Like hiring staff, outsourcing is never an easy decision for a business owner to make – there are lots of things to weigh up and consider. So when you do finally decide to take the plunge and outsource to a marketing agency, it’s worth making sure you are doing everything you can to make the partnership a success.
As well as defining your budget you need to decide what marketing you can (and should) keep inhouse. It’s important to be realistic about your resources and your talents. If you aren’t sure what you can handle, then you should be honest about this when you start to engage with agencies.
The easiest way to get the best out of your relationship with an agency is to make it clear who will interact with them and who will be required to approve budgets, outputs and anything else. Clearly defined roles are key to success so nail it down before you do anything else.
Just because an agency is the biggest in your city, or has won the most awards, does not mean that they are the right agency for your business. When you are hiring staff you have criteria that an interviewee must meet, so set similar pointers before you interview an agency. Engage with a few companies and choose one that you feel a connection with, that you trust with your brand, and that offers the services that you need.
If you’ve told your agency that you want to increase your social media presence and then you end the contract with them because your sales are the same…you are at fault. You need to set expectations for what you would like to see done, and what results you would like to see from that work (these may not marry up, but a good agency will advise you on strategy…we’ll get to that in Step 5!).
Tasks checked off a to do list is not going to generate business. If your agency knows why they are doing something, what the goals are, then it will be much more effective. A good agency will help you create a strategy and plan the actions to achieve it rather than taking a list of actions with no reason.
Reviewing the results of marketing efforts is crucial to the success of any team – inhouse or outsourced. An agency will be able to report on everything in detail that they were involved in to show what worked, and what didn’t so your next marketing decisions can be evidence based.
The team members within a good marketing agency live and breathe their profession, so if they advise you that your ideas for a campaign will not bring good results, don’t dismiss them before hearing their reasons. Respect that you have brought in experts who know more than you and listen to their suggestions.
After all to quote Steve Jobs…
Great things in business are never done by one person; they’re done by a team of people.
If you’re interested in talking to our team about how we could help you step up your marketing in the second half of 2021 we’d love to hear from you. Contact us here for more information or give us a call on 01600 891525.