How to get the most out of your agency relationships: share your business focus and challenges
This article is written for someone working on the clients side, looking to improve collaboration or want to know what you should expect. But also useful for anyone working on the agency side, to make sure you can ask your client the right questions and to help for the relationship.
This article is written from a fullservice perspective – i.e from an agency providing insight work, to building websites to managing your marketing investments. I’ve tried to make this as generic as possible and from a collaborative viewpoint.
Part one focuses on setting the foundation – when you start a new collaboration – a few points that I think is useful to have in mind in this particular phase of a new budding client-agency relationship.
KPI’s matter – presenting your agency with the goal and goals you want to reach is crucial for them to recommend the best solution, marketing mix and prioritise initiatives for you.
Be clear with what you expect – the more upfront you are with your expectations, the better chance an agency has to deliver upon them or inform you on what is required in terms of reaching your specific expectations.
Share your challenges – no matter if it’s internal challenges or external in terms of grabbing more market shares from your competitors, share these with your agency or agencies. They are there to help and aid you and a fresh eye on your challenges can present some new ideas from another perspective.
Ask how they stay updated and what the agency can deliver upon – on new platforms, knowledge or what partnerships they have with other complimentary agencies to be sure that your lead agency has the capabilities to deliver on the wide range of services. The less agencies you have the less meetings and people you have to manage – however you need to ensure that you get a partner that is equipped to help you deliver. If you have several agencies – ensure to clarify each agency role and responsibilities to really make the teamwork as effective as possible.
Expect many questions – will arise, as the team or your representative starts to work through the assignment, especially when you start-up a new agency collaboration. For you who is the expert on your business and brand, many questions may seem basic. But the very basic question such as – why do you want to do this project? initiative? is to figure out how how the project translates to support your overall business goals, etc.
Your Account Director (or if they don’t have one Project manager) – is the person who represents your brand and business at the agency, as well as the team at your office. They are your advisor and should help you find the best solution for you. Help this person to become as skilled in what you expect, your business vision, goals and challenges, so they can represent your business in the best possible way within the agency.