Are you thinking about hiring a marketing agency for the first time? Working with an agency can be a new but rewarding experience if you find the right partner. Here are our tips for making the most of your marketing partnership and ensuring success.

Keep your expertise in-house.

Is copy your thing? Do you have a team of IT experts on-hand? It never pays to hire an agency to do what you are best at; keep those things in-house. An agency will fix problems and focus on room for growth, so offload areas where you really struggle or where you need strategic guidance and/or resources to take your business to the next level.

Have a clear direction, and stick to it.

No matter what type of marketing or development work you are relying on an agency for, whether it’s web design, SEO, or IT management, it’s important that you provide your team with clear direction and business information. Are you growing, downsizing, or launching a new product? The more details you can provide from the get-go, the better your agency team will be able to deliver on your strategy.

Set clear KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators). If you’re unsure of what those metrics should be, ask; your partner should be able to help you determine what to measure to show growth and success in your marketing program. By keeping your marketing agency in the loop, they can manage your programs and strategies to meet and, hopefully, exceed your expectations. At Acumium, we like to send clients a monthly report tracking our activity and where we’re seeing business growth. We want the client to understand how the work we’re doing is meeting the KPI’s they’ve established.

Pivot if needed.

The best-laid plans usually change, that’s just the way it goes. A good marketing agency can handle changes and typically expects them. If you’re working towards a goal and your channels and tactics aren’t working, don’t continue down that path because it was your original plan. Challenge your agency to provide new ideas and ways to succeed. On the other hand, you can’t pivot every time something doesn’t go well, or too frequently. Constant pivots will simply additional fees on your bill as your agency adjusts and re-adjusts. We’ve seen this before with a client who changed direction so frequently that we were spending 35% of their monthly bill on pivots alone. Even with high-growth business models and plans where pivots are not only expected but happen daily, it’s important to set expectations with your marketing agency partner and give clear accountability and ownership. If you give your agency the trust and ownership to pivot quickly with you, sometimes making decisions on your behalf, you can find not just a better partner, but a more efficient partner.

Communication is always key, no matter what state your business is in. The more information your agency has, the better partner that agency can be to you.

Maximize your budget with a responsive point of contact.

Project management is an important part of working with an agency. You’re getting an entire team working behind the scenes to strategize and meet your business goals. Your marketing agency team will spend time brainstorming ideas, examining analytics and creating your custom strategy. Although time will be spent on these things, along with reporting and budgeting, your team can help maximize time and budget by having one responsive point of contact. Decisions will need to be made, or more information will need to be gathered. By having a responsive point of contact your agency team can get the information they need, or better yet approvals, and continue their work. We’ve worked with both single points of contact and entire teams and noticed that when we have a single, responsive contact, we’re able to move projects along, meeting business goals in a timely manner.

Any good marketing agency will have your best interest at heart and will want to get you the best value for each dollar you spend so you can grow your business.  If you’re looking for a marketing agency partner or have more questions contact our team of problem solvers, tinkerers, optimizers and builders to learn more about what it’s like working with us. We care deeply about making good brands even better, let us help you.