their way, gain an in-depth understanding of your business and share it with them. Ask yourself:
- Who are we, and what is our reason for existing?
- Who is our ideal customer? Who do we want to target?
- What are our strengths as a business? What are our weaknesses?
- What are your marketing goals for the next one, three and five years?
Be honest and transparent. All of this information helps your marketing agency understand where they can fill gaps and how they’ll help you reach your goals.
Be Ready to Collaborate
Share your knowledge, and we’ll share ours. Especially when a partnership is new, there’s a fair amount of back-and-forth and larger group meetings because we’re all learning about each other and building trust. Be open to ideas and perspectives that might be different than your previous ones.
Invest in Communication
Timely communication with your marketing agency shows that you’re invested in the success of the partnership. If you leave your partner in the dark and neglect answering emails for weeks on end, it’s difficult for the agency to move forward with work and help you meet your goals. A commitment to improving your marketing requires communications – there’s simply no way around it.
To make sure communication is happening, we at PRIME often start with weekly meetings to answer ongoing clarifying questions and make sure we’re all on the same page. As we establish a rhythm, we’ll move to monthly or quarterly check-ins. Between those times, clients can always reach out for other needs.
Just like you, the people at your partnering agency are busy humans, doing their best to juggle timelines, projects and daily maintenance. If you have the urge to send a demanding email, asking for an asset within the hour, think twice about it. Any self-respecting agency probably won’t accept same-day turnaround deadlines on a regular basis. Most marketing agencies have a number of other clients and projects they’re working on simultaneously. Good work requires time and forethought, so do your best to set your marketing partner up for success with reasonable timelines.
Trust Your Partner
In hiring a marketing agency, you admit that you don’t have the time, resources or expertise to do it all on your own. And that’s a-okay! That’s why marketing agencies exist. Working with an agency requires you to instill trust in your partner and relinquish a portion of the control. Trust that your agency partner knows what it’s doing. You didn’t do all of that research beforehand for nothing, right? Do the work early on to educate your partner on your business, and then let them consult on what they do best.
Don’t Be Afraid to Have a Little Fun
It’s okay to make friends with your marketing agency! I’ve found that our best work starts relationships that are comfortable and amicable. Don’t hesitate to grab a beer or lunch with staff at your partner agency and get to know each other on a more personal level. We believe that a little fun makes us better partners, and we love partnering with businesses that feel the same.
Are you looking for a marketing agency that can help you grow and evolve your business? PRIME just might be the right fit for you. Have a look at our website – if you like what you see, don’t hesitate to reach out or schedule an exploratory call with us.
If you enjoyed this edition of PRIME Pulse, take a look at some of our other related articles:
- 3 Questions to Ask When Courting a Marketing Agency
- 5 Ways to Modernize Your Website in 2021
- Why Traditional Marketing Doesn't Get the Job Done