You want to get more out of your marketing budget and really feel it was worth it a year from now — even five years down the road. You’d like to meet business goals faster, so you can grow into the future. Building a strong client agency relationship with your marketing agency gets you there.
When you treat your marketing agency like a partner, you get projects done quickly, effectively, and on budget. With that in mind, here are five factors you can influence to manufacture a win-win partnership with your agency.
Set Expectations Early
Just like in personal relationships, it never pays to be a “mind-reader.” When people in a business partnership assume they know what the other wants, both end up disappointed. Unspoken expectations aren’t met — and yes, feelings get hurt. We’re all human.
Marketing is a major long-term investment in your brand’s health, success, and growth. A good marketing agency will always generate ROI, more than justifying your marketing budget.
To do this, they work with you to set goals, a path forward, and the marketing strategy needed to follow that path. The clearer you are about your expectations, the straighter, more efficient, and cost-effective this path becomes.
This is how to work with agencies. Your united focus means you get where you’re going faster with fewer hiccups along the way.
Both you and your marketing agency project management team are vital to marketing success. No marketing agency can work completely siloed from your organization. What they do is too integral to business operations.
A successful marketing team aligns itself with sales goals, customer care, quality control, and supply chain logistics. To do this, they need active and regular communication from you and leadership in other departments.
A weekly meeting is a great way to make sure you’re on the same page with your agency. You might invite other team leaders to a meeting monthly, or more, to further enhance communication and alignment.
Honesty and Transparency
To achieve marketing success, both you and the marketing agency should feel comfortable being honest with each other. The best client-agency relationship is transparent on both sides.
On the client side, you need to be clear about your objectives, goals, and budget. If you’re just testing the waters and afraid to go all-in, share — don’t hold that back. This allows your marketing agency to develop a marketing strategy that will be most effective for your personal risk tolerance, timeframes, goals, and expectations.
At the same time, you want your marketing agency to tell you if a business practice isn’t aligning with the brand message, making it harder for the marketing agency to help you succeed. If they run into challenges, you want to know about them sooner rather than later.
Fostering honesty and transparency makes this happen.
It comes down to the “you get what you give” mantra. That’s not to say that a marketing agency would intentionally lack transparency because you’re not being transparent. But when you’re open, you naturally bring openness out of others in all walks of life.
Understanding Each Other’s Business
Do you know what your marketing agency does and how their business functions? If you’re doing some of the above, you likely have a general idea.
What you and your digital marketing agency do impacts the other, so it’s important to understand each other’s business to some extent. Know how to work with a marketing agency, and they’ll better understand how to work for you.
To this end, your marketing agency should encourage you to participate in onboarding with the agency. During onboarding, you learn a bit about the technologies, tactics, strategies, hiring practices, review processes, and people involved in your success.
Feedback From Both Sides
A trusting relationship includes a feedback loop, not just top-down, one-way ultimatums. When you welcome feedback on both sides, you and your agency gain insights and can make improvements faster to meet business goals.
A Solid Content Approval Process
“We apologize to anyone we may have offended. This content doesn’t represent the values of our company” is not a message you ever want to have to blast out after your account posts questionable content.
But at the same time, content must move quickly and efficiently through the approval process. If you don’t actively and consistently engage your audience, they forget about you quickly. That’s where those slow periods come from.
A streamlined content approval process can balance these two needs. Approval workflows, tools, responsibilities, and deadlines can ensure approvals run smoothly.
Actively participate in the approval process or assign someone you trust in your organization to do so. Make sure the agency you hire has internal checks as well. As with all of these factors, you’ll generate more leads and get better results when you become a partner with your digital agency in a winning marketing strategy.
Wrap Up: Client-Agency Relationship Building
A strong client-agency relationship doesn’t just happen. It’s nurtured. And nurturing a relationship is always a two-way street. Actively create a client-agency partnership to get more out of marketing for less, and maximize your marketing ROI.