Advice for making the most of the relationship with your digital partners
The digital marketing landscape is constantly changing, but one thing is consistent—working with a digital agency will allow your organization to leverage their unique set of skills and expertise so that you can focus on running your business.
Whether or not you’re working with a dedicated agency partner on your entire digital strategy, or simply revamping your website, there are ways you can successfully maximize the relationship with your marketing agency.
Like any relationship, the better the communication and transparency, the more effective it will be. The more effort taken to foster a good partnership, the more lucrative it can be for your company!
Five tips for establishing a successful partnership with your digital agency
Here are five things you can do to set the tone for a successful working relationship:
1. Be strategic
Make the most of your digital partnerships by working tactically together. A part of this means coming prepared with an established, clearly defined goal for your business in the digital space. Unless you’re specifically hiring a digital agency to define your digital strategy, go to the party prepared with your objectives.
Another way to be strategic is by establishing a culture of collaboration from the very beginning. Your team should be hands-on and involved early, and throughout the process. Particularly if the project or task at hand is comprehensive with many players involved, the work will be more efficient and successful when managed collaboratively. For example, save time and headaches for all by sharing if your agency has a clear understanding of what has/has not worked well in the past or is/isn’t on strategy.
To be strategic with your digital agency moving forward, it’s important to share what has or hasn’t worked in the past. Share as much as you can—previous creative, learnings, product info, business strategy, lead times, etc., to help fuel their work.
2. Communication is key
No relationship will thrive without open communication, and this one is no different. If your digital marketing agency has a client portal, try to leverage that channel of communication for effective collaboration.
A true partnership will be fostered when there is honesty and transparency in the communication. Praise your digital team’s efforts when warranted and be honest if they fail. Direct and genuine feedback, both good and bad, won’t leave your agency guessing and will provide a clear understanding of your expectations and how to find new ways to win for you.
Establish channels of communication with key players early on and throughout the process, through vehicles such as weekly update calls, chat channels, or shared status documents.
3. Set clear expectations and define roles
Channels of communication will be better and more productive when clear expectations and roles are defined and talked about from the get-go. This includes:
- KPIs: What are your business objectives and how will digital strategies/efforts be measured? Goals for your digital agency should be tied to overall company goals and overall metrics and data, and your agency should have clear expectations on what they are working toward.
- Responsibilities: While you’re hiring a digital agency to handle a particular job, let them! They have the expertise for a reason, however, it should be communicated early on if there are certain elements of a project your team has expertise in, would like to handle, or have close involvement with. Clearly defined roles and responsibilities will ultimately make for a more efficient workflow.
- Expectations: If there are particular processes your company adheres to, they should also be communicated to the digital agency. For example, does your company provide upper management a digital marketing update every Friday or does your owner like to review creative early on? Things like processes, deliverables, review lead time, work schedules, etc. should be clear early on.
4. Hold EVERYONE accountable
Sticking to timelines and hitting deadlines is crucial, but it’s equally as important for your internal team to be accountable as well. If your team is expected to deliver feedback in a set timeline, don’t be late. The same expectations you have for your agency should also be put on your team.
On-time asset deliveries, creative approvals, and constructive feedback will make for better collaboration.
A part of accountability is also sticking to the clear expectations that were set from the beginning. Don’t ask for things that were not agreed upon or distract everyone from the agency’s contracted tasks.
5. Be human
Treating your agency as a true partner will allow your company to take full advantage of its digital potential.
Respect is foundational to all great relationships, and this one is no different. You are all working for the same goal, so no need to talk down, belittle, or act unkindly to your agency. They will be driven to work harder for you when treated nicely.
A successful partnership will be built on authentic connections, and this particular relationship will have even greater potential when both sides have mutual respect and understanding.
Aspire is here to help you grow your business!
It has often been said that the client has the greatest power and influence to shape the relationship. That said, be proactive to ensure that the agency you hire is motivated to work as hard and as well as it can to help your business succeed.
Here at Aspire Digital Solutions, we pride ourselves on building strong relationships with our clients from the very beginning. We take the time to get to know your business, team, and goals so that we can fully immerse ourselves in understanding how to drive real growth through the digital space.
Even if a project doesn’t necessitate ongoing communication, it’s ingrained in us to stay in constant touch with our clients.
While we constantly challenge ourselves to be better digital experts, we do the same for how we work best with our clients. Through transparent and honest communication built on mutual respect, we are driven to help you achieve your goals and ultimately transform your business.
Connect with us today and let’s talk about how we can help you win!