To stand out to consumers, marketers need both imagination and tact. Many business owners fail when they try to do everything alone, especially if they don’t have the experience to market their business. This is where an advertising agency can help.
There are several ways to help marketers succeed in their relationship with their advertising agency. A good deal of that is through solid communication and listening to each other. The agency was hired due to its expertise in marketing. However, the marketer knows their business best. This turns into a successful collaboration if everyone learns from each other, listens to each other, and grows through the process.
Marketers must do their homework before hiring an agency. Make a shortlist based on the agency’s offering, and then organize meetings with your selection of marketing firms.
Make sure to Listen…and Ask Questions!
Explain to the potential agency where marketing stands today with your business and ask questions on how the agency can improve awareness, consideration, and ultimately, intent to buy your product or service. Request honest feedback on your website and social media pages. This way, you can gauge their level of interest in your company and whether you can collaborate with them long-term.
Pricing varies between agencies and tasks. For example, a one-time project like a website redesign will likely be based on an agreed-upon flat fee. Contrarily, a tailored, long-term SEO package includes everything you need and costs more, which can be priced as a long-term contract.
It is important to discuss pricing upfront to avoid any surprises. Compare costs and services offered by the agencies you interview. Your final choice should be an agency that can effectively promote your business at a reasonable cost. However, always remember, “you get what you pay for!” It’s essential to keep this in mind as you decide on a partner.
Follow Up and Stay in Touch!
Once you’ve chosen your agency partner, it’s essential to keep in close touch with them. Some agencies will automatically contact you, but you should meet regularly, even hold a weekly status meeting covering what they handled over the current week and what they aim to accomplish next week. This also allows you to meet deadlines and personally get to know your marketing team for better collaboration.
Review and Get Educated on Analytics
Marketing is a blend of science and art, and data is the key to success. Your marketing team will use data analytics to build and evaluate your company’s marketing strategy and overall success. Your digital marketing partner will likely present data during your weekly meetings.
A majority of data comes from SEO and SEM, but social media campaigns also provide a wealth of data. Your marketing team is an expert on this data, and you should be, too.
Be Receptive to Feedback
Keep an open mind once you’ve hired a marketing agency. They may imply something surprising or counterintuitive. You pay them for their expertise. But don’t be frightened to express your thoughts and have a discussion. A competent agency will have years of experience achieving client success and be receptive to feedback and discussion.
Remember, you engaged your agency to handle your digital marketing but avoid micromanaging their actions. Be flexible and cooperative. The results may surprise you.
It’s never a bad idea to test an agency partner, but give them a chance. They cannot perform for your overnight. You can always sign a new contract if your marketing partner performs effectively. Setting an end date is good for several reasons. It also gives your marketing agency a timetable to meet your initial goals. Your contract should always include a termination clause should your agency not meet your expectations.
Obvious Goal = Success
When you collaborate with a marketing agency, you both want to succeed. A marketing effort is unsuccessful if it increases awareness but does not ultimately generate sales. Corporate success is measured in dollars, not hits or likes.
Some marketing strategies, like SEO, can take months to get traction. Ads must be seen seven times within 18 months to infiltrate the consumer mind, according to the “Rule of Seven.” Similarly, a social media campaign may take time to gain user attention.
You must assess a marketing agency’s success. Your marketing plan with the agency must be evaluated if you haven’t witnessed a growth in business by the conclusion of your contract. Within a few months, you should observe an increase in traffic and interest in your offerings.