Today’s increasingly competitive landscape requires that marketers focus on activities that will have the biggest impact in order to capture and keep the attention of potential customers. With over 200 million people utilizing ad blocking technology, it’s clear that an integrated digital marketing strategy has to be implemented in order to reach target customers.
To develop and execute a successful marketing program, many brands large and small look to digital marketing agencies to help guide their strategy and execution to maximize the impact of their efforts. However, as most of you have discovered at some point, those agency relationships don’t always work out as you anticipate. Once the wooing stage has passed, you may find that you have more work and results aren’t meeting expectations.
Part of the issue is that you may not be exactly sure what you’re looking for in an agency partner. To help you on this journey, we’ve outlined some key characteristics that you should look for in an agency partner, as well as a way for you to select what preferences are most important to you. We all know the “Would you Rather” game where as hard as it may be, you have to pick one option that stands out to you the most. There are no right or wrong answers, simply your preferences that can be used to determine if your agency is meeting your needs.
#1 – Integrity
An essential part of any business (or personal) relationship is that it is built on a foundation of trust. A lack of trust makes for a shaky foundation that lead to miscommunication and ultimately end the relationship.
You have to expect that your agency will share the good news, and the tough news with you in a way that helps you make decisions to evolve your approach to digital marketing. As it relates to your agency relationship, which situation would you prefer?
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#2 – Stellar Communication
Good communication isn’t just based on frequency, it’s also the type of communication that can have an impact (positively or negatively) on your relationship.
We have found that each of our clients will have a slightly different preference for how, when and what we communicate but at the core it’s all the same: make sure that all essential information is shared in a timely manner. What is your communication preference?
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#3 – Understanding
Time needs to be invested by your agency in order to understand your marketing needs, preferences, brand voice and more. Additionally, there will be times that you’re working under a series of tight deadlines, spending time in meetings or are otherwise preoccupied. And it’s important that your agency be understanding of these different factors and work with you to help make sure things stay on track.
In working with different agencies, you may find that some strictly stay on course with the timeline while others want to experiment based on the overall performance of the program. Which is more important to you?
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#4 – Creativity
There are so many opportunities to be creative with your marketing, no matter what industry you’re in. Everything from marketing strategy to content direction and asset design all play a part in the creativity of a program.
Because of the sheer amount of competition for the attention of your customers, finding creative ways to stand-out in a sea of brands is no longer a luxury, it’s a necessity. When it comes to creativity, what is your preference?
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#5 – Focus on Results
This one might seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised! In the same way that you as marketers are held to a series of goals and business objectives to show success, your agency should be held at the same (or a higher) standard.
While it’s true that many factors will impact the success of your marketing and there will be times where results ebb and flow, a steady focus on results and the ability to correct the course when needed is incredibly important. When you look at the nature of your business and how you’d like to see your marketing perform, which situation below is more attractive?
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#6 – Striving for Excellence
Working with an agency that constantly strives to innovate and get you the most bang for your marketing buck might not be a fit for everyone. What? How could that be?
When you work with an agency partner that strives for excellence, that means that they will likely push boundaries and the status quo which is sometimes out of your comfort zone. While these partners should absolutely maintain professionalism at all times, there may be some difficult conversations that you need to have. In the grand scheme of things, what does excellence mean to you?
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Would You Rather…
My hope is that you may have learned something about your marketing preferences that you didn’t know before. The next step in your journey is to assess your current solution and see if your agency is helping you reach your goals, or not hitting the mark.
If you find that your current digital marketing agency is not aligned with your needs, we’d love to chat! Contact TopRank Marketing today for a consultation about your marketing priorities.