How to Work With a Digital Marketing Agency: Six Steps for Success
You’ve identified the digital marketing agency that will handle your project. The statement of work is signed. So now what steps can you take to make sure your project goes as smoothly as possible? Luckily, we happen to have a handy list to get you started.
Give your digital agency the right tools
The first step in a successful partnership is providing your agency with the right tools. They may have some experience in the industry and know some basic information about your company, but to make sure that your project is successful, they’ll need more.
You’ll need to supply them with background information on the industry, where your pain points are internally and externally, feedback that you’ve received from past projects and additional requirements from your company and on your project.
You’ll also need to provide them with existing marketing and branding materials including strategy documents, legal and branding guidelines, logos, imagery, and other content assets.
Over time, the agency will have more experience with your company to draw from, but it’s important to give them a strong baseline to work from to achieve the best possible results right from the project start.
Be flexible with your road map
Of course, you know where you want to end up, but be flexible in getting there. Understanding the roadmap and process is key, but remember why you hired the agency in the first place.
Don’t be shy about asking questions and giving your own insights, but be open to opinions and recommendations as well. A fresh perspective from industry experts might be just what you need to breathe new life into your project.
Have one point of contact at your digital agency
There may be lots of stakeholders involved in your project. And it’s important to collect all of their feedback at each step in the process (especially before the project goes too far down a particular road, since late or incorrect feedback may impact the project schedule and budget).
However, having one point of contact for the agency to communicate with will eliminate their trying to react to conflicting points of view. This can be hard for agencies to manage and can slow down the development process or burn through project hours unnecessarily. By identifying one point of contact, you’ll be better equipped to manage all communications.
Communicate with your digital marketing agency regularly
Speaking of communications, be available for regular “touch base” conference calls or in-person meetings. Also be upfront about how you like to work and the internal pressures or challenges you are facing so that the agency can be sure to provide you with the information when you need it.
Ask your digital agency to provide follow up meeting minutes that include items that were discussed, future action items with assigned responsibilities, and areas of risk or concern, so that everyone is on the same page. This will serve as a great reference for everyone and will make sharing updates with your team easy.
Understand the agency’s full capabilities
While you may be hiring a digital marketing agency for one particular kind of project—like a website redesign or rebranding—understanding the agency’s full menu of capabilities can be important as your project evolves or as new needs present themselves. Your agency already understands your business and your brand, so they’ll be in a strong position to make recommendations and execute them quickly.
For example, if you’ve hired an agency to redesign your website, they’re likely in a better position to assist with other company goals like inbound marketing and search engine optimization as well. Take a long-view approach and don’t be afraid to ask what options are available down the road.
Reflect on your commitment
Before you push full steam ahead, make sure that you have the time, stakeholder support, and financial resources to invest in the project before you kick it off. Having buy-in from your company and the schedule availability from the start is crucial in making sure you the project is completed to spec, on time, and on budget. Just because you are outsourcing the work, doesn’t mean that you won’t be making a considerable effort as well.
Working with a digital agency requires a strong partnership built on trust and respect in order to be successful. Over time, the agency should be seen, and will work, as an extension of your team. After all, your success is their success.
Want to learn more about how a partnership with a digital marketing agency can help you grow your online presence and reach your business goals? Click below.