How to supercharge your agency's performance

How do you know when you’ve found the best marketing agency?

In some ways, working partnerships aren’t that different from other types of relationships—finding a great match is the first step, and communication and chemistry are essential to success. And no matter what, there’s no guarantee that both parties will be happy. 

But in the world of high-stakes agency-client partnerships, new digital agency partnerships can be nerve-wracking for management on both slides. Clients may wonder whether they have chosen the best marketing agency for their needs or if the agency will live up to their promises, and agencies hope that they will produce something the client will love. 

But supercharging agency performance goes way beyond basic measures like ROI. Here are some tips to help managers get the most value from their ad agency partnerships. 

Find a Great Match 

For a high-level investment, like a marketing agency, you don’t want to settle for just anything. That’s why the first thing to do is make sure there is chemistry between your team and the agency’s. You can interview and assess a series of agencies, just like you would to hire an in-house staff candidate. Do you like and respect the people on the agency team?  Can you build a relationship based on trust together?

Look for a group that shares your values, approach, work philosophy, and management style. Try to be open to a team that will complement the skills and approach of your current in-house team.  A fresh perspective is always valuable. 

You will be interviewing for skill, but don’t neglect the importance of chemistry as you are doing your search. 

Be Polite and Constructive

The first rule of thumb is something we learned as children: Say please and thank you! It seems so simple, but basic manners and regular expressions of gratitude can go a long way. 

This still applies when you aren’t happy with something. Let them know right away, but be constructive and polite, framing feedback so that it allows them to understand something about what you might prefer more. 

For instance, instead of just saying, “I don’t like the graphic you want to use for this ad,” you might want to position the marketing issue as “I don’t think the graphic is the best fit for our brand personality. Can we find a better fit” Being super positive and constructive with feedback, especially negative feedback, is a big way to show respect and keep projects moving at the right pace. It’s also a better way to resolve conflict when it does arise. 

Metrics Matter

From contract negotiations to managing deadlines, all conversations about metrics should begin upfront and continue throughout the relationship. When clear goals and measures of success include metrics linked to key company KPIs, everyone involved will be aligned, working towards the same success outcomes.  

I believe that the best digital marketing agencies are inspired to do great work when their clients set clear goals. Let me know if you need help with your search for an ad agency. 

Get Super Clear in your Briefs

The best digital marketing agency should do its part when it comes to clarity and honesty in communication, but it’s also the client’s responsibility. When managing multiple teams, managers can miss important details, which leads to communication errors down the line.  

To this end, the initial brief should be detailed and something that all parties can come back to easily for clarification. For instance, it can include: 

  • Detailed scope of work 
  • Key decision-makers and decision-making process
  • Internal Stakeholders/influencers to provide feedback
  • Definitive budget
  • How will you will prefer working together, communicating and giving feedback 
  • Proposed deadlines 
  • Marketing goals, expectations
  • Company/brand/consumer/competition background and current data

While you can’t foresee the future, You can and should take the time upfront to delineate every detail regarding how you will communicate, manage, and collaborate. 

Ground rules are essential in setting expectations and boundaries on all fronts.

Do Regular Performance Evaluations

Performance evaluations are another way to help you understand if you’re working with the best digital marketing agency for your company’s needs. I recommend doing performance evaluations at least annually,  with a standardized evaluation strategy so that you can see improvements over time. Regular evaluations can help each partner discover their strengths and weaknesses and how to improve delivery on promises. iPart of this process can also be informal. Each party needs to be open to feedback from the other, and this should be discussed in the introductory meetings and continue with ongoing conversations. Establishing key benchmarks or checkpoints to do informal or formal reviews can help to keep everyone on the same page and accountable to their roles and goals. 

Performance reviews also help all parties ensure that their workloads are manageable and where to shift tasks to create more balance. 

Get the Most Out of Your Marketing Agency

When you invest in your agency from the start and treat them with respect, you’ll get better results, better performance, and a stronger relationship. In short, it will be a win-win!  

Are you ready to supercharge your agency’s performance?

If you’re struggling to find a brand new marketing agency to help grow your business, I can help. As an Agency Search Consultant, I’ve had plenty of experience sourcing and matching partner companies.

If you’d like help finding a great agency or building an exceptional relationship with your current agency, please feel free to contact me for a consultation. 

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