As with all relationships, a client-agency relationship is a two-way street. As a marketing agency with almost a decade’s worth of experience with clients, we’ve had our fair share of insightful experiences with clients. So we want to share some gold nuggets as to how to help build and sustain a great relationship with your marketing agency partner.
Insight: Success looks different for everyone, but a great relationship with your agency is crucial so you can get there.
Key Action Point: Whether you already have an agency or are still searching for one, let this article be your guide to ensure you and your agency work better together to achieve your goal.
Most businesses would agree that agencies are great channels for contact with the wider world. Because agencies have worked with various companies across various disciplines, they are able to take in as much insight into what works and what doesn’t in the current business landscape.
To make the most of their experience, effectively fill a gap in your business, and see value for your money, you need to have a great partnership with your agency.
To get started on establishing that partnership, here are a few steps you can start taking.
7 Tips on How to Get More from Your Marketing Agency Partnership
Communicate and Be Transparent
What exactly do you want to achieve? Do you have works like this in the past? How much is your budget?
These are the questions your agency will likely have at the start of your relationship. To be able to do great work together, you need to tell your agency these things upfront.
By clearly communicating what you want and being forthright about the budget they’ll be working with, your agency avoids the risk of beginning its consultation on an errant course. Small discrepancies tend to get larger and more expensive to fix as time goes on. This helps to direct the course of action in a more precise manner.
Know Your Marketing Agency’s Expertise
As a responsible client, it’s important that you know and learn the expertise of your agency. Why? Because you need to give your work to the right partner.
Let’s say you need to nail something to a wooden board. Would you give the nail to a friend with a screwdriver or a friend with a hammer? It is crucial to know the right partner that can help you achieve your goals.
Learning the expertise of your agency also helps you to direct your in-house resources. If you know that your agency specialises in PR, then you can redirect your marketing team towards ads and social media, for example.
Describe Your Current Marketing Mix
Your agency should understand your current marketing mix. Professional marketing partners will have a wealth of experience when it comes to balancing marketing programs.
Your agency partner will be able to see the holes in your program, but you have to let them know what you are spending money on now.
Describing your marketing mix to a third party also allows you to self-audit. You may be able to better organise your thoughts by simply laying everything out on the table.
Share the Current Lifetime Value of Your Customer
The customer lifetime value (CLV) allows you and your agency partner to make sound decisions when it comes to making marketing investments. Because it only makes absolute sense to put your money in people who are buying from you.
The CLV also guides you as you decide how much to spend on acquiring a new customer.
Get in Touch or Meet Us in Person
Meeting your agency partner face-to-face helps both parties to understand each other better and facilitates the way for easy reach outs.
If this is not possible because of distance, getting in touch through video calls works too. Communicating with your agency before and throughout a campaign is the best way to drive success and to ensure your campaign runs along smoothly.
Ask for Opinions
Your agency will be of much value to you if they understand the entire scope of your business goals. Don’t hesitate to ask them how doing a certain endeavour could affect your bigger business goals.
By asking for their opinions, you may be able to discover a fresh way of seeing your business challenges and creative ideas you can use to address your other concerns.
Collaboration is the number one way to get the most out of your agency. Whether you like to be hands-on or hands-off with your marketing, you should always find a way to work together on important aspects of your program.
Collaboration also enhances the skill-set of your in-house marketing team. There’s nothing wrong with learning some of the skills that your agency specialises in. Showing an interest in collaboration will inspire your partner agency and keep you vitalised if things aren’t necessarily moving fast in the beginning.
Marketing Agency KPIs to Measure Results
Your key performance indicators (KPIs) shape the relationship that you have with your agency. Picking the right KPIs sets the wheels of success in motion. Picking the wrong ones can throw off even the best-laid plans.
Let’s take a look at some of the more relevant and common KPIs that agencies will use to measure success in your campaigns.
Customer Lifetime Value
Customer lifetime value, or CLV, is the total amount of value that a customer has to a business over a lifetime. CLV includes everything that a customer buys, all the upsells, and the new buyers that customer brings to the business.
It can also include the value of social media posts and other public relations efforts that customers undertake on their own, although those can sometimes be difficult to quantify.
CLV is a great metric for an agency to use because it takes all aspects of the customer relationship into account. It also helps a company to follow its prospects throughout the entire sales funnel.
Companies doing this will more quickly shore up holes in the customer journey. This metric may also be used in financial projections.
Customer Acquisition Cost
The cost of acquiring new customers is a very important metric for any business to consider. It is obviously important for startups and microbusinesses, but it is also important for companies that are scaling.
One of its most important applications is to compare it to the cost of retaining customers. Most studies show that it costs 7x more to acquire a new customer than to keep an existing one. If the customer acquisition cost is below this, a company is usually experiencing a great marketing ROI.
When an agency focuses on your customer acquisition cost, you also get audits of your customer journey and buyer profiles. This is a great metric to audit the end of your sales funnel as well.
Lead Conversion Rate
What percentage of your leads actually buy? This is the lead conversion rate. It is one of the more important KPIs for a company to consider, regardless of the stage or the scale of the business.
The lead conversion rate tells you how precise your marketing campaign is. You may be getting a lot of attention, but you may be directing it at the wrong people. If your lead conversion rate is low, then you likely need to find another direction for your marketing.
Perhaps the most common KPI for an agency to follow is ROI. Return on investment is relevant for every company. There are elements of every other KPI on this list in the ROI metric. ROI is a great way to audit the general efficiency of a marketing program.
Looking for the Right Marketing Partner?
Your marketing agency can make all the difference between a growing business and a stagnant one.
But it’s important to remember that what you get largely depends on what you give.
So communicate your goals clearly, take the time to know their expertise, share your marketing mix and the customer lifetime value, meet with them, ask for their opinions, and collaborate. In addition to this, set the right KPIs to measure success and establish your relationship with your agency.
Step Change is a strategically led marketing agency. We’re facilitators and problem solvers who believe the best solutions in business start with marketing.
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