A marketing agency can offer your company the expert support it needs to plan and deliver the marketing activity your business needs to meet its objectives. If you’ve chosen to appoint a marketing agency, you may be starting to think about the best way to manage this partnership. We’ve put together our advice for how to manage any agency you’re working with, and how to ensure the agency is effective and offering your brand exactly what it needs to succeed.
You should always create a brief for a marketing agency. This helps to highlight your brand’s objectives, expectations and purpose - it can also be a useful process to facilitate discussions about what you actually hope your marketing activity will achieve and why. If you can create this internally, it’s then much easier and simpler for an agency to take your brief and deliver exactly what your business needs.
Of course, if you’re not sure where to start when it comes to putting ideas together, expert marketing agencies will be able to talk you and your team through the process and build a brief together based on your discussions.
Objectives / KPIs
Setting out objectives from the start is vital for measuring the success of a campaign and analysing whether the activity is having the desired impact for your brand. It also means that you and your outsourced marketing agency partner are on the same-page from the word go.
Consider splitting out your objectives into different goals. Decide on your business objectives (such as expanding into a new market, or raising awareness), sales objectives (sales or profit-related growth) and marketing objectives (website visitors, social media engagement). Look at historical data about business performance to allow you to set your objectives.
Agreeing on these goals then provides your marketing agency with measurable targets to build a strategy around and work towards, ensuring your marketing activity has tangible business benefits. Specific, realistic KPIs can then be established between your company and your chosen marketing agency in order to asses the performance of any campaigns or projects over agreed timeframes.
The marketing strategy can then be build around these targets in order to ensure outsourced marketing activity is providing the right results. This should offer a documented path that demonstrates how goals will be met using which tactics, over a timeframe - usually 90 days or 12 months depending on the project type.
Agree on how to work
At any project kick-off meeting, agree with your agency your expectations and how you would prefer to work. Be upfront about your expectations regarding working practices, processes and sign-off procedures. Discuss how to best keep in touch, how often you expect updates or meetings, and who from the business will be involved in decisions or approval processes. This way, your marketing agency is ready to dovetail with your business practices from the start, making the process much easier and simpler so things can get moving quickly.
You should also decide on the level of collaboration offered from within your own team - will your employees be contributing to marketing activity and to what extent? Will their input be needed by the marketing agency regarding technical specifications about your brand or other business insight?
For many brands, hiring a marketing agency means their own team isn’t being overloaded with additional duties or tasks that would normally fall outside of their job role. Equally, some of your team may have a knack for copywriting or social media making them best placed to collaborate with the agency should you wish.
Being open and honest about the level of involvement your brand needs or wants in the marketing activity will mean issues are less likely to crop up later down the line, allowing you to build a cooperative and positive relationship with your outsourced marketing partner.
In order to ensure your outsourced marketing is doing the job you need it to - arrange and agree on a reporting process. Reports should directly link to the objectives you previously established and be measured against the KPIs. Do you want weekly updates? Monthly reports? Quarterly assessments?
However often you request this evaluation, your reports should highlight the activity that has been carried out since the last report, what has been successful and what hasn’t - and demonstrate the ROI marketing activity has had for your brand. Reports are a great point to review and assess goals and progress, so you can see the value your marketing agency is bringing to your business.
If you’ve decided that your business would benefit from appointing an external a marketing agency but aren’t sure how best to manage this relationship we hope this blog has helped you to understand how to get the most from your agency partner. If you want to find out more about whether r//evolution marketing would be a good for for your business - please get in touch.