So, you’re hiring a digital marketing agency— congrats! It’s a big step to take, especially if you’ve never worked with an outside company before. Before we discuss how to work with your agency, let’s review a few important things about picking the right digital marketing team for you.
Choose The Right Partner: Marketing Agencies And Digital Marketing Agencies
Let’s back up and talk through some basics of choosing the right marketing team for you. It can feel like an obvious point to make, but there’s more to consider than a beautiful website and appealing Instagram account. You could spend days googling and check one website after another. Everyone in the industry puts their best foot forward online, so here are a few things (beyond the screen) to consider as you meet and talk with agencies.
What’s their speciality?
Make sure the marketing agency you’ve hired has the skills to excel at what you need. Many agencies cover a range of services, but some uniquely specialize in PR and media training, the design and/or development of websites, social media content creation, or brand development and strategy. Your first step in marketing strategy is to determine if you’re partnered with an agency based in your needed area. The case studies listed on their site should be a great place to find this out.
Do you like their past work?
Any digital marketing agency will happily share their portfolio of past work (most likely on their site) because it gives future clients an idea of what they can produce and deliver. By nature, these marketers, designers, writers and PR experts can think outside the box and create something completely new for your business, but their track record will be an indication of their quality control and what they’re capable of doing for you. So ask yourself: Do I like their past jobs?
Do you share a similar spirit, outlook or values?
Don’t underestimate the helpfulness of sharing similar values and outlooks as companies, leaders and individuals. Certainly, you don’t have to see eye to eye on everything, but starting on a similar plane will lead to many benefits down the road. Remember: You will be communicating with the agency’s internal team often and working with them closely to produce something special; working from a similar baseline will be immensely helpful. You may not have the exact same approach, but you should, overall, share the same goals.
(Want to read up on the best marketing companies in Fort Worth? You can right here!)
Tips For Working With Your Agency
Now that the hiring has happened, the real magic can begin. Whether it’s a website being built, a campaign being created for a new product, or a message you need out in the public sphere, there are some key strategies to remember as you work with your agency of choice. Any successful partnership between you and a marketing agency will involve a few best practices. Let’s talk about them now, so you’re ready to hit the ground running.
Know what you want— and share it early with your marketing team.
In your early meetings with the agency, this is your chance to spill— about your company, your employees, your customers, your focus for this project and what you want to accomplish. In these early stages, account managers are looking to take on all the vision you’re willing to share. Make sure you’re specific about what measurable results you’re looking for— a certain number of attendees at an event? A specific amount of financial support raised? Talking points to carry you through a rocky season up ahead? Any great marketing group or digital marketing agency will care about making you a satisfied client and will do their best to create results that deliver your ultimate goal … but they can’t know what those deliverables are unless you get honest.
Make sure expectations and timetables are clearly established and understood … on both sides.
Different agencies will have their own processes and procedures as they get to work on your project, but no matter the team, they should be giving you, the client, a clearly defined plan for how they’ll accomplish your marketing needs. It’s their job to communicate their ideas, their timetable and how their strategies will work in various industries. As experts who do this work day in and day out, planning and communicating to clients is as basic as checking email.
On the flip side, as a professional yourself, it’s your job to make sure you understand their process and clearly communicate any time constraints your project is under. In addition, your ability to vocalize your likes and dislikes will make a big difference as they make and manage work for you.
Communicate often, openly and honestly.
Clear communication coming from you— whether it’s replies to questions or final approvals— is imperative to the success of the project. At the end of the day, your agency wants to make you a happy client. As marketers, they want to produce work you’re proud of and accomplishes your goals. So, offer honest feedback (specificity helps, too).
One great way to ensure communication is steady between businesses is to assign a dedicated contact on your end. Your agency has probably already done this on their side by assigning an account manager or several project managers to oversee your project. You’re working directly with them to relay feedback and approvals, but they are probably working with multiple people inside their team— designers, writers, coders, etc.— to brainstorm ideas, ensure budgets and schedules are kept in check, and take care of edits along the way.
The account manager is the only one you talk to because instructions coming from five different people is overwhelming and confusing. The same is true in reverse. It’s hard for an agency to move forward when they receive instructions from multiple people in your company. So, pick someone to be your spokesperson. Both businesses will be grateful for the simplified process.
Have a Clear Approval Process
Now that you’ve assigned one person to be your company’s point of contact, it’s a smart idea to let all approvals come from them as well. This way, there are no false starts on portions of the project that are most costly or even impossible to pull back (circulating a press release, sending a brochure to the printer, going live with a social media advertising campaign, for example). To keep your project moving swiftly (and smoothly) ahead, implement and follow a clear approval process.
Bonus tip! While one person may be delivering the final good news of an approval, it’s a good idea to diversify who on your own team sees the project at different stages and gives you feedback to consider. You’ll be surprised how beneficial different voices and views can be— things you would have never considered yourself. Their various takes will probably help you make final determinations you feel not just good, but great about too.
What many digital marketing agencies want to tell you: trust their recommendations.
There’s a reason they’re the professionals after all— digital agencies, a marketing manager, PR teams, we mean. Some of their ideas may make you nervous. They may surprise you. But remember this: in the end, their goal is always to do excellent work that delivers results beyond your hopes and expectations. After all, future clients are going to seek them out based their current work. Digital marketing is not your strong suit, but your team won’t let you down. One word they care deeply about is success, because it benefits both of you.
These teams value your business and are specialists at what they do. They are committed to completing the research, hitting your marketing goals and creating a beautiful final product. It may take some effort, but balance your knee-jerk reactions and off-the-cuff preferences with their suggestions.
J.O. Marketing Agency Is Here To Help
If you’re looking for a digital agency to deliver results, the marketing professionals at J.O. are here for you! Let’s talk client strategy, marketing strategies and what we can deliver for your business through campaigns and more. For examples of our past advertising and PR work with many clients, click here. You can also contact us on our website or at 817-335-0100.