For many businesses, working with an external agency is not only more budget-friendly but also allows them to ensure that all elements of the marketing process are taken care of under one roof. An external agency also has access to a range of highly skilled professionals who will work together to generate the best results.
To hire all of these people in-house would result in high costs and, potentially, stunted innovation. Whereas an agency can offer you access to a plethora of skills for an agreed fee, based on the agreed deliverables, whether this requires two unique skill sets or ten.
So what can you expect when you decide you want to enlist the help of an external agency to support your marketing efforts?
Working effectively with an external agency hinges on
Meeting your complete agency team is important to understanding processes and having a clear idea of who will be working on each element of your marketing strategy. Having access to each member of your agency-side team is also important, although you may generally speak with your project manager or account manager, it can be beneficial to have direct access to individuals if you ever need to get in contact.
Whether you have a limited budget or endless funds, you should have an established trust with your agency. At times, your agency may need to test and make adjustments to strategies based on their findings in order to improve your current performance. It’s important that communication during this time is effective and ensures that you understand why and what is happening at every stage. Without trust, performance may be affected.
Your external agency will almost always be asking questions regarding the brand and the company. This might feel overwhelming but it just means that the approach your agency take will be much more refined and tailored to suit your specific business objectives. If they’re not asking these questions, or they didn’t during the onboarding process, that could be a red flag.
It’s likely that your agency will use terminology that might be unfamiliar to you. It’s important that you ask if something is unclear but you should also make the effort to get clued up on some of the terminology used, so that you can better understand what they are doing and why,
Every agency will report on their results differently, but if the approach used isn’t offering you clear insight into what has been achieved, it’s rather useless. Discuss with your agency the best way for them to present data to you at the end of each month and ensure that your reporting systems are included in your management fee.
If the reports you’re receiving are costly, time consuming and not offering a simple breakdown of progress in line with your objectives, then consider discussing with your agency how to better manage this.
Results are often what makes or breaks a client and agency relationship. Your agency’s job is to obtain the results agreed upon at the beginning of your relationship. If the desired results haven’t been achieved then you should have a conversation with the agency before pulling the plug to understand why this has happened. More often than not, the timescale will need to be extended or the approach will need to be amended or re-focussed.
It can be difficult to pinpoint the right formula for each new client immediately, so it’s also important to have a degree of patience with an external agency. If communications occur regularly and both sides are open and honest during feedback, it’s unlikely that you will run into any problems.
If you’re looking for a new digital marketing agency or need some guidance on what services your business needs, get in touch with us today.