You’ve gone through the selection process, held the pitch, made the decision. Now what?
It may be your incumbent agency or a brand new one you’re going to be working with. Either way, how do you get the best out of this relationship?
**Share what you know**
Drawing on 20 years’ experience, the first thing I can recommend is being open. No one knows your business as well you do, so it helps to pass as much of that information onto your agency. You could give detailed briefs, share research documents, give factory tours or introduce your front-line team. It’s amazing what additional things we learn from meeting the people working on the coal-face of your business. Obviously, your agency should do its own research, but the more you can pass on, the better. It makes the agency’s internal briefs all the better.
But if you can, you should also share what other projects you’re working on. Have you got a PR campaign running alongside your PPC activity? Is there a sales promotion underway? Are you attending any exhibitions? Let your agency know – it could have an impact on the proposal they’re about to give. A couple of small changes or a shift in the delivery date could have implications on a campaign’s success.
**Say what you think. Honestly.**
Honesty is next on the list. Agencies work hard to deliver great work and make sure their clients are happy. If we aren’t performing as well as you want us to, we want to know. If we know where and what the issue is, we can do everything in our power to put it right. And 99 times out of a 100 we do just that. We just need to know.
**It’s OK to be selfish**
What makes you happy? I try and ask all our clients what do they need to make their life easier. We know that marketing departments have to justify what they do more than any other department in business, so how can we help? It could be with specific performance measurements in reports, reports in management-friendly formats, or a bespoke executive summary. We want to make your job more straightforward in whatever way we can and to make you look good in front of your internal clients.
We’re in the fortunate position that most of our clients follow these simple rules. They come more easily to some than others, but openness, honesty and selfishness are the first three positive steps in the client-agency relationship.
It takes a massive effort to select an agency. It’s not something anyone has the time or inclination to do on a regular basis. But if you can follow these three thoughts, you won’t have to – you really will be getting the most out of your agency.