It is something that is overlooked by many on both the client and agency sides in marketing. In fact, many ignore the value of the relationship so much that it hinders the campaign’s current or ongoing success. Relationships forge bonds. Working in silo makes it easy to breakaway. For marketing managers and coordinators that are working on client side campaigns, they can easily fall into the trap of a ‘set and forget’ strategy with the agency. Agencies are guilty of doing the same thing as well. From client’s point of view, it always seems like agencies are engaging in ‘disappearing act’ once the contracts have been signed and the funds have been handed over. To build a strong foundation of success, the two sides must commit to forging a bond of trust and commitment that will see both parties succeed in their endeavours over the long term. Below are steps to successfully cultivate the perfect relationship with your digital agency.
To ensure that the relationship starts on the right foot, you need to have complete confidence in the agency that you are hiring. It shouldn’t feel like you are being sold to. Rather, it should feel like you are partnering with an agency that will further boost the success of your digital presence. Before hiring an agency, we recommend taking the following actions.
- Check the agency’s online reviews. Are people talking about the agency positively or negatively. Assess the context of the reviews and take a calculated decision based on risk versus reward.
- Get references from previous clients. Previous clients will give you a better indication on how well they performed. Did they meet their expectations? What were the positives and the negatives?
- Check their web profile. Have they actively tried to engage in digital activities themselves? And if so, what have they successfully accomplished?
- Has the business been nominated or won any awards? And if so, what ones?
The success of the campaign will come down to the success of the account manager handling your account.
There are good agencies and there are bad agencies. The success of the agency is dependant on the success of the account manager. Qualities to look out for with a good account manager includes:
- A person that focuses on the needs and priorities for your business.
- A person that is up-to-date with the practices, strategies and tactics within the industry.
- A person that lives and breathes the digital marketing industry.
- A person that comes across confidently.
- A person that it open, honest and transparent. If they feel as though they have something to hide, it could seriously impact the confidence of the relationship over the long-term.
When you are hiring an agency, you are hiring them as your expert to take control of that specific marketing tactic. It is essential that you put your full trust into the agency to avoid any future discontentment and allowing the your expectations to be managed.
Going into the relationship with animosity and conflict will only drive both parties apart and will negatively impact the campaign. Should problems arise with the performance of the campaign, consult with all parties professionally and commit to a solution that will allow you to succeed.
Prior to the engagement, you should have received details about the ‘Scope of Work’ that will be implemented in your campaign. Also ask about the frequency of reports that will delivered to improve the transparency on the work being done on the campaign.
Many agencies and clients struggle when it comes to cultivating a positive relationship. Every business needs to formulate a team that will help them accelerate their rate of growth and motivate the agency and the client to work towards the same goal and feel like they are moving forward as a unit. There are no shortcuts to developing a great client-agency relationship. Put your full trust and confidence into the agency to see the agency outperform your expectations over the long term.