The start of any relationship—both personal and professional, can come with a bit of hesitation from both parties involved. It’s a natural part of anticipating what will come next—and how each of you will react in different situations. Ideally, both sides ultimately end up benefitting one another and cultivate open lines of communication to allow that to happen. The model holds true for the relationship between businesses and marketing agencies. If you have just started to work with an agency, you may be feeling a mix of emotions—nervous about whether it will work, excited about what’s to come. There are a few things that you as a business can do to make sure that you work well with your digital marketing agency in order to get the most out of the experience as possible.
- Make clear your businesses’ goals and needs. Your digital marketing agency wants to know what it is that you are looking for out of your relationship with them. Is your goal to optimize your website? Gain more social media followers? Drive sales to a certain demographic? Outline these goals at the outset. Also, make sure you understand your needs so that your agency can better address them. If you are in need of a way to better engage your social media followers, for example, then let your agency know so they can start working on strategies to improve your brand’s public-facing exposure.
- Be responsive to the needs of your agency. It’s not as simple as hiring your digital marketing agency and saying “go.” There are certain pieces of information that your agency will need in order to get started. This includes access to your digital assets like your website and social media accounts. Be patient in getting your agency the information they need to have to be able to help you. Expect that your agency will be asking you questions both in the initial phase of your relationship and throughout the duration, and keep in mind that it only serves the purpose of helping you achieve the goals you have for your business.
- Understand that your input is key. To work well with your digital marketing agency, you must understand that your agency’s ability to be effective is only as good as the material you provide them. If you want your agency to be able to represent the character behind your brand and what it stands for, then they need to understand what exactly it is that you stand for—and they won’t know that unless you tell them. For example, if you want your agency to write a blog about the history of your business, then understand that you need to provide them with the appropriate information to write that blog. You are the expert about your business and your industry, and your agency is there to put it all together in a package that is appealing to the consumer.
- Communicate on a regular basis. Regular communication is critical to a healthy business-to-agency relationship. Establish a point of contact at the outset who will be the direct line for communication with your agency. This person should be easy to reach and readily responsive. Sometimes all that’s necessary is a quick text message exchange. If you think it will benefit you, schedule regular face-to-face meetings or phone calls with your agency. Discuss what has been working, what hasn’t, and review any changes you think you need to make to your marketing strategy moving forward.
- Be transparent with your agency. Your agency needs to grasp the big picture in regard to your business’ operations and marketing efforts, even if they are not working on them directly. If another group is working on a project for you, then let your agency know. Also, make sure your agency clearly understand the ways that your business functions, and keep them up-to-date on new projects or initiatives you have coming down the pipeline. Doing so will help your agency be able to better support you and make recommendations.
- Be open to feedback. Remember, you hired your agency for a reason, so do not get too defensive when they make suggestions for improvement. Running a business is an emotional endeavor, and it can seem off putting if another entity comes in and tells you that what you are doing is not working. However, considering the agency you are working with is a reputable one, remember that they are only offering constructive criticism to help your brand achieve the highest level of success that it can achieve.
- Give feedback of your own. Don’t be afraid to offer your own suggestions! Collaboration is the name of the game if you want to work well with your digital marketing agency. You hired them because they are the experts, but you know your business better than they do. Collaboration between these two perspectives can create some exciting results for your brand’s growth and development.
Remember, your digital marketing agency is here to help, but you have to do your part in helping them to help you!
McNutt & Partners is a full-service digital and traditional advertising agency suited to meet all of your marketing needs. Call us at 334-521-1010, or visit our contact page.