You have been on the hunt for an agency to handle either your Digital Marketing services, SEO, traditional advertising, marketing or communication needs. You finally settle on one that you believe understand your needs and know how to effectively tackle them through their creative strategies and solutions and ofcourse they fit within your budgets.
What you don’t know is that unless you take time to have a cordial relationship with the agency, the relationship may start failing sooner rather than later and you might finds yourself switching between advertising agencies time and time again.
Here are a few tips on how to best manage the relationship with your agency.
- Communicate, Communicate!
In the agency life, the account manager/executive is the face of the agency; their role is to make the client happy. He/She must effectively communicate the client’s objectives to the creative staff so they can correctly position the client’s business or product in the market. Many accounts have been lost not because of the agency’s lack of creative vision or issues with production but because the account executive didn’t understand the client’s needs. If you feel the agency’s work isn’t on par, examine the relationship between you and the agency contact. If there is friction or a lack of communication, it will trickle down to the creative team. Speak to the agency’s management if you feel your partnership isn’t working. The agency will usually be more than happy to pull the account executive off the team in order to keep your business.
2. Too Many Cooks spoil the broth
You may disagree with your own partners on the next great marketing campaign, tagline, or perhaps everyone in your company has a “brilliant idea” they want to throw into the mix. While it’s important to work in a collaborative effort during the creative process, it is critical to have a single decision-maker for final approval of your ads. When too many cooks get involved in the approval process, the work gets “dumbed down” and diluted because you’re trying to please everyone, and people tend to like what they like.
There is a reason you hired your agency and at times its good to have faith in their judgments as well.
3. Be patient.
Great advertising takes time. To the extent that you are able, plan the work well in advance so that both parties can comfortably work the plan.
The agency might time and again delay on deliverables, not that they are incompetent or lack the discipline to deliver. It might be that they are overwhelmed with other accounts and striking the balance might not always be 100% possible. To combat this challenge, plan in advance with your advertising, communications or Digital agency on the deliverables and effective timelines. This way, you will avoid the frustration of getting delayed work and the agency will have ample time to give it the best touch.
4. Be open.
Yes, you showed your friends the concept and they loathe it, probably because they are not the target audience. All strategies are backed by data and research and every solutions is normally though through.
Even with the most rigorous and thorough planning process, there comes a time when we enter into a world where objectivity leaves the room and subjectivity plops itself comfortably into the recliner.
Our best work happens with clients who were comfortable staying open in these spaces. Who are not afraid to spend time listening to, playing with, and trying on truly big ideas. So ask your agency to dig deep. To spend time with you. To explain, to persuade, to give a strong point of view. You’re paying them for their opinion. And when you do, work hard to stay open. No one ever talked about the “safe option” around the proverbial water cooler, did they?
5. Give clear briefs and Objectives
The quality of your work is as good as the brief you give to your agency. Give a half baked brief and you will receive a half baked work. Be sure to give the agency clear objectives, deliverables, KPIs and budgets. Most people shy away from sharing the budgets with their agency but this only helps to ensure that the agency understands what to achieve within the set budgets. Read here on tips on how to write a good brief.