Every company has a marketing goal or two - a challenge they’re up against or a concern they want addressed. Whether it’s to increase engagement on social media, double the amount of offers on your website, or host a site without issues – there’s always room for improvement.
If you’ve decided to work with a marketing agency or are considering it, you should know what you’re getting yourself into. We don’t mean to scare you off, but it’s good to know what exciting, challenging, and creative endeavors are headed your way once you sign on the dotted line.
You’re going to expect results from the agency you’ve decided to work with. In order to give you the results you want, there are five things you should expect your agency partner to ask of you: join their family, be ready for challenges, embrace creativity, expect data, and multiple check-ins. Don’t be alarmed. There’s a purpose for each of these – and that purpose is so your agency can learn about you, grow with you, and provide you with results you are satisfied with.
Welcome to Your New Family
When you decide to work with a marketing agency you don’t just have a new vendor relationship, you gain an entire family. From the account managers and developers to the graphic designers and social media leads – you have a team of people you don’t always see or work with that are on your side. It’s almost like your company marries an agency and upon that marriage you gain some kick ass in-laws. If you aren’t sure whether or not you’re ready for the commitment of marrying your company to an agency yet, see how dating might help you prepare.
When you’re a part of a family, making sure everyone is on the same page and maintaining a relationship that is built on trust, honesty, and communication is key. Without these three contributors from both sides, the results you see won’t be the best they can be. These relationships won’t come easily; just like family relationships they take work and perseverance from both sides.
Rise to the Challenge
Your agency is going to challenge you in more ways than one. The first challenge being that they will probably ask you some tough questions right off the bat. These questions will provide them with an opportunity to get to know you AND your company personally. Your agency will spend most of their time listening to your answers to gain a better understanding of your wants, needs, and company goals. From there, they will most likely ask more questions so they are able to help you dig even deeper and find the root of the problem(s) you might be having and WHY they matter to you.
After listening and doing some digging, your agency will be able to tailor a strategy that tells your company’s story and generates the results you want. What’s the benefit of a custom strategy built upon consumer and persona research, SEO and unique creative content and offers? You tell us.
Get Those Creative Juices Flowing
Agencies want to be creative and explore new territory for your company with you. So, your agency might challenge you to be creative in ways that you never could have imagined. If your expectations aren’t being met, say something and offer a suggestion; dare to be creative and bold. Success for you and your agency can only be built on transparent conversations about what is working and what isn’t. Without those conversations, changes can’t be made and expectations can’t be met.
As your agency works with you they will pick up pieces of the puzzle that solves the problems your company is having. How does this happen? Communication during the creative process. The benefit of working with an agency is they are able to listen to what your company wants, but also read in-between the lines and put something together creatively based on what they take away from your conversations together.
In a perfect world, you will sit down to have a conversation with your agency and they will show you content that you are head over heels in love with. Every. Single. Time. We realize that won’t always happen but it’s important for you to be able to trust your agency and their creative skills. They’re the Picassos of the 21st century! Just remember to keep the right side of your brain full of ideas, creativity, and openness to accepting others’ ideas and visions.
Knock, Knock …
Anyone knows if you’re going to talk the talk, you better walk the walk. If an agency is promising you results, you better believe they’re going to deliver on that promise. What’s the best way to do this? Marketing analytics and data.
In order to make sure that your company’s goals are being met, your agency should provide you with regular reports. Your agency might be knocking at your door or requesting to meet to cover monthly or quarterly reports depending on your preference. The data in these reports will show what the traffic to and from your site is and where it’s coming from, the open and click-through rates for your emails, and your social and blog performance stats. It shows you what is working and what isn’t from a numerical point of view to ensure you’re getting the results.
Sometimes it happens over the phone, maybe even face-to-face with a coffee and donut in hand - however your agency checks in with you, it should be done frequently. These types of check-ins are a little different than your monthly report updates. Now that you’re a part of a new family, you can expect to hear from your account manager as much as you do from your mother. Maybe that's a stretch. But don’t be surprised if you do get a call just to check in and see how you’re doing or how things are going at your company.
Agencies want to make sure your expectations are being met, and then some. If an agency isn’t meeting those expectations, they should hear about it. In order to keep that partnership going, your agency might offer a six month survey during your time working with them or a survey after your time together has “ended”. These surveys will give your agency the opportunity to hear and learn about what you want or wish that they were doing better so your partnership can continue to grow.
We know most agencies want to create a partnership with you that’s meaningful. When you partner with an agency you create a bond that lasts beyond any contract date. From the moment you walk through an agency’s door you will be immersed in a world full of creativity, analytics, and smiling faces. The relationships you build, remarkable creative content you receive, and conversations you have will enhance and challenge your company in ways you never imagined.
As the Vice President, I build strong, personal relationships with each and every client that partners with Leighton Interactive. I love helping clients achieve their goals, dreams, and visions in ways they never thought possible. My daily schedule consists of meeting with clients, communicating client information to the inbound marketing team, and managing account managers. When I'm not busy with client work, I love to relax and spend time with my two amazing kids.