Working with Your Marketing Agency

August 15th, 2019

How to Get the Very Best Out of Your Marketing AgencyAn interesting building extension

A question for you. Why do some company’s brilliant marketing campaigns have spectacular success, whereas others spend lots of money and have zero success?

When hiring any expert you need to be prepared; preparation is everything.

Imagine hiring a builder; telling him you want an extension. That’s it, nothing else; no dimensions, no details about windows, doors, the roof or what it should be built from.

I can guarantee you’ll be disappointed when it’s finished.

You might think, it’s the builders job to ask questions not just build what he thinks and, of course, you’re right. So you should be prepared to answer his questions, if you’re going to what you want.

Business owners know that marketing is fickle. My finance director was fond of asking me to explain which half of my marketing budget was going to reap rewards and which half was going to be wasted! In those days you could only measure success with coupon and promo codes! But his question made me think. I didn’t want to waste money; I needed every penny of my budget and that’s when I learnt how crucial a good marketing brief is.

I’ve worked with many agencies: web, PR, design, events and online over the years. Each time I make sure that I have a written brief to give them. It doesn’t take much time to write it down. It saves you lots of time because there’s no confusion about what the agency has to deliver.

If I’m using several agencies to deliver a complex campaign, each agency sees the entire project brief. Best of all, one person from every agency gets in a room together so when we plan the campaign everyone knows who is doing what, when and why.

Here are my top tips

  • When working with a new agency, they need to get to know you and your business and they’ll only do this if you tell them.
    1. What is your why, what is your story? Explaining why do you do what you do is a great place to start.
    2. What’s different about your business? I  explain 3 ways in which the business is unique. That might be exceptional customer service, top notch products, free next day delivery in eco-friendly (no plastic) packaging, for example.

 

  • Who are your competitors?
    1. How do you measure up to them. Include their websites for the agency to research.
    2. Encourage the agency to mystery shop your business and some competitors, that’s how they get a real feel for your company.
    3. How do you fair against your competitors

 

  • State exactly what you want to achieve; your objective, goal or target. What result do you want the campaign to deliver and by when? Put numbers to your objectives – they’re easier to measure and everyone knows what they are aiming at.

 

  • What is your timeline? A good agency needs time to work its magic – don’t leave your campaign to the last minute, give them time. It’s no good planning a Christmas campaign in late November and expecting it to be super successful. That’s why the big retailers have campaign plans in place 6 to 9 months before they’re needed.

 

  • What is your budget? Set your budget before you see the agency. Be clear how much you have to spend, but be realistic too. Great marketing costs money, but don’t throw money at it. Consider your current cost of acquisition and look at your objectives, this should help you define your budget.

My top tip; be open and honest with your agency. If you only have a small budget, tell them just that at the beginning. Don’t let them develop a fabulous campaign and then have to cut most of it to fit your budget!

coachSME88

Shirley Mansfield is a highly experienced business coach and Master Problem Solver. With over 25 years’ experience, she founded CoachSME in 2011 to work with business owners to maximise growth, and she is still trying to reduce the 14 handicap! Keep up to date by following me on Twitter @coachsme