Hi there, this is my second post on this blog and I’m excited to discuss the question on how companies and agencies can effectively cooperate together.
To put the long story short, I’m tired of hearing from the sales team who struggle communicating with the potential clients. I sincerely hope that they, along with the marketers and business owners, will find these pieces of advice helpful. In truth, if all of the preparation stages are completed, the project goes more smoothly for both parties.
Stage One: Understand the Roles, Save Time
On the one hand, a client hires an agency and supposes that they buy the expertise and time of the marketing team. On the other hand, an agency spends time and resources while working on every project. Me too, I spend hours working on a project that may require much more time than you imagine. So, there is always a ‘money vs. time’ dilemma.
At the very beginning, I demonstrate enthusiasm and ability to deal with any kind of problems. Meanwhile, a company searches for the best deal in terms of service. Price matters but generally speaking, a high-quality product can’t cost a dime.
The homework for a company here is to find a referral and get the first-hand information about their working experience with a chosen agency. Feel free to ask what bothers you. For example, whether the agency prepares easy-to-understand reports or not. You may want to know who is in charge of making advertising creatives. Whatever. Learn about how things work and what can possibly go wrong.
Note: This is a great resource for finding referrals: Clutch.co.
Stage Two: Clarify Your Expectations
The question of competencies and control is also important. I like working on digital marketing strategies but I can do nothing if my client doesn’t have a clear goal in mind. The important nuance I’d like to point out is that you can’t pick the right contractor without matching your needs with the competencies of an agency.
Remember that you can’t set business goals to a digital marketing team although you should keep them in mind. A marketing goal is subordinate to a business one but it typically refers to using marketing channels effectively. To get more explanation and examples, check out this article.
This stage may be challenging and requires some time to complete. In the commercial offer, we clarify what value we will be delivering to you and explain how to reach the set goals. However, it is impossible to accomplish many things at once, so we prefer developing a step-by-step working process to ensure that we deal with the core weaknesses and strengthen the competitive advantages our client have.
As a client, I sincerely expect you to be clear about your expectations and priorities. I’m not a Patrick Jane, a mentalist, who can read your mind to figure out what you want now and then. It is fine to negotiate the part where you will educate a marketing team on how your sales process goes and what issues of the target audience you address. And in most cases, you can decide where to spend your budget first, so think this over before signing up a contract with an agency.
Stage Three: Start Slowly
This may sound strange to you but what I mean is simply to launch an initial, pilot project. By doing so, an agency and you will come to the same page and develop strong relationships. Besides, after completion of the initial stage, e.g. an audit, you will learn more about us and we will learn more about you.
Our team is used to send regular updates to our clients, set deadlines, and add some free services if possible. In turn, you please inform us about any changes your company is undergoing that can possibly influence the project.
To sum up, give it a try and then make further decisions based on the experience you gained.
Stage Four: Ensure to Stay Tuned
Get ready to working together with the agency on a monthly basis. Yes, you can’t hire an agency and forget about digital marketing. Even if the initial project is a success, you should still check what is going on regularly. When a client is obviously interested in the results, this motivates me and keep motivated the technical team as well.
I advise companies to follow their agencies on social media and professional networks. For example, we post the industry updates, expert content, conference news, and more. Our specialists learn and test new technologies to be able to deliver even better solutions. So, you will know that your project is in safe hands.
One thing that I have realized recently is that our agency’s clients compete for the best talents in Promodo. A win-win situation is when a technical expert wants to work on a certain project not that the project is assigned to him or her. And projects with unclear goals, unrealistic expectations, and poor client’s management don’t capture the attention of highly experienced profs. They simply don’t want to waste their time on endless talks and negotiations with project managers both on the agency’s and client’s side.
Stage Five: A Non-Preparatory One
Analyzing the obtained results without ruffle or excitement is the fifth stage of work for me. I know that this is hardly a preparatory stage. Still, it’s good to know.
So, you are excited to learn what the results are. But let me upset you a bit: the results can differ from what you’ve expected. Although the team estimates the KPIs, they may differ significantly from the ones that you will receive in your monthly report. There are many reasons for that, like changes in the niche, successful campaigns of your competitors, lack of budget, and so much more. The key thing here is to stay positive and avoid stopping all the campaigns and moving away from the agency.
Either way, both parties should be informed and understand what is going on. I‘m often involved is analyzing why some problems occurred. This may be challenging but helps us find new opportunities and improve something that needs to be improved.
So, stay calm and analyze the situation, as digital marketing isn’t all about making quick decisions.
I prepared the aforementioned suggestions with a client in mind. Hope that this helps you get ready to work with a digital marketing agency as a whole and with individual specialists. Either way, some homework is needed to be done unless you want to spend more time and efforts on your digital marketing. If case you have questions (and you may have a lot), contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.