Bruce Smith

Anecdote founder

The top 5 things to do before working with a marketing agency

Welcome to this weeks, you asked, we answered. This week we’re talking about the top 5 things businesses should action before they work with a marketing agency.

If you are a business who has experience working with marketing agencies, this article will still be of value as it will focus your attention on some things you may have taken for granted or have not considered before.
For those who are about to dip their toes in for the first time, this article is indispensable.
So, what are the top 5 things all businesses should do before working with a marketing agency?

First up

Get clear on your goals.

The better you understand the goals you want to achieve the more focus that will bring the agency and project as a whole. Spend some quality time with key members of the team and canvas them to get ideas of what the goals of the business should be for the next 12 – 18 months.
A goal could be as simple as ‘We want to add 10 new customers a month to our business’.
Whatever they are, write them down, get clear on them and bring them to the table. This gives the marketing agency an end goal, a target to hit and sometimes you can reverse engineer your efforts to deliver on the goals.

Set a budget.

This is important. And make clear if that includes VAT or not. Setting a budget brings clarity to the process and puts everyone at ease. There is a difference between marketing agency fees for time to do the work and then the advertising fees you will need to pay depending on what you want to achieve. Make sure both parties are clear on that.

Research your competition.

Again important. You could pay the agency money to get an account manager or junior designer to do a research project on the competition but it makes more sense for you to do it, it will save you money, better inform you of the competitive landscape and surprise and delight the agency.

If collated and well structured then it provides a lot of ideas and inspiration when working with the marketing agency. Work out what your competitors do well and ask the agency to work out how to do it better.

Be clear on who will run the project.

This can be a real bugbear for the marketing agency. To maximise the investment you make and the success of the project it is essential one person from your side leads on the project with the agency.

This person is key to the success of the project and it’s important you spend time working out who the right person is.

The person who works with the marketing agency should have these key attributes:

They keep the agency honest and on track, making sure milestones are hit and everything from their side is with the marketing agency as they need it.

There’s nothing worse than a marketing agency having to work with someone who is suspicious of marketing or doesn’t trust them. Make sure you’re respectful of each other and want to work with each other, rather than questioning every detail.

A marketing agency thrives of the energy and enthusiasm of its clients and what they want to achieve. The more passion and energy you can bring to the project the better the outcome.

Again there’s nothing more annoying for a marketing agency when they need clarification or information on something and it takes 2 days to get it. Make sure the individual leading the project from your side has enough time to invest, making sure the marketing agency is getting everything they need as the project progresses. 

What’s also important to remember is that you need someone who is conscientious and can challenge the marketing agency if their points aren’t being taken on board. 

Sometimes the marketing agency will suggest ideas that are great but fall out of your budget, make sure ‘Can you deliver that within the set budget’ is made clear. If you feel the idea warrants further investment, trust your gut and go for it.

Have a chemistry meeting before committing.

Before you sign contracts on working together its always useful (covid depending) to go to the marketing agency’s premises and have a 30-minute meeting with them.

Asked to be shown around the office and studio, a lot of marketing agencies would love to do that but aren’t sure whether the client would, so ask, you’ll get a much better idea of the marketing agencies culture when you can see the engine room.

The sixth bonus tip for 5 things to do before working with a marketing agency.

Enjoy it

For most B2B businesses, working with a marketing agency is like going to the funfair, and it should be.

Creativity isn’t about shirts, ties and formal sit-downs, it’s about creating effective work which is memorable for the viewer and that’s about experimenting and exploring.

Think of the marketing agency as a group of friends. Talk to then like that, drop the stuffiness and the outcomes and experience you have will be improved.

Well, that’s it. Was this useful? Please let us know. We want to create content that better informs you and helps you in the long run. If you need any further support please get in touch.
Thanks for reading right to the end. We know you’re busy and we really respect your time so hopefully, the fact that you’ve got to here means that you’ve found it worthwhile.

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