There comes a time in a company's life, where the next step to progression stems from marketing or advertising. From choosing the type of agency best suited for your needs to hashing out a marketing plan, it can be a difficult task to wrap one's head around. This stress may cause some friction down the road with the agency you've teamed up with. But it's important to remember that agencies exist to make sure you win, after all, a win for you is a win for us. Here are some things you can provide to your agency of choice to nurture a winning relationship.1. Communication: Your agency has your best interests in mind and needs to know what goals you’re aiming for. They also need to pull ideas and thoughts out of your head. To do that, your agency needs to feel like they can openly communicate at every stage, so getting them involved early works wonders. Communication is more than just an email or phone call, though. Real communication is having both parties not being afraid to shoot each other’s ideas down in the pursuit of better ones. It means admitting when you or they are wrong. Communication produces deliverables that not only make a difference, but have gone through the right creative process.
- Provide the Why: What’s your "why"? Why are you pursuing this goal? Why are we targeting these groups of people? Why do we ask why? It helps to know who the target market is and helps develop a creative solution instead of guessing. Don’t just look for execution, let the agency get the best work out of you. You may walk into a meeting with an idea of your target market and walk out later with a new idea of who your target market is. An agency will then continue to ask “why?” to dig deeper and find the target market's interests. Keep providing the why and it will provide the right directions.
- Openly Collaborate: This goes back to point number one, but being able to sit down and solve problems together makes a huge difference. Both the agency and the client need to able to sit back and open-mindedly accept ideas. An agency pays the bills by thinking outside of the box and approaching problems from a different angle. Let them do their job and provide their insights! They'll provide reasons about why their idea makes sense; usually in the form of quantified and qualitative data. Pay attention to their perspective and work from there. If they're a team of professionals, they'll hear out your concerns and make sure your voice has a say in every area of the project.
- Share the Wins: Agencies often hear (and take the brunt) when projects go awry, but they don’t always hear about the wins. They're not looking for praise, but they do want to hear how things performed to learn what did and didn't work. This can help develop best practices and strategies for your campaigns moving forward. The head of the agency will share this information with the team who worked on the project, which assists their growth. The key figures within the company should share these wins with their staff as well. Knowing what works and what doesn't will make everyone operate more efficiently, and grow pride in the efforts which got you there.
- Integrate with Your Agency: It's important to form a long-term relationship with your agency. A great way to do this is by integrating your company's culture with your agency. Spending time with each other is a great way to know how everyone operates and thinks. It's about diving deeper into the people who are making noise about your company. From this, you go to lunch and create million-dollar ideas. You get wins that are effortlessly executed and know exactly who was behind the ideas. A connection between the two organizations can yield great results.
The above suggestions will help your agency know what they're working for. Communication will help them discover what your true needs are. Providing the "why" to an agency assists them in finding the deeper areas of a campaign. Open collaboration ensures every voice makes it into the campaign. Sharing the wins of a campaign tells the agency what works and what doesn’t for your company. Finally, by integrating cultures with your agency, both organizations develop a vested interest in each other's success. So rather than asking what your agency can do for you, ask what you can do for your agency.