8 Tips for Forming a Solid Agency Partnership
Agency partnerships are the most dynamic, inclusive and effective means of enabling your firm to draw the highest ROI from the marketing budget. Many firms fail to maximize their marketing reach and potency due to lack of a clear and well-defined relationship with their specific marketing agency. Marketing agencies are primarily dependent on your direction and plan for them to craft and execute proper marketing campaigns for your product or brand. Most importantly, you should get an agency that has the specific strength that your firm needs in order to maximize its sales. These could be web design, digital marketing, and creative campaigns and so on.
1.Clearly Define The Roles And Responsibilities
In any partnership, there are specific roles and tasks, as well as others duties that will come up along the way. That’s why it’s critical to assign tasks and roles based on the nature of the strategic alliances. Create clarity of roles, the span of responsibilities, the hierarchy of command, channels of communication and methods of solving any crisis that arises. Designing a simple peer mapping tool will equip you to know who handles what task and for how long. In line with that, you need to create the remedy required in case tasks are dropped as well as having regular audits on how everyone is handling their roles.
2. Ensure A Three Way Value Proposition
The crux of the agency partnership is that all the parties derive tangible value from the relationship. That’s why you need to clearly define the expected outcomes and value add for each party. The value could be a greater brand reach, deeper engagement, increased bottom-line, or reputation management. Whatever value proposition you settle on make sure it’s one that can be reasonably quantified. There are lots of analytics in the market that can help you gauge the various value propositions available for such strategic partnerships.
3. Require 100% Transparency
In the agency partnership model, your engagement is far much deeper, and even small decisions on their part can have great ramifications on your side. That’s why you ought to demand total transparency in terms of both disclosure and non-disclosure. In such strategic alliances, your name and brands are also on the line, and that’s why you have to protect your reputation. This process also goes for registration information, pricing, any major projects, and to what extent you are legally culpable in their decision-making dynamics. You should have a written document stipulating your liabilities and also how soon they should inform you on any major decisions they make that requires your involvement.
4. Find the Right Fit
This advice is the most critical aspect of forming a solid agency relationship. Get it wrong, and you’ll spend the next few months or years arguing and disagreeing on the goals and plans. Make sure the agency has goals, vision, purpose and core values that are similar or in line with those of your business. Additionally, make sure they are customer-centric and will always be there for you in case you need them around the clock. The best way to go about striking the best agency partnership is starting with a small engagement, preferably an internal gig before signing the contract.
5. Have An Exit Plan at All Times
You will need an exit plan in case the partnership collapses midway. You need to guarantee continuity in case the agency partnership is no longer working, or there is a breach of contract during the course of the partnership. You might also need an exit plan towards the end of the partnership because the process of building new strategic alliances takes time, cash and effort and that’s why you need to put forethought into it. Most importantly, you should define the kind of circumstances that will necessitate the end of the partnerships and what the ramifications will be.
6. Understand The Cultural Differences
Every firm has its own corporate culture which influences how certain decisions are made, how departments are formed, their market strategy and many other day-to-day functions. Two companies that have the same or similar goals could have radically different cultures. Given the in-depth nature of strategic partnerships it critical that you develop cultural empathy for the marketing agency and vice versa. An understanding of their corporate culture comes in handy when it comes to crisis resolution, decision-making, goal setting and even project timelines.
7. Measure And Evaluate
The agency relationship can only be robust to the extent that it regularly audited and proper metrics put in place to measure progress. This reporting could be monthly evaluations, quarterly or bi-annually. Make sure the metrics are comprehensive, prioritized and narrowed down to the specific goals that will help your firm grow. Keep in mind that marketing agencies work in a very dynamic and fast-paced field. Marketing your firm may change in a matter of weeks or even days. However, the flexibility doesn’t negate the need for proper accounting and clear reports on the performance of the strategies that are in use.
8. Determine Your Budget
Your budget will determine how much you can achieve through the partnerships. Lots of firms have different packages for different industries and different budgets. Strategic partnerships tend to have a higher budget demand than a mere contractual relationship with a marketing agency. That’s because partnerships will mean having a specific account manager and a wider scope of the marketing plan for your brand. You will need a thorough vetting process for the marketing agencies so that you can derive the proper value for money. In this instance, you’ll need to have an appropriate cost-value balance. You shouldn’t settle for lower prices-lower quality work. Research on the best possible quality at the lowest price possible.
Partnering With A Marketing Agency
Partnering with a marketing agency is the best means of delivering value to your brand in a way that gives you excellent control. These kinds of corporate alignments make it easier for you to find a parent who can do the researches, and create better reputations. Effective partnerships deliver higher margins, increases your span of control, and provides higher quality deliverables for the client.
Looking to start an agency partnership with a marketing firm? Contact the experts at Lucid Advertising to learn how a full marketing agency can excel your business today!