As marketers we are all hampered by time, bandwidth and resources. Competing priorities, stretched staff, and seemingly never-ending projects make it hard to focus on achieving our goals.
If your team is striving to reach greater heights, finding the right agency partner is a great first step to help you achieve success while making your work life easier. However, it is not always easy, considering each of them offers different capabilities. There are several factors to consider including goal alignment, strategic capabilities, pricing, and more. Here are some key questions to consider to make sure your agency partner is providing value, and setting you up for long term success.
Is Your Agency Aligned with your goals and KPIs?
We all have goals and KPIs that we are tasked with hitting, whether monthly, quarterly or at the end of the fiscal year. In evaluating your agency partner, make sure you find one that is performing work that aligns with your goals and KPIs to ultimately help you achieve success.
Does your agency have a discovery process in place to fully understand your business, marketing team structure, processes, and procedures? Does your agency understand your goals, marketing challenges, and competitors? If not, this may lead to difficulty aligning their efforts to your priorities.
The discovery phase is not only about building a strong relationship with your agency partner but ensuring that both you and your partner are clearly aligned on short- and long-term goals. Look for a partner who begins the engagement with your end goals in mind and conducts regular meetings to ensure your priorities have not shifted and the work is aligned with your needs and what you are trying to accomplish.
In evaluating your #agencypartner, make sure the work they perform aligns with your goals and KPIs to ultimately help you achieve success.Click To Tweet
Does Your Agency Partner Provide Strategic Guidance?
Now more than ever, with increased responsibility for revenue generation, marketing has become a balancing act between execution and strategy. Marketers are busy with competing priorities and never-ending deadlines and require an agency partner that will provide strategic guidance on ways to increase efficiency, revenue and demonstrate success.
Although your agency might be responsible for supporting your execution efforts, like building and launching email campaigns, assess whether or not they take time to go beyond simply checking tasks off your execution list. Your agency partner should be looking for ways to provide support and guidance on projects that are important to you and your goals. Look for an agency that will provide advice on how to improve processes, and have the proactive initiative to find issues, raise the red flag, and provide solutions to resolve them.
Furthermore, your agency should go the extra mile and truly demonstrate that they have you and your team’s best interest at heart. Is your agency knowledgeable on the latest trends and best practices? Do they pull in other team members that can provide value such as a content strategist or data strategist? Do they offer strategic services that support your complex business problems?
This could be performing an audit on your marketing automation platform (MAP) to determine whether your setup and use are aligned with industry best practices, integrating your MAP with your CRM, and recommending ways to optimize your overall systems use. This could also be helping you as a marketer improve your communication through content strategy, social channels, and nurture channels, so they are more effective and provide stronger results.
In the end, you want to work with an agency that is proactive in finding areas for improvement, providing you with strategic advice, and challenges you to make changes to support your growth.
Does your #agencypartner go beyond execution? Select an agency that is proactive and provides strategic guidance to support your growth.Click To Tweet
Does Your Agency Demonstrate measurable results?
This is probably one of the biggest keys to determining if your agency is providing value. Is your agency delivering to you what was accomplished each week, each month, each quarter? Do these accomplishments reflect tangible results that align with your goals, impact revenue, and can be shared with your boss?
As you collaborate with your agency and complete projects, or investigate and resolve issues, make sure they are compiling results and sharing them with you and your team. At DemandLab we capture what we call “Wows”, and communicate these accomplishments back to the client so that they are not only seeing success but are armed with results that allow them to demonstrate success to stakeholders. Ultimately, you would like your boss to associate your agency with revenue dollars, so when possible make sure these results include how they generate revenue or how they will potentially generate revenue.
For example, if working with your agency leads to the recovery of a large number of unmarketable leads, these new marketable leads are able to be engaged or re-engaged and potentially worth “X” amount of dollars. Not only will capturing these accomplishments help strengthen the relationship, but will demonstrate that your agency cares about your success.
Finding the right #agencypartner can be costly. Make sure you find a partner that demonstrates how they’re driving revenue for your company.Click To Tweet
Does your agency have a Project Management system in place?
As you begin working with your agency, take the time to see what their project management process looks like. Do they have procedures in place to make sure projects are being executed in a timely, effective and efficient manner?
One of the ways DemandLab demonstrates success in this area is that we have a dedicated project manager assigned to each client. This person is responsible for making sure projects are executed in a timely manner, that projects stay within scope, and that DemandLab is aligning with the client’s processes. Having a dedicated project manager helps to ensure that all of the project planning pieces fall into place will ensure your time is being utilized effectively and efficiently.
When selecting your #agencypartner, find one that prioritizes #projectmanagement and has processes that will ensure your time is being utilized effectively and efficiently.Click To Tweet
Is your agency meeting with you face-to-face?
It is common today that your agency will not be in the same city where you operate. So, it is important to find time to meet face to face. This not only helps you get to know the people you work with at the agency but also develop confidence and trust in the work being provided.
Is your agency willing to come and meet with you, and are they finding a reason to come meet with you? It could be the opportunity to discuss a new project and how they can support you, check in on your goals and priorities to make sure you are aligned, or maybe even recommending how to improve processes and procedures. It could also be the chance to demonstrate results from a campaign.
Is your agency taking the time to get to know you and your team? Do they know your pet’s name, your kids names, your hobbies, etc.? Do you know the same information about them? This will definitely take time, but as mentioned earlier, you want to find an agency you can trust and develop a long term relationship with. You should consider your agency to be an extension of your team.
Building up trust and confidence in your #agencypartner is key to developing a long-term relationship. Find a partner who acts an extension of your team.Click To Tweet
Today’s market is more competitive than ever, and marketers are stretched thin with resources and demands trying to beat out the competition and achieve their own goals. Finding the right agency will go a long way in reducing the stress, so follow these tips as a starting point to make sure you are aligned with the right one. Do you have other ways in which you evaluate the value of your agency? We would love to hear about it. If you’d like to learn more about how we work with our clients, let’s talk.