Marketing agency tips
Starting any new partnership (or evaluating an existing one) always comes with a bit of risk and a learning curve. This is true in the marketing sphere as well. Since one of our goals is to be the best marketing partner we can be, we put together a few pointers based on our experience with client relationship-building over time.

One of the most significant indicators of partnership success is effective communication and clear expectations. At the start of a new website project or marketing campaign strategy, agencies rely on a few critical pieces of information to successfully kick off the project.

If you and your team can internally review and decide how you will tackle each of the internal processes below, you’ll be on your way to getting the most out of your marketing agency partnership.

#1. Establish a team lead and other key decision-makers on your team.

As you consider your new marketing project, who will be the point person on your team? This may be a manager, owner, or marketing coordinator who will take the lead in the day-to-day details and communications for the project. You will also want to establish the hierarchy of approvals. Does your entire team need to sign off on each decision? Probably not. However, you should consider how “big” decisions will be handled if you do not already have a review and approval process in place on your team.

Why this works: No matter what your internal processes look like, defining it, and sharing that process with the agency allows them to appropriately plan approval points throughout the project.

#2. Determine how much time your team will need for reviews and to give approvals.

A project timeline accounts for nearly every aspect of the project and should include realistic input from your team about the amount of time needed to review key project components and give approvals. If crucial decisions need to be presented before board members that meet once per month, that will impact the timeline. If your industry picks up from Black Friday through the New Year, meaning you’ll need twice the amount of time to respond to questions or to review items, that will also impact the timeline.

Why this works: No one likes to see a project timeline fall behind. By establishing how long your team will need to review and approve items throughout the project, your marketing agency can plan resources most efficiently to keep the project on track.

#3. Work with your agency to set expectations for communication.

Depending on your company’s collaboration culture, you may have concrete ideas about how communications will flow with your marketing agency partner. Early in the partnership, share any concerns or questions you have with your contact at the agency. Talk through your preferences for communication, including who should be copied on emails, when and how to decide if a meeting needs to be called, if you prefer email vs. phone for a quick note or update, etc.

Why this works: Discussing communication preferences isn’t the most natural conversation, but it helps everyone on the project stay on the same page about when and how to communicate various types of information. By keeping the lines of communication open, everyone will benefit.

As you may have guessed, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to working with a marketing agency. Each agency has different processes, strategies, and styles of communication. Knowing what your team is looking for in each of these three key areas can help you grow in your existing partnership or even vet new agencies you’re considering for new projects.
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