As a marketing manager or small business owner, you spend your day listening to a lot of great ideas. They can come from anywhere – the boss, your team or even the front desk.
When it's time to turn those ideas into returns on investment, an agency can (or at least should) be your best friend. But, only if you build the right relationship.
How do you find the right marketing partner? Well, there are a few telltale signs of success that you've succeeded in putting the right team in your corner.
What does a good relationship with an agency look like? What expectations should you have?
Here are a few keys to winning the marketing game with your agency ...
1) Your agency should have ideas based on solid research.
A good creative team can ask the questions and dig up the data that determines whether those ideas you come across are even good ones.
Your marketing partner unlocks the manpower you need to root your idea in good research backed by experience.
Every marketing project needs a goal and every agency should be dedicated to helping you achieve them.
2) Your agency should be responsive.
Not only should an idea activate the agency to dig into the research, formulate creative and plot strategy, they should be communicating regularly.
Creative and campaign development is a collaborative process and you should have more than a say. Your agency should love your brand as much as you do. And if they don't, they should be able to clearly explain why and make recommendations for the fix.
Even a larger marketing agency should make you feel like you're their only client. Not getting answers to emails? Are voice messages floating around for days?
If anything, your agency should be calling you.
3) Your agency shouldn't just take orders.
If you have a problem to solve, someone should be on the other end of the line to fix it. When you're not in problem-solving mode, your agency should be thinking about making your brand better.
Are you just throwing projects at your agency and are they just processing your orders? Instead of checking off your to-do list, your agency should be making that list for themselves.
If your agency isn't proactively approaching you with new ideas and suggesting your next marketing project, your relationship might be broken.
4) You should trust your agency.
Good relationships are based on trust. You need to trust that the ideas your agency develops will help you achieve your goals.
That goes for the creative as well as the marketing strategy.
You should trust your agency to deliver. Are you comfortable with the media mix they've recommended? Do you trust them to place that media and use your budget wisely?
Then let them prove it with measurement. Your agency should be able to show they getting you value and return on investment.
Ultimately, you want what's best for you and your organization. Your marketing agency should too. And they should put your money where their mouth is.
Without a solid foundation of research, proven creative, crystal clear communication and proactive production of new ideas, a relationship can get rocky. If you’re constantly reaching out to your agency, if you're not getting good ideas presented to you, and if you don't trust them to deliver, it may be time to break up.