Some of you may have been lucky and immediately hit on a great relationship with your digital agency. More often than not, though, the experience goes like this: You spend a few months to a year with several digital advertising agencies, and just aren't satisfied enough to stay with any of them. There are myriad reasons for this: Poor communication, lack of accountability (poor reporting, agency not following through on work, poor planning) and even bogus and black hat tactics that have penalized your website. If you're looking to make a change to a new online marketing firm, keep these 3 tips in mind for having the best experience with digital advertising agencies:
1) Ask to meet your account manager before you sign the contract. This may sound unusual, but we have found through extensive research and experience that there is a considerable gap in comfort level between a client and the salesperson, and a client and the agency account manager. Meeting with your account manager before the campaign begins allows you to be in control of the situation. If you see that you will be assigned to someone you deem inappropriate, then you can request a change immediately. Have a list of prepared questions ready to ask the account manager, such as:
- What experience do you have managing campaigns like this?
- What are your plans for managing the campaign? How will it be structured?
- Let's set up periodic meeting times now. When are you available each (week, month) to do that?
- What can I do to facilitate the process and make my campaign successful?
2) Ask to see sample reports and if you see anything out of place or in need of customization, mention it right away. A good agency is always in favor of customizing reports to meet client needs. Discuss this with your account manager immediately and then also be prepared to make additional requests to ensure the reports are reflecting the latest business climate you are dealing with (new product introductions, email marketing initiatives, call tracking, and more).
3) Break down barriers before they derail your campaign. One must always remember that digital campaigns are run by people. Regardless of the strategy and planning involved, there are times when egos can get in the way. In some cases, this tension arises between digital marketing people and web development people. This is not as prevalent overall as it was in the past, as more web development professionals today are SEO and PPC savvy. There are however, still some people on the agency and client sides who may be overly protective of their turf, and they may feel threatened by new relationships created by the campaign. These issues need to be addressed immediately. It is wise to invite web developers to marketing meetings so they can have input and ask questions. Likewise, it is important for marketing professionals to be able to easily access the developers, so they can create a synergistic relationship. Remember to keep this tip in mind; poor team relationships have derailed more campaigns than any technical coding errors or strategy failures.
Ready to learn more about building a great relationship with your digital agency? You can profit from our e-book 30 Minute Guide to Hiring a Great Online Marketing Company.